Black Pepper Chicken Stir Fry is a popular choice at Chinese takeouts across the US. Make it at home using this quick and easy recipe.
There is a very popular Chinese takeout chain restaurant here in the US that serves Black Pepper Chicken Stir Fry that everyone raves about. It may surprise you to know that this dish with celery is little known among Chinese communities beyond the borders of the United States. This puts it in the same genre as Chop Suey, Broccoli Beef Stir Fry, and fortune cookies. These are quintessential American Chinese dishes that are favorites here.
Black Pepper Stir Fries
Like most of their peers, my two grown sons sometimes go to the takeout to enjoy this stir fry. I have tasted it once or twice myself and it is good. Since my sons enjoy it so much, I decided to cook it at home to surprise them. Needless to say, they were delighted. I also make a version with shrimp which they love and I will share that another time. If your meat of choice is beef, you may want to check out my Black Pepper Beef Stir Fry with bell peppers.
It is best to use freshly ground or crushed black peppercorns for black pepper stir fries. Prepackaged ground black pepper will not give you the same flavor or results. You can grind the peppercorns in a spice grinder if you have one. Otherwise, simply place the peppercorns in a ziplog bag and crush it with a mallet as shown in my video.
Keeping the Veggies Crunchy
To keep the onion and celery crunchy, I start by searing them in high heat for 2 minutes. Then, I remove them from the wok and only return them to the wok towards the end of cooking. This is what I usually do with the veggies I add to all my stir fries.
Similar Products Used in Making This Black Pepper Chicken Stir Fry
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Traditional Heavy Gauge Hand Hammered Carbon Steel Pow Wok (14 inch, round bottom)
Traditional Carbon Steel Wok, Hand Hammered (14 inch, round bottom)
Carbon Steel Hand Hammered 14 inch Flat Bottom Wok (Gauge – 1.2mm)
Carbon Steel Wok 12-inch, flat bottom
Traditional Hand Hammered Carbon Steel Pow Wok (12 inch, rRound bottom)
Black Pepper Chicken Stir Fry
- 1 lb chicken tenders (cut at a diagonal into thin slices) (450g)
- 2 tsp black peppercorns (crushed)
- 1 tbsp Shao Hsing cooking wine
- 2 tbsp soy sauce (divided)
- ¼ cup water (60ml)(60ml)
- 1 tsp corn starch
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- ½ onion (cut into thin slices)
- 2 sticks celery (cut at a diagonal into thin slices)
- 2 tsp sesame oil (divided)
- 1 inch ginger (peeled and cut into thin slices) (30g)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- Salt to taste
- Combine chicken, 1 teaspoon crushed peppercorns, Shao Hsing cooking wine, and 1 tablespoon soy sauce in a medium bowl. Stir to mix and set aside.
- Combine water, remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and corn starch in a cup or small bowl. Mix well with a spoon and set aside.
- Heat up wok or large fry pan over high heat. Once wok is heated, add ½ tablespoon vegetable oil. Swirl the vegetable oil around the wok or pan. Add onion and celery. Stir fry for 2 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Add remaining 1½ tablespoons vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon sesame oil to the wok. Then, add ginger and garlic. Stir fry for 20 seconds.
- Add marinated chicken and remaining crushed peppercorns. Stir fry for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Return fried onion and celery to the wok or pan. Continue to stir fry for 1 minute.
- Pour in corn starch mixture and salt to taste. Continue to stir fry until sauce thickens. Turn off stove.
- Drizzle remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil over the chicken and vegetables.
- Remove and serve immediately with steamed rice.