Stir-Fried Chicken with Chinese Cabbage


A simple sauce of garlic, hot pepper, sherry, wine vinegar, and tomato, adds intense flavor to this quick stir-fry and it practically makes itself while the chicken and cabbage cook. Steamed rice is an ideal accompaniment. Plus:  More Chicken Recipes and Tips 

Stir-Fried Chicken with Chinese Cabbage
Photo: © Christina Holmes
Active Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
30 mins


  • 1 1/3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4), cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 tablespoon plus 4 teaspoons soy sauce

  • 3 tablespoons dry sherry

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1 tablespoon wine vinegar

  • 1/2 head Chinese cabbage (about 1 pound), sliced

  • 3/4 cup drained sliced water chestnuts (from one 8-ounce can)

  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes

  • 3 tablespoons water

  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro or scallion tops

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. In a medium bowl, combine the chicken with the 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of the sherry, and the cayenne. Let marinate for 10 minutes.

  2. In a wok or large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, until almost done, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove.

  3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Add the onion, garlic, and coriander. Cook, stirring, until the onions are golden, about 4 minutes. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons sherry and the vinegar. Cook, stirring, 1 minute longer.

  4. Add the cabbage, water chestnuts, the remaining 4 teaspoons soy sauce, the tomato paste, red-pepper flakes, and water and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes longer. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices, the cilantro, and the salt and cook, stirring, until the chicken is just done, 1 to 2 minutes longer.

Suggested Pairing

You need a straightforward white wine with plenty of acidity to survive the garlic, soy sauce, and hot pepper in this dish. A Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley in France, particularly from Vouvray, Saumur, or Anjou, will be able to hold its own.

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