Empress Chicken

"Empress chicken was my favorite thing to order at the local chinese restaurant. They switched over to "fast food" chinese, and this dish got lost in the translation! I found this recipe online, and it's very close to my beloved dish! Great over rice. NOTE: The amount of cornstarch has been adjusted based upon reviewers' comments."
photo by Food.com photo by Food.com
photo by Food.com
photo by Brenda. photo by Brenda.
photo by Food.com photo by Food.com
photo by Tim2080 photo by Tim2080
photo by NorthwestGal photo by NorthwestGal
Ready In:




  • Combine first 7 ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously. Store in fridge until ready.
  • Mix chicken with 1/4 cup dark soy sauce. Stir in egg.
  • Add cornstarch and mix chicken until coated.
  • Deep fry in hot oil until golden brown.
  • Drain on paper towels.
  • Place a small amount of oil in wok and heat to very hot.
  • Add onions and peppers and stir fry 30 seconds.
  • Stir in sauce mixture (shake again first).
  • Cook until thick. If it gets too thick, add some water until desired consistency.
  • Add chicken and cook until hot and bubbly.
  • Serve over hot rice.

Questions & Replies

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  1. My husband LOVES empress chicken and our favorite restaurant stopped making it like he liked it. Now after making this, he said he never has to worry about being able to have empress chicken. He kept commenting how delicious it was and wanted to make sure I could find the recipe again. The only thing I did differently was used rice vinegar instead of white since I didn't have any white and added broccoli and mushrooms after stir frying them. The ginger was just right and I used 1/4 cup cornstarch, plus a heaping tablespoon. For the chicken, I put the chicken in the soy sauce and egg and then I used a gallon ziplock and put cornstarch and flour and coated the chicken that way before deep frying it. I wasn't sure about how to do it according to the recipe. It seemed weird to me to add cornstarch to the egg and soy sauce before putting it into the oil to cook. I wasn't sure how that would work. The way I did it was great. My husband kept commenting on how wonderful the chicken was, so I guess I did something right, even though it wasn't how the recipe seemed to say. However, thank you so much for getting this recipe out there. It is absolutely delicious, however, very labor intensive. It took over an hour to make with 3 chicken breasts and a lot of mess to clean as I went. My husband even helped with chopping the onions and shredding the ginger and cutting the chicken into bite sized pieces. Maybe next time it won't be as long.
  2. Wow - what can I say that hasn't already been said before? This was absolutely delicious. Rather than 8 small hot pepper, I used 1 jalapeno and a handful of dried hot chili peppers. The heat was perfect. I also added 1 large diced red bell pepper. Other than that, I made this exactly as posted, using 1/4 cup cornstarch in the marinade and 1/2 cup to coat the chicken. Raves all around! Served this with jasmine rice. Made for ZWT6.
  3. Method of cooking chicken was especially good. I used thighs instead of breasts. Sauce was a little spicy for some, despite cutting jalapeños down to just a couple. Next time will likely use just green peppers. Overall an excellent dish.
  4. My son picked this recipe for me to make, and I'm so glad he did! It is delicious. There was a hint of heat, but not too much. A perfect treat for my weekend meal. Made for Culinary Quest Summer 2014. Thanks for sharing!
  5. The Chinese restaurant is a two hour drive from my home and after making mostly stir fries this felt just like eating out. I left out the hot peppers,so DDs can enjoy it as well too (they prefered the chicken without the sauce). I wish zaar had more than five stars,because this one is getting ten. What a great way to end ZWT6. It was the last recipe for me and also the best one. Did I mention that DH was so quiet while eating it? He's really a talker,but when something this yummy comes up I don't hear a peep out of him.


  1. This dish was absolutely incredible! I served it for kids as well as a adults, so had to cut back the heat- instead of hot peppers I used basic green bell peppers, and it turned out really well! The fried chicken was crispy and perfectly coated- all around a huge hit!
  2. Love this recipe. As I reduced the sauce, I thought it became a bit bitter. I added a cup of honey and continued to reduce it. The result was a delicious meal. Thanks.
  3. This looked liked a lot of work when I skimmed over the recipe but it was surprisingly very easy and oh so good!. Chinese food in NYC is really bad unless you go to a 5 star places. This chicken was 10 stars. The sauce was lovely and the chicken in the cornstarch didn't come out heavy or anything. I actually forgot to cut the chicken tenders into pieces but they were really good in strips. I would of normally served this over rice but we ate dim sum with this so I just served over fresh peppers with extra sauce. The only thing I did was replace the sugar with a smaller amount of honey and a little less soy but thats only because of my diet. Thanks Charmie for a new family recipe made for ZWT 6 by a fellow Looney Spoon :)
  4. Great! Love the sauce and was easy to make. I substituted crushed red pepper instead of hot peppers, and probably use a light soy sauce next time to make it less salty.
  5. Awesome recipe!!! I was somewhat concerned about the amount(s) of cornstarch, based on previous recipes so I cut back here and there. The sauce mixture I used 1/4 cup cornstarch, for the chicken marinade I used 1 tbsp of cornstarch. Two gloves of garlic, I thought were sufficient, also, added 5 hot chili pods instead of jalapenos. As for vegetables, I boiled water and threw in some broccoli and carrots for one minute, and then shocked them in ice water (to retain crunch and colour). Threw the veggies along with approx 1 1/2 cup of scallions into a hot pan with 2 tbsp of peanut oil. Poured in the sauce mixture, at first it was very runny but after stirring a couple mins on medium high the sauce began to thicken. It was great!!!! Consistency of the sauce was great, not to starchy, so I will use the same measurements for cornstarch mentioned above for the next time. Served it with basmati rice (plain). Thanks for the posting.



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