Almond Chicken is easy to make with lots of veggies, crunchy almonds, garlic, ginger, and of course crispy and juicy chicken. The sauce is easy too, with brown sugar, sesame oil, mirin, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, chicken broth, and cornstarch.
This sweet and sour Asian recipe is well-known all over the globe and is served in millions of households and restaurants every day. For a different chicken dish, try this Best Szechuan Chicken recipe. Or enjoy this Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken for a sweet and simple meal. Another option is to make the reader’s favorite Instant Pot Orange Chicken.
Chinese Almond Chicken Recipe
Rather than getting takeout, try making this delicious dish at home where you know everything that goes in it. Many of the Chinese restaurants add preservatives and other additives that are not healthy for you. If you make it yourself, you don’t have to worry about that.
All you need is some staples like ginger, garlic, we also use lots of veggies like onion, green onions, green bell peppers, mushrooms, and zucchini. Obviously, we add almonds that make this dish irresistible.
Besides, dish is absolutely amazing, and also on the healthier side. Actually, we don’t bread the meat and don’t deep fry it. Also, everything is tossed in a sweet and tamgy Chinese sauce, that is fantastic over rice.
Here is a general list of what you need. For the exact directions and measurements, look at the recipe card below.
- Chicken: We used boneless skinless chickem thighs.
- Almonds: Blanched; whole or sliced.
- Zucchini: Quartered and sliced.
- Onion: White, diced.
- Green onions: Chopped.
- Mushrooms: Sliced.
- Green bell peppers: Diced.
- Garlic: You can use garlic powder instead.
- Ginger: Minced.
- Vegetable oil: Canola or coconut oil is also fine.
- Chicken broth: Try our recipe for chicken stock or use canned.
- Soy sauce: Use tamari or liquid aminos if you are allergic to soy.
- Hoisin sauce: Also known as Chinese barbecue sauce.
- Mirin: Similar to sake with lower alcohol and more sugar.
- Sesame oil: Nutritious alternative to other oils.
- Brown sugar: Light or dark are both fine.
- Cornstarch: This is important for thickening.
How to make Chinese almond chicken from scratch:
- Cook: First, use two tablespoons of the vegetable oil to cook the onions in a large skillet over medium-high heat for four minutes.
- Chop: Next, chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces, quarter and slice the zucchini, mince the ginger and garlic, dice the onions and pepper, and slice the mushrooms.
- Add: Then, add the chopped veggies to the pan and cook for five minutes until the vegetables are just tender.
- Remove: After that, take out the veggies and wipe the skillet clean with a paper towel.
- Cook: Next, pour the rest of the vegetable oil into the pan and add the chicken. Heat until the chicken is cooked, and it is golden brown. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Combine: Finally, cook the ginger and garlic for 30 seconds before adding the veggies back to the mix.
- Make the sauce: Using a whisk, combine all of the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl until they are thoroughly mixed.
- Add: Then, add the sauce to the mix, bringing it to a simmer. Cook until the sauce is thick, which takes about two minutes. Stir in the almonds and green onions just before serving.
- Garnish: Lastly, sprinkle the sesame seeds on top for a garnish.
- Store: Put any leftovers in an airtight container where they will stay good for up to four days in the fridge.
- Freeze: In addition, to freeze it, let the meal fully cool, and after that add it to a sealed freezer-safe container or to freezer-safe Ziploc bag. Another great alternative, it to use a kitchen vacuum sealer. Freeze for 1-3 months.
- Defrost: Now, to defrost it, transfer the dish to the refrigerator and let thaw overnight. Reheat and serve.
- Switch the wine: Alternatively, use sherry instead of mirin for a different taste.
- More veggies: In addition, use more vegetables like snow peas, carrots, and celery.
- White meat: Moreover, try chicken breast instead of thighs for white meat.
- Sauciness: Similarly, for a different sauce, use this sweet and tangy teriyaki sauce, special orange sauce, or this spicy General Tso sauce.
- Other peppers: Of course, you can also use yellow, orange, and red bell peppers for a more colorful look.
- Baking Sheet Dinner: Alternatively, mix all the ingredients with the sauce and place them on a baking sheet. After that, bake for about 30 minutes, stirring a few times.
How to serve:
Serve this dish over a bed of warm white rice. Here are some other delicious ideas for serving:
- Alternatively, serve this on top of egg noodles, with crack corn salad, or brown rice instead of white rice.
- In addition, for fewer carbs, serve on a bed of lettuce rather than rice, corn, or noodles. Also, you can try it with cauliflower rice.
- Besides, this goes great with grilled vegetables, steamed broccoli, or oven-roasted bok choy with garlic.
- Also, add water chestnuts for a crispy texture and unique flavor.
- For dessert, try these grilled peaches, fruit salad, or creamy grape salad.
More Asian Recipes:
Frequently asked questions
What are Chinese almonds?
Chinese almonds are not really almonds. In fact, they are apricot kernels, also known as xìng rén. They are not used in this recipe though, as this recipe calls for real almonds.
The flavor of these apricot kernels is sweet as well as bitter and many do not use these because they contain traces of cyanide. But you may find them in amaretto liquor and amaretti cookies.
Why is it called almond chicken?
Actually, this dish goes by several names including ABC chicken (Almonds Boneless Chicken), Detroit Almond Chicken, and Asian Almond Chicken. But believe it or not, it did not originate in Asia at all. It began in San Francisco where the old chop suey restaurants were run by Chinese immigrants. The dish varies depending on where it is made and can be a very different taste in Detroit than it is in San Francisco.
What is war su gai?
The Detroit Almond Chicken (or war su gai) is made differently than this recipe. In fact, the meat is deep-fried and crunchy after being marinated in oyster sauce and coated in batter. Then it is served on a bed of lettuce and covered with gravy and a sliced crunchy almond mix.
- In addition, do not overcook the vegetables or they will be mushy.
- Alternatively, you can try using pork or turkey.
- Mix leftovers with slow cooker teriyaki chicken or instant pot teriyaki chicken.
- In fact, leftovers would also be good in this slow cooker sesame chicken recipe.
- Remember, it can also be served as a side dish to an entrée like teriyaki salmon or slow cooker Asian short ribs.
Almond Chicken Recipe
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (divided use)
- 1 small onion (diced)
- 1 cup zucchini (quartered lengthwise and sliced)
- 1 cup mushrooms (sliced)
- 1 green bell pepper (diced)
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (cut into 1 inch pieces)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 teaspoon ginger (minced)
- 1/2 cup blanched almonds (sliced or slivered)
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- Whisk together all the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.
For the stir fry:
- Place a large pan or wok over medium-high heat and add two tablespoons of oil.
- Once hot, add the diced onion and cook for 4-5 minutes stirring until just softened.
- Next, add the zucchini, mushrooms, and green bell pepper. Cook for 5 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Season everything with salt and pepper to taste.
- After that, remove the veggies and set aside on a plate. Wipe the pan clean, using a paper towel.
- Next, add the remaining one tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the chicken in a single layer and season with salt and pepper to taste. Do NOT overcrowd the pan, work in batches if needed.
- Brown if for 4-5 minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked through.
- Next, add the garlic and ginger, stir and cook for 30 seconds.
- After that, add back the veggies.
- Give the sauce a quick stir and pour it over the chicken and veggies. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook
- for 1-2 minutes or until the sauce just thickened.
- Finally, stir in the almonds and the green onions.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and serve.