Empress Chicken is a popular Chinese dish that is known for its crispy chicken pieces coated in a sweet and tangy sauce. This dish is a favorite in many Chinese restaurants and is also commonly made at home. The name “Empress Chicken” is said to have originated from the fact that the dish was a favorite of the Empress Dowager Cixi, who ruled China in the late 19th century. The dish is known for its vibrant red color and bold flavors, making it a standout on any dinner table.

Empress Chicken is a dish that perfectly balances sweet and savory flavors, making it a hit with both kids and adults. The crispy chicken is coated in a flavorful sauce that is made with a combination of soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and other seasonings. The result is a dish that is both crispy and tender, with a sauce that is both sweet and tangy. Whether you are a fan of Chinese cuisine or just looking to try something new, Empress Chicken is a dish that is sure to impress.

Key Takeaways

  • Empress Chicken is a popular Chinese dish known for its sweet and tangy flavor, and crispy texture.
  • The key ingredients for making Empress Chicken include chicken breast, cornstarch, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and ketchup.
  • To make Empress Chicken, start by marinating the chicken, coating it in cornstarch, and then frying until crispy. The sauce is made separately and then combined with the fried chicken.
  • To enhance the flavor of Empress Chicken, consider adding garlic, ginger, or chili flakes to the sauce for an extra kick.
  • Empress Chicken can be served with steamed rice and garnished with sesame seeds and green onions for a complete meal.

Ingredients needed for Empress Chicken

To make Empress Chicken, you will need the following ingredients:

– 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
– 1 cup of cornstarch
– 2 eggs
– 1 cup of vegetable oil for frying
– 1/2 cup of soy sauce
– 1/4 cup of rice vinegar
– 1/4 cup of sugar
– 2 cloves of garlic, minced
– 1 teaspoon of ginger, minced
– 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
– 1 tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons of water
– Green onions, sliced for garnish
– Sesame seeds for garnish

These ingredients can be easily found at your local grocery store or Asian market. The combination of these ingredients creates a dish that is both flavorful and satisfying. The chicken thighs provide a tender and juicy base for the dish, while the soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar create a sweet and tangy sauce that perfectly complements the crispy chicken. The garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes add depth and complexity to the dish, while the green onions and sesame seeds provide a fresh and nutty finish.

Step-by-step instructions for making Empress Chicken

1. Start by preparing the chicken. In a bowl, beat the eggs and then dip the chicken pieces into the beaten eggs, ensuring that each piece is well coated.

2. In another bowl, place the cornstarch. Dredge each egg-coated chicken piece in the cornstarch until they are fully coated.

3. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, carefully add the coated chicken pieces to the skillet in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Fry the chicken for about 5-6 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown and crispy. Once cooked, transfer the chicken to a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil.

4. In a separate saucepan, combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat.

5. In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and water until smooth. Slowly pour the cornstarch mixture into the simmering sauce, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens.

6. Once the sauce has thickened, add the fried chicken pieces to the saucepan and toss them until they are well coated in the sauce.

7. Transfer the Empress Chicken to a serving platter and garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.

8. Serve the Empress Chicken hot with steamed rice or your favorite side dishes.

Tips for enhancing the flavor of Empress Chicken

Flavor Enhancing Tips for Empress Chicken
1. Marinate the chicken in a mixture of soy sauce, ginger, and garlic for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
2. Use a combination of spices such as five-spice powder, white pepper, and chili flakes to add depth of flavor.
3. Add a splash of rice vinegar or Chinese cooking wine to the sauce for a tangy and aromatic touch.
4. Garnish the dish with fresh scallions, cilantro, or toasted sesame seeds for a burst of freshness and texture.
5. Consider adding a touch of sweetness with honey or brown sugar to balance out the savory and salty flavors.

To enhance the flavor of your Empress Chicken, consider the following tips:

– Marinate the chicken: Before coating the chicken in egg and cornstarch, marinate it in a mixture of soy sauce, garlic, and ginger for at least 30 minutes. This will infuse the chicken with extra flavor and tenderness.
– Add vegetables: Consider adding bell peppers, onions, or broccoli to the dish for added texture and flavor.
– Adjust the sweetness: If you prefer a sweeter sauce, increase the amount of sugar in the recipe. Conversely, if you prefer a tangier sauce, increase the amount of rice vinegar.
– Experiment with spices: Feel free to experiment with different spices such as five-spice powder or Szechuan peppercorns to add depth and complexity to the dish.
– Garnish generously: Don’t skimp on the green onions and sesame seeds when garnishing your Empress Chicken. These toppings add freshness and nuttiness to the dish.

By following these tips, you can take your Empress Chicken to the next level and create a dish that is bursting with flavor and complexity.

Serving suggestions for Empress Chicken

Empress Chicken is a versatile dish that can be served in a variety of ways. Here are some serving suggestions to consider:

– Serve with steamed rice: The sweet and tangy sauce of Empress Chicken pairs perfectly with steamed white or brown rice.
– Pair with noodles: Consider serving Empress Chicken with lo mein or chow mein noodles for a satisfying meal.
– Add a side of vegetables: Serve Empress Chicken alongside stir-fried vegetables such as broccoli, bell peppers, or snap peas for a well-rounded meal.
– Make it a part of a Chinese feast: Serve Empress Chicken as part of a larger Chinese feast alongside other dishes such as egg rolls, potstickers, and hot and sour soup.

No matter how you choose to serve it, Empress Chicken is sure to be a hit at any dinner table.

Variations and substitutions for Empress Chicken

While traditional Empress Chicken is made with boneless, skinless chicken thighs, there are several variations and substitutions you can consider:

– Use chicken breast: If you prefer white meat, you can use boneless, skinless chicken breast instead of chicken thighs.
– Make it vegetarian: For a vegetarian version of Empress Chicken, substitute tofu for the chicken and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth in the sauce.
– Add nuts: Consider adding cashews or peanuts to the dish for added crunch and flavor.
– Make it spicy: If you like heat, add more red pepper flakes or chopped fresh chilies to the sauce for a spicy kick.
– Use different proteins: Experiment with different proteins such as shrimp or pork to create your own unique version of Empress Chicken.

By experimenting with these variations and substitutions, you can put your own spin on this classic Chinese dish and create a version that suits your taste preferences.

Conclusion and final thoughts on Empress Chicken

In conclusion, Empress Chicken is a delicious and satisfying Chinese dish that is perfect for any occasion. With its crispy chicken pieces coated in a sweet and tangy sauce, this dish is sure to be a hit with family and friends alike. By following the step-by-step instructions and considering tips for enhancing the flavor, serving suggestions, and variations and substitutions, you can create your own version of Empress Chicken that suits your taste preferences.

Whether you are a fan of Chinese cuisine or just looking to try something new, Empress Chicken is a dish that is sure to impress. So gather your ingredients, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to enjoy this flavorful and vibrant dish that will transport your taste buds to China with every bite.

If you’re looking for a delicious and easy Chinese-inspired dish, you should try making empress chicken. This flavorful and savory dish is sure to be a hit with your family and friends. For a fun twist on this classic recipe, you can also try using some high-quality yarn from Lobster Pot Yarns to tie up the chicken before cooking, adding a unique and creative touch to your meal.


What is Empress Chicken?

Empress Chicken is a popular Chinese-American dish that typically consists of deep-fried chicken pieces tossed in a sweet and tangy sauce.

What are the main ingredients in Empress Chicken?

The main ingredients in Empress Chicken typically include chicken, cornstarch, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, garlic, and ginger.

Is Empress Chicken spicy?

Empress Chicken is not traditionally a spicy dish, but some variations may include a bit of heat from ingredients like chili flakes or hot sauce.

How is Empress Chicken different from General Tso’s Chicken?

Empress Chicken and General Tso’s Chicken are similar in that they both feature deep-fried chicken in a flavorful sauce, but the sauces have different flavor profiles. General Tso’s Chicken tends to be spicier and slightly sweeter, while Empress Chicken has a tangier, more savory sauce.

What are some common side dishes to serve with Empress Chicken?

Common side dishes to serve with Empress Chicken include steamed rice, fried rice, chow mein, or mixed vegetables.

Is Empress Chicken a traditional Chinese dish?

Empress Chicken is not a traditional Chinese dish, but rather a Chinese-American creation that has become popular in many Chinese restaurants in the United States.

Leave a Reply