If you’re looking to satisfy a craving for crispy, fried and sweet, this Honey Garlic Chicken or Beef will do the trick. It makes a delicious appetizer or main dish and surprisingly easier than you think.
I’ve been dreaming about a shredded beef dish we order at our local Chinese restaurant. It’s make of crispy, deep fried morsels of beef in a sweet sticky honey garlic sauce. I’m not sure why I started searching for a recipe to try to replicate it instead of driving the 5 minutes to go pick it up, but I did. I found one for Honey Garlic Beef on I am a food blog. The pictures are gorgeous and they hooked me right in.
I made the recipe twice, first with beef then with chicken. I doubled the sauce the second time (which shows in the recipe), but if you like extra honey garlic sauce to drizzle on rice, you will need double the amount again in the recipe below. The chicken and beef were both delicious. I found the beef a little chewy, though, having used chuck beef as suggested. I would suggest sirloin or perhaps a well marbled tri tip steak or rib eye instead. For the chicken, I used boneless skinless thighs as I find them juicier. Breasts should work fine too.
The recipe uses a Chinese velveting technique which coats the meat or chicken in a mix of egg whites and cornstarch to seal in the juices for tenderness while creating a crispy coating. It’s really easy and worked very well. I hate frying foods despite the fact that they taste damn good, so I put up with it when I get a craving. Fortunately, this recipe only takes about 30 minutes.
This honey garlic chicken or beef tastes just like take-out, fresh off the stove.
Tips for Frying
- Make sure the oil is heated to the right temperature. A thermometer is best but the recipe describes an alternative.
- Bring the oil back to the right temperature before frying the next batch.
- Use an oil with a high smoke point – sunflower, extra light olive oil, peanut, canola.
- You can make this recipe ahead by keeping the meat in the oven on Warm for a little while, then tossing it in the heated sauce right before serving.
Honey Garlic Chicken or Beef
- 1 lb boneless chicken breast or thighs, cut into bite size (about 2 x 1 inch) pieces boneless chicken breast or thighs, cut into bite size (about 2 x 1 inch) pieces or 1 lb. sirloin or tri-tip beef
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- pinch salt
- oil, enough to fill skillet 1 inch use Canola oil or other vegetable oil
Honey Garlic Sauce
- 4 tbsp honey
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (or 3 if preferred)
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
- toasted sesame seeds (optional)
- 1 green onion, sliced, for garnish
- Heat oven to Warm temperature or 200F.
- PREPARE SAUCE: Put the honey, garlic, soy and pepper into a pot large enough to add and mix in the fried chicken (or beef) pieces after they are fried.
- PREPARE COATING AND OIL: Whisk egg whites, pinch of salt and cornstarch together in a bowl until well blended and fluffy. Mix in the chicken (or beef) and let it sit for 10 minutes. In the meantime, heat oil in a large skillet on the stove to 350-360F. Note 1.
- FRY CHICKEN (OR BEEF): Line a baking pan with tin foil or parchment Put a paper towel on top. Once the oil is at the right temperature, carefully add the chicken or beef pieces, one at a time. DO NOT crowd the pan. You will need to do a few batches. Fry the chicken or beef for about 2-3 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces. Turn once in the oil. Remove with a slotted spoon to drain on the paper towel. Place in oven to keep warm. Bring the oil back to 350-360F. Repeat until all the chicken or beef is fried.
- ASSEMBLE: Boil honey garlic sauce for 1-2 minutes until slightly thickened. Add chicken or beef. Toss to coat well. Put on serving plate, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and garnish with green onion if desired.
- If you don't have a frying thermometer, to test the temperature, dip the handle of a wooden spoon or a chopstick into the oil. The oil will bubble steadily (not super vigourously) around the stick when it's ready for frying.
Here are some Asian-style recipe ideas to go with the Honey Garlic Chicken or Beef:
Asian Vegetable Won Ton Soup get the recipe
Vegetable Summer Rolls (with how-to tips) get the recipe
Dumpling Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce (shortcut) get the recipe