This Chicken Stir Fry is a quick, easy & healthy dinner for busy weeknights. Chicken and vegetables are quickly stir-fried and then tossed with a fresh plum sauce for the perfect dinner in 30 minutes!
Have too many ripe plums? Whip up this easy plum sauce recipe to add a blast of flavor to this chicken vegetable stir fry. And don't stop there! It's great as a dip for egg rolls and dumplings or use as a sweet basting sauce for chicken, shrimp or pork.
Easy Stir Fry Chicken and Vegetables
I love stir-frys after a busy day and this easy chicken stir-fry with plum sauce is definitely up there with my favorites. I could have made my PF Chang's Copycat Mongolian Beef or Thai Beef with Carrot Basil Salad but this one was a great change of pace and it's a bit on the healthier side.
It's the perfect dinner for the end of a busy day and great for low-carb or gluten-free diets. Of course, the biggest plus for me was it used my plums!
Why You'll Love This Chicken With Plum Sauce
There isn't much this easy chicken stir fry doesn't have. It's rich with vegetables, the chicken is tender and the plum sauce adds just that little bit of sweetness to make the whole dish come together.
This chicken stir fry is fresh, healthy, and super tasty!
There is nothing easier than this stir fry chicken and vegetables. 30 minutes from prep to table.
Sweet Plum Sauce
If you read my post about my finger-lickin' good plum jam, a super fresh spread that's like liquid fruit on a spoon, you'll know where I was coming from when I decided to make something with a plum sauce. Yep, you got it! Too many overripe plums.
What is Plum Sauce?
Plum sauce is a sweet sauce with a tart or sour accent used in Chinese (Cantonese) cuisine. It's a versatile sauce made with plums.
Plum Sauce vs Duck Sauce - Duck sauce has a lighter orange-yellow color, almost jelly-like consistency, an orange flavor, and is sweeter than plum sauce.
Plum Sauce vs Hoisin Sauce - Hoisin sauce is more savory and tangy, like a barbecue sauce.
Plum Sauce Uses
Other than using this delicious sauce for a stir-fry, it's great as a:
- Dipping sauce for egg rolls, spring rolls, dumplings, and wontons.
- Basting or finishing sauce for chicken, duck, pork, or shrimp.
- Dressing for Asian cabbage slaw.
- Sauce for noodles or rice.
Plum Sauce Ingredients
- Plums - make sure they are nice and ripe for the most sweetness
- Garlic Clove - is a flavor booster and adds a pungent edge to the sauce
- Sugar - lends a touch of sweetness
- Balsamic vinegar - gives the sauce a bit of tang
- Salt - enhances the flavor
No plums, no problem! Just substitute hoisin sauce that's readily available in the Asian section of your grocery store.
How to Make Plum Sauce
Check out how easy the plum sauce is to make. And it keeps for about 1 month in the fridge.
- Combine sliced plums, garlic, sugar, vinegar, and salt in a medium saucepan.
- Stir well.
- Cook over high heat for 3 minutes. Reduce heat and let simmer.
- It will thicken and look like a preserve. It usually takes about 15 minutes.
At this point, you can use this plum sauce recipe for stir fry chicken or pour it into a glass jar with a lid and store it in the refrigerator.
Plum Chicken Recipe Ingredients
- Peanut oil - has a high smoke point perfect for stir frys and offers some peanut flavor
- Sweet onion - you can also substitute a yellow onion
- Red bell pepper - orange or yellow can also be used
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts - are the easiest to prepare. Try freezing the breasts for 15 minutes to make slicing into thin strips easier.
- Salt & pepper
- Fresh snow peas
- Crushed red pepper flakes - for a little heat
- Fresh ginger - has a wonderful strong flavor that carries the dish. Try freezing your garlic for storage and grating it while still frozen.
- Plum sauce - you can substitute hoisin sauce if you don't have time to make your own plum sauce
- Peanuts - adds a nice salty crunch
- Sesame seeds (optional)
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
This one uses chicken, but pork would work equally as well, and your favorite vegetables for a well-balanced dinner.
You can change out the snow peas for the veggies your family prefers like carrots, broccoli (love the broccoli-carrot slaw mixture you can buy prepackaged in your grocer's produce section), or mushrooms.
How to Make Chicken Stir Fry with Plum Sauce
2CM Pro Tip: Always have all your ingredients prepped before starting to cook. Have your meat sliced, vegetables chopped and all the liquids measured and ready to go. It's one of the fastest cooking dishes once started.
- In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium to medium-high heat. When hot, add sliced onion and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
- Add red bell pepper and continue to cook.
- Cook until the vegetables begin to caramelize, about 4-6 minutes, then remove from skillet.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper then add to skillet with remaining oil. Cook, stirring constantly for 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in snow peas.
- Add red pepper flakes. The more you add, the spicier it will be.
- Sprinkle in minced ginger.
- Toss the onion-pepper mixture back into the pan.
- Stir and reduce heat to medium-low.
- Flavor with plum sauce and water. Toss to coat all vegetables and meat and simmer for 1 minute. Just enough to warm snow peas slightly.
- Sprinkle with peanuts.
- Garnish with sesame seeds.
What to Serve with Chinese Plum Chicken
It can be served over noodles, rice, riced cauliflower, quinoa, or whatever your family likes best. And don't forget some egg drop soup and a side of egg rolls!
How to Store, Freeze, and Reheat Stir-Fry
To Store: Place the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To Freeze: Place cooled leftovers in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
To Reheat: Put the stir-fry in a microwave-safe dish and the microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval. Or reheat the leftovers in a skillet over medium-low heat stirring often.
FAQs About Stir-Fry
A Chinese cooking method where ingredients, both vegetables and/or meat, are fried quickly in hot oil.
You need a high smoke point oil so stick with vegetable, soybean, peanut, or canola oil.
Stir Frys are super adaptable. You can make them with chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, and tofu. For vegetables, you can pretty much add any of your favorites.
Denser vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, and bell peppers get added first since they need longer to cook.
Tender vegetables such as snap peas, onions, celery, baby corn, snow peas, mushrooms, zucchini, and bok choy towards the end of stir-frying.
More Delicious Asian Flavored Dishes
- Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps are great for an appetizer or main dish.
- Baked Asian Salmon with a rich maple glaze.
- PF Changs Mongolian Beef crispy stir-fried beef with a sweet soy sauce.
- Baked Honey Garlic Chicken is crispy with Panko breadcrumbs.
Find lots of delicious Asian food recipes here on 2CM!
Chicken Stir Fry with Plum Sauce
- 4 large overripe plums pitted & diced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 Tablespoons peanut oil
- ½ sweet onion, sliced thin
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded & sliced thinly
- 1- lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in chunks
- salt & pepper to taste
- 6- oz fresh snow peas
- crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
- ⅓ cup plum sauce
- 2 Tablespoons water
- ⅓ cup peanuts, chopped
- Sesame seeds (optional)
- Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and cook over high heat for 3 minutes.
- Reduce heat and let simmer until it starts to thicken and looks like a preserve, about 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Pour into a glass jar with lid and store in refrigerator.
- Have everything cut and ready to go prior to assembling.
- In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium to medium high heat.
- When hot, add sliced onion and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
- Add red bell pepper and continue to cook until beginning to caramelize, about 4-6 minutes. Remove onion & pepper from skillet.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to skillet with remaining oil.
- Cook stirring constantly until chicken is cooked through and brown on the outside. About 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in snow peas and red pepper flakes (the more you add the spicier it will be). Add ginger along with onion-pepper mixture.
- Reduce heat to medium low and add plum sauce and water. Toss to coat all vegetables and meat and simmer for 1 minute. Just enough to warm snow peas slightly.
- Remove to serving bowl and sprinkle with peanuts and sesame seeds.
FAQs about Stir Frys
What is a stir fry?A Chinese cooking method where ingredients, both vegetables and/or meat, are fried quickly in a hot oil.
What's the best oil to use for stir frys?You need a high smoke point oil so stick with vegetable, soybean, peanut or canola oil.
What can you add to stir frys?Stir Frys are super adaptable. You can make them with chicken, beef, pork and even go vegetarian with tofu. For vegetables, you can pretty much add any of your favorites. The denser vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans and bell peppers get added first since they need longer to cook. Towards the end of cooking, add the more tender vegetables such as snap peas, onions, celery, baby corn, snow peas, mushrooms, zucchini and bok choy. Pro Tip: Always have all your ingredients prepped before starting to cook. Have your meat sliced, vegetables chopped and all the liquids measured and ready to go. It's one of the fastest cooking dishes once started.
This post has been updated with more step-by-step directions and new photos. It was first published on April 13, 2016.