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Black Pepper Chicken

5 from 1 vote

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Black Pepper Chicken

Bites of tender chicken, crunchy stir fried vegetables in a rich sauce that’s just a little bit spicy and full of flavour. This Black Pepper Chicken super easy to prepare and ready from start to finish is under 30 minutes.  That’s faster than delivery, it’s much more budget friendly and honestly, it tastes better!    We serve ours with steamed rice and egg rolls for a delicious dinner that the whole family loves.

Cubes of chicken, celery, red pepper and onions in cast iron pan

How do I make this part of my weekly meal prep?

The Black Pepper sauce can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for up to a month, you just need to leave out the chicken broth.

On meal prep day, cube the chicken, toss with cornstarch and place in a zip lock back.  Next chop all the vegetables and place in another ziplock bag.  I recommend using raw chicken within 3 days of meal prepping.

Register an account on Love on a Plate and you can use the meal planning tools for free.  You can change the serving size, build a customer meal plan, and print a grocery list.  Easy.

How do I make Black Pepper Chicken?

It’s really quite easy, and takes only a few simply steps.

  1. Cut the chicken into cubes and toss with cornstarch
  2. Brown the chicken in a pan or wok
  3. While the chicken is cooking, prepare your vegetables and sauce (if you haven’t made it ahead)
  4. Add sliced vegetables to the chicken, and saute
  5. Stir in sauce, and cook until slightly thickened.
  6. Serve with rice and egg rolls.

What can I use instead of oyster sauce?

Oyster sauce is a unique sauce used in many Asian Stir Fry dishes, and it’s hard to replace the exact flavour.  If you like cooking stir fries I recommend adding this sauce to your pantry staples.   According to wikipedia, Oyster Sauce is made from oyster extracts, sugar, water and cornstarch, it doesn’t taste fishy at all… honest.

If you don’t have Oyster Sauce,  you can use soy sauce, add a pinch of sugar, and a little extra cornstarch.  I also have used Sweet Soy Sauce which I find in Asian specialty markets.

I often get asked if Hoisin sauce is a good substitute for oyster sauce, and while it looks similar, it’s taste is really different and will over power the seasoning in this dish.

So the simple answer?  Nothing is quite the same, but light soy sauce, with a pinch of sugar is a workable substitute.

Speaking of Substitutes

While we’re on the subject of substitute, let’s talk about what you can and can’t substitute for the chicken or vegetables in this Black Pepper Chicken recipe.

Instead of chicken:

  • Shrimp
  • Pork Tenderloin
  • Scallops

Vegetable options:

  • Use any colour bell pepper
  • mushrooms
  • snow peas
  • sugar snap peas
  • broccoli florets

What I don’t recommend omitting is the celery.  For me, it’s interestingly one of the things that makes this dish so great.  Celery stands up well to high heat and holds it’s crunch.  It also adds flavour, is high in fibre and low cal.  Celery is your friend.

Black Pepper Chicken

Lara Brooksloveonaplate
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Servings 4 people


  • 6 chicken thighs boneless, skinless
  • 1 red pepper cut into small pieces
  • 1 yellow onion sliced
  • 4 celery stalks sliced
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tbsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 1 clove fresh garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sambal olek or sriracha sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger minced


  • In a large bowl, mix together and set aside. For meal prepping purposes combine all ingredients except the chicken broth in a mason jar, cover and shake well. Keep stored in the refrigerator for up to a month. On cooking day add in the broth.
  • Cut your chicken into 1" cubes.
  • Place chicken in bowl, and toss well in cornstarch, pepper, and salt.
  • Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet until it's hot and shimmery.
  • Add chicken to the pan in batches, allowing the chicken to get nicely browned. Don't over crowd the pan.
  • Once all the chicken is cooked, return it to the pan, reduce heat to medium and add vegetables. Toss to combine.
  • Saute for about 5 minutes over medium heat until vegetables are just beginning to get tender. Don't over cook them! You want a bit of crunch
  • Add sauce and broth to pan, increase heat, and bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes until sauce is thick and delicious.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
By on June 5th, 2019
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Lara Brooks

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