Utah Bites

Chinese-style Chicken & Asparagus

Chinese-style Chicken & Asparagus is a quick, healthy and light springtime stir-fry dish that I really love.


Here is a healthy and light springtime stir-fry dish that I really love. It cooks very quickly, so make sure you have everything prepped and ready before you turn on the stove. This recipe is based on one from The Woks of Life.  


  • 12 ounces chicken breast (thinly sliced)
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp oil (any neutral oil, such as vegetable or canola oil)
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1/2 cup water (or low sodium chicken stock)
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp neutral oil such as vegetable or canola oil)
  • 1 clove garlic (peeled & minced)
  • 1 lb. asparagus (end trimmed and sliced on a sharp angle into 2-inch pieces)
  • 1 Tbsp Shaoxing wine


  1. In a medium bowl, combine the sliced chicken, 1 Tbsp water, cornstarch, 1 tsp oil, and 1 tsp oyster sauce. Mix until the liquid has been absorbed by the chicken. Set aside to marinate for 15-30 minutes. 
  2. In a second bowl, combine the ½ cup of water (or chicken stock), cornstarch, white pepper, sugar, light soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil and set aside.
  3. Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat until it just starts to smoke, and add 1 tablespoon of oil to coat. Spread the chicken evenly in one layer, and allow it to sear undisturbed for 30 seconds. Stir-fry for another 30 seconds, or until about 75% cooked. Remove from the wok and set aside.
  4. Add another tablespoon of oil to the wok, along with the minced garlic. Cook for 15 seconds, and add the asparagus. Stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the Shaoxing wine and stir-fry for another 30 seconds.
  5. Meanwhile, be sure to mix your sauce mixture to ensure the cornstarch is fully incorporated. Add it to the wok, and bring to a simmer.
  6. Add the chicken back to the wok, and stir-fry for another 30 seconds. The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon, and the asparagus should be crisp-tender.
  7. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt to taste if needed. Serve over rice.

Photo by Ted Scheffler



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Food writer Ted SchefflerOriginally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.

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