Make this black pepper chicken recipe at home in just 15 minutes! Thank you Nakano Rice Vinegar for sponsoring this post!
Black Pepper Chicken
Mmmm stir fry.
I’m all about eating healthy and tasty stir fries in the summer because they take so little time to make. The best part about making stir fries is their versatility; find a good sauce as a base and add your own mix of veggies and protein. Then toss all the ingredients in a pan and voilà – dinner is ready. It doesn’t get better and easier than that! Some prefer sweet sauces while I always go for tangy and a little spicy, just like this black pepper chicken dish.
I’m using celery and a bell pepper as sidekicks to the chicken to give the stir fry a nice contrast in texture and color. I love how the crunch from the celery marries so beautifully with the tender chicken pieces, while the sweetness of the red bell pepper compliments the tanginess of the sauce. So lovely!
A basic stir fry sauce consists of four ingredients: chicken stock, garlic, soy sauce and cornstarch. Here, I’ve added a few extra ingredients to recreate the sourness found in Szechuan cuisine. For this recipe I’m using Nakano Organic Natural Rice Vinegar, which is sodium free and contains no artificial coloring. The taste is almost identical to chinkiang vinegar which makes it a great substitute.
There’s also plenty of black pepper and peppercorns added to the dish to make your nostrils tickle. Though you won’t get the same runny nose/heat sweats/ blurred vision effect that you would from red chilies, the dish still packs enough heat to satisfy the benign masochist in you!
There are two steps to this recipe: marinating and stir frying.
Marinating the chicken ensures that each piece will be moist, full flavored and can stand on its own. So you can imagine what happens to an already tasty ingredient when you toss it in a tangy and peppery sauce along with colorful vegetables – it becomes ah-ma-zing!
The cornstarch acts as a binding agent that turns the sauce into a gooey, shiny coating. It brings all the flavors together, making this dish a must try.
As you can tell, I use Nakano Organic Natural Rice Vinegar in many of my recipes. It’s one of my favorite condiments to use to boost flavors for dishes that could use a kick. It’s a brand I’ve been using for years and trust because it’s the only rice vinegar I remember my mother using. My mother, who is one of the best cooks I’ve ever met!
Serve this black pepper chicken over rice or as my husband prefers, over pasta. If you want to add more heat, top it with a chopped Thai chili or a few Szechuan peppercorns.
Other yummy recipes using Nakano rice vinegars:
- Uramaki rolls (mushrooms and zucchini)
- Balsamic chicken
- Japanese chilled tomato and tuna spaghetti
- Cold ramen zoodles (hiyashi chuka)
- Spicy pickled vegetables
Did you like this Black Pepper Chicken Recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share?
Black Pepper Chicken
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 2 people
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast (sliced into bite size cubes)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic (peeled and minced)
- 2 stalks celery (thinly sliced on the bias)
- 1 large red bell pepper (cored, seeded and sliced into bite size pieces)
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoon Nakano Organic Natural Rice Vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon palm sugar (or granulated sugar)
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper ((add an additional teaspoon if you prefer very hot))
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
For the marinade:
- 2 tablespoons Nakano Organic Natural Rice Vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons palm sugar (or granulated sugar)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 clove garlic (peeled and minced)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Mix chicken stock and 1 tablespoon cornstarch in a bowl and set aside.
- Whisk all the ingredients for the marinade in a large mixing bowl and add chicken. Coat well and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- In a pan over medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
- Turn the heat off and transfer chicken to a plate. Wipe the pan clean with a paper towel and turn the heat back to medium high. Add remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to the pan along with garlic, celery and bell peppers.
- Cook for 4 minutes, until vegetables are soft but still yielding a crunch. Return chicken to the pan and add oyster sauce, rice vinegar, palm sugar, ground black pepper and peppercorns.
- Stir the chicken stock and cornstarch mixture and add to the pan, tossing continuously until sauce thickens all the ingredients are evenly coated. Turn the heat off and serve with rice.