Chicken-and-Broccoli Stir-fry

I ran this recipe about a year ago, and suddenly I found myself craving it again. I decided to try it out in my wok this time. I have had my wok since I was sixteen. I have to admit, I probably just wanted a wok because I felt like such a badass cooking for my friends with it. Now, a million years later, it is perfectly seasoned and I love it dearly. If you don’t have one, a simple wok setis actually pretty affordable. The trick is knowing how to season it and care for it. This post on culinate is a really good guide for how to season a wok.


I use my wok pretty regularly because it is a great way to cook tofu, seafood, meat and vegetables with high heat, tons of flavor and not a lot of fat. It is a misconception that you need to use a lot of fat to “stir-fry.” As long as you have a lid, you can use a small amount of oil. This recipe only uses 1 teaspoon of oil per serving. The trick is getting a sear on the meat using only a little oil first. Remove that, then cook the aromatics in a little oil too. Then add broth and cover to cook the veggies. That way the vegetables steam to cook, instead of frying.

One thing to keep in mind is to make sure you have all your ingredients ready to go before you start to cook. [French culinary term of the week: this is called mise en place.] The cooking happens so fast, you won’t have time to chop vegetables or measure out the sauce while you are woking it up! By the way, if you don’t have a wok, this recipe works fine in a large heavy bottomed stainless skillet. But the sixteen year old in me would have to say that’s just not as badass.

chicken and broccoli stir-fry
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Prep Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups each

chicken and broccoli stir-fry

Serve with brown rice or whole-grain noodles.


  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

  • 2 tablespoons tahini

  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce

  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
Pinch salt
4 teaspoons canola oil, divided

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized chunks
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper or black pepper

  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced, white and green parts separated

  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger root (or you can mince it if you don't have a microplane)

  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
4 cups broccoli florets, about 1 bunch or 2 small crowns
  • 2 cups sliced carrots
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoon sesame seeds, for garnish, optional


  1. Whisk maple syrup, tahini, tamari or soy sauce, cornstarch and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Heat wok or large skillet over high heat.  Add 2 teaspoons oil and swirl to coat wok or bottom of skillet.  Add chicken, sprinkle with pepper and cook, turning once or twice until browned, 5 to 6 minutes.  Note* the chicken will not be fully cooked and will continue cooking in the sauce in step 4.  Remove the chicken to a plate.
3. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons canola to the skillet, followed by the scallion whites and ginger.  Cook, stirring until fragrant, 15 to 30 seconds.  Add broth and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits. Add broccoli and carrots, cover and simmer, stirring once or twice until the broccoli is bright green and the vegetables are still crisp but starting to soften slightly, 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. 4. Stir sauce, the chicken and any accumulated juices from the plate into the vegetables and continue cooking, stirring often until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in reserved scallion greens, lime juice and sesame seeds.