Panda Express String Bean Chicken Breast copycat is marinated chicken breast and green beans stir fry in a thick savory brown sauce.
It is a popular, easy and delicious Panda Express or Chinese dish that you can recreate and make quickly at home.
This String Bean Chicken Breast recipe is a simple and healthy dish that cooks in less than 30 minutes. Serve it with white rice or eat it on its own. It is great for your weeks meal prep too.
Chicken breast is sliced thinly and marinated for at least 30 minutes or longer. It is much flavorsome if marinated longer.
Stir fry green beans briefly until tender crisp, not soggy. I guess we can all agree, it is delicious biting on a crisp and crunchy vegetable.
Chicken Breast Marinade
Chicken breast is marinated for at least 30 minutes or longer for a tastier juicy meat.
If you don’t care for chicken breast, use boneless chicken thighs. In fact, chicken thighs is much tender than chicken breast.
This chicken breast marinade uses the following ingredients.
(1) Soy Sauce – I used dark soy sauce for a darker marinate but regular soy sauce will do too.
(2) Sesame oil has a toasty, nutty flavor that can be overwhelming to some. If this is your 1st time to use it, start with ½ the measurement called for in the recipe, then taste sauce if it suits your taste otherwise add remaining 1/2.
(3) Brown sugar doesn’t sweeten the dish but counters the saltiness of soy sauce.
(4) Cornstarch diluted in equal part water to thicken marinade and as a protective covering for meat.
Have you noticed the chicken in this Panda Express String Bean Chicken Breast or any other Chinese dish, the chicken is so tender and silky in texture.
This is why!
Velveting is a Chinese cooking technique that keeps the meat moist and tender.
Chicken breast is marinated for flavor and the cornstarch acts as a protective covering when stir-fried. It is quickly cooked in hot oil or hot water then removed from pan and added to stir fry.
It keeps chicken breast moist, juicy and tender and not overcooked. Cornstarch also helps thicken the sauce.
This is the secret why Chinese meat are so tender. Now that you know, you can make your favorite restaurant dishes at the comfort of your home.
I don’t do this technique for other stir fry but if I am making any Chinese dish and would like recreate restaurant style stir fry then velveting chicken or other meat makes so much difference.
Note: This marinate is enough to lightly coat a 1 pound chicken breast. Just make sure you mix it well to fully coat each piece of chicken.
Have you seen in Chinese restaurant or Panda Express the wok is smoking hot when oil is added and once chicken hits the wok, it sizzles and cooks quickly.
This is one reason why marinade is kept to a minimum to avoid extra liquid. It should fry, not steam.
Also, be sure your wok or pan is hot before pouring oil.
How to Cook Panda Express String Bean Chicken Breast Copycat
(1) Slice chicken breast thinly in an angle.
(2) Prepare sauce. Dilute cornstarch in water. Combine soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, Shaoxing rice wine, ground black pepper, cornstarch water mixture and chicken broth in a small bowl. Set aside.
(3) Make the marinade. Dilute cornstarch in water then in a large bowl, combine brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil and cornstarch and water mixture.
Blend well and add chicken breast. Make sure to fully coat each piece of chicken with marinate. Cover bowl with saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or longer, the longer the better.
(4) In a smoking hot wok over medium heat, add oil and cook chicken breast briefly until fully cooked. Drain oil and remove chicken from wok.
(5) On the same wok, saute garlic until golden then stir-in fresh ginger, cook for another 30 seconds. Note: I did not have fresh ginger instead I added ginger powder when I added the sauce.
Toss-in green beans. Cook for a minute then add water. Bring to a simmer, cover wok and continue cooking until green beans are half cooked or so.
Green beans should be tender crisp and not overcooked. It is best crisp and crunchy when served.
(6) Stir-in sauce, raise heat to medium-high and continue stirring for about 1 1/2 minutes to 2 minutes or until sauce is quite thick.
Note: If sauce consistency is not getting thick, add another teaspoon of cornstarch and water mixture.
(7) Toss-in chicken breast and continue cooking for a minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Note: Before seasoning with salt, taste the sauce, it might be salty already due to soy sauce.
(8) Turn off heat, then add julienne white onion. Serve hot with white rice.
Note: If you prefer it saucy, you can always double the sauce recipe.
Try Other Delicious Healthy Chicken Stir Fry Recipe
Panda Express String Bean Chicken Breast Copycat
Chicken Breast Marinate
- ½ teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons water
String Bean Chicken Breast Sauce
- 1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
- ½ tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing Rice Wine
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons water
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 1 pound chicken breast sliced thinly
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon ginger minced or ½ teaspoon ginger powder
- 1 ½ to 2 cups green beans cut
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup white onion julienne
- 3 tablespoons oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare sauce. First, dilute cornstarch in water then in a small bowl, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, Shaoxing rice wine, ground black pepper, cornstarch and water mixture and chicken broth. Set aside.
- Make the chicken marinade. Dilute cornstarch in water then in a large bowl combine brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil and cornstarch and water mixture. Add thinly sliced chicken breast and coat with marinade. Cover bowl with saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or longer, the longer the better.
- In a smoking hot wok over medium heat, add oil and stir fry chicken breast quickly until fully cooked. Remove chicken from wok, leaving oil in wok. Set aside.
- On the same wok with remaining oil, saute garlic until golden then stir-in fresh ginger and continue cooking for another 30 seconds. Note: I did not have fresh ginger instead I added ginger powder when I added the sauce. Toss-in green beans and cook for a minute then add water.
- Bring to a simmer, cover wok and continue cooking until green beans are half cooked or so.
- Stir-in sauce, raise heat to medium-high and continue stirring for about 90 minutes to 2 minutes until sauce is quite thick. Note: Add another teaspoon of cornstarch and water mixture, if sauce consistency is still not thick.
- Toss-in chicken breast and continue cooking for a minute. Salt and pepper to taste. Note: Before adding salt, taste the sauce, it can be salty already due to soy sauce.
- Turn off heat, add julienne white onion. Serve hot with white rice.
- When you double the recipe, don’t overcrowd chicken breast when stir frying. Do it in batches so wok keeps it temperature hot. If you add too much chicken breast, it will release liquid and steam. You want it to fry not steam.
- Also, wok should be smoking hot before adding oil.
- If you prefer saucy, you can always double the sauce recipe.