This Chinese chicken and mushrooms is inspired by the very popular Panda Express mushroom chicken and it's a super-easy way to enjoy a delicious takeout-style dinner. It features tender, slightly crispy chicken bits with mushrooms and zucchini, all tossed in an aromatic soy sauce. There's really no reason to order in!
If you love Chinese takeout and think it's too difficult to attempt your favourites at home, this Chinese chicken and mushrooms recipe is here to prove the contrary.
This chicken mushroom Chinese stir fry is loosely based on the famous Panda Express mushroom chicken, but it's not exactly a copycat version.
It's actually the base recipe I use to make most of my Chinese-style stir-fries. I often swap veggies with whatever I have in the fridge, but the chicken and sauce ingredients remain the same.
I serve this chicken with zucchini and mushrooms with fried rice or noodles. Simple Jasmine rice or brown rice are also great options.
Why you'll love this Chinese chicken and mushrooms
- It doesn't have any strange ingredients. Many Chinese-style recipes out there call for long lists of obscure ingredients. Not this one - if you have Asian staples like soy sauce, oyster sauce and rice vinegar, you're good to go.
- It's only mildly spicy. Unless you increase the amount of red chilli flakes, this sauce is mildly spicy, so the entire family can enjoy it. You can even omit the red chilli flakes altogether.
- It's ready in 30 minutes. That's quicker than ordering takeout!
Ingredients and substitutions
Chicken breast - Chicken breast is best for this copycat Panda Express mushroom chicken, but you can also use boneless chicken thighs if you'd like. Just keep in mind that chicken thighs have a higher fat content and more calories.
Corn starch -Also known as corn flour, corn starch is a thickening agent needed to obtain that sticky texture that's specific to Chinese stir fries.
Canola + sesame oil -You can use just one type of oil here - I prefer a combination so the sesame flavour is not too strong. You can replace the canola with sunflower or avocado oil.
Mushrooms - I used chestnut mushrooms, but you can use closed cup or shiitake mushrooms for this mushroom chicken recipe.
Zucchini - Cut the zucchini into thin slices so they cook quicker.
Garlic, ginger and red chilli flakes -Freshly chopped or minced garlic and ginger are essential for this recipe.
Spring onions (scallions) -Only use the white and light green parts of the spring onion. You can use the chopped dark green parts for garnishing.
Soy sauce -I prefer a light low-sodium soy sauce in this recipe. You can also use a regular light soy sauce if you want your stir fry to be salty.
Oyster sauce -You can use hoisin sauce instead of oyster sauce in this recipe.
Rice wine vinegar -You only need a tablespoon of rice wine vinegar in this sauce. You can substitute with white wine vinegar.
How to make Panda Express mushroom chicken
Place the chicken in a bowl with the cornstarch and toss well. Set it aside while you slice the mushrooms, zucchini and spring onions.
Heat the canola and sesame oil in a large pan or wok and add the chicken to the pan. Fry it for 3 minutes on each side over medium-high heat or until browned to your liking, then remove it from the pan and set it aside.
Add the mushrooms and zucchini to the same pan and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened.
Stir in the garlic, ginger, red chilli flakes and spring onions and continue to cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring often.
Transfer the cooked chicken back to the pan and stir to combine.
Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice vinegar and light brown sugar to the pan and stir to combine. Cook for a minute until the sauce thickens and becomes sticky. Toss the chicken and veggies well until covered in sauce.
Serve immediately over rice or with your favourite noodles, garnished with chopped green onions and sesame seeds if you like.
Recipe notes and tips for the best chicken with zucchini and mushrooms
- This Chinese chicken and mushrooms is best served immediately over steamed rice or noodles. You can heat up any leftovers for your next day lunch in the microwave, but it will likely be much drier.
- The sauce should be thick and sticky, just like something you'd get from a Chinese restaurant. However, if you'd like it thinner, add some low-sodium chicken stock until you reach the desired consistency.
- You can add extra veggies to this recipe, such as broccoli, bell peppers or cauliflower florets.
If you liked this Panda Express mushroom chicken, you might also like some of my other easy chicken recipes:
- Creamy Chicken Boursin Pasta
- Instant Pot White Chicken Chili
- Bacon and Chicken Risotto
- Creamy Chicken and Chorizo Pasta
- Easy Mango Chicken Curry
- 450 g (1 lb) chicken breast fillet, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 250 g (½ lb) chestnut mushrooms, sliced
- 250 g (½ lb) zucchini, cut into halves and then sliced
- 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, finely chopped or minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped or minced
- ½ teaspoon red chilli flakes, optional
- 6 spring onions, white and light green parts only, sliced
- 4 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- Sesame seeds, to garnish, optional
- Place the chicken in a bowl with the cornstarch and toss well. Set it aside while you slice the mushrooms, zucchini and spring onions.
- Heat the canola and sesame oil in a large pan or wok and add the chicken to the pan. Fry it for 3 minutes on each side over medium-high heat or until browned to your liking, then remove it from the pan and set it aside.
- Add the mushrooms and zucchini to the same pan and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened.
- Stir in the garlic, ginger, red chilli flakes and spring onions and continue to cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring often.
- Transfer the cooked chicken back to the pan and stir to combine.
- Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice vinegar and light brown sugar to the pan and stir to combine. Cook for a minute until the sauce thickens and becomes sticky. Toss the chicken and veggies well until covered in sauce.
- Serve immediately over rice or with your favourite noodles, garnished with chopped green onions and sesame seeds if you like.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 369Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 632mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 40g
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.