Stir-Fried Chicken with White Pepper

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    as a light meal

Appears in

This easy dish was adapted from a recipe given to me by Chef But at the Memories of China restaurant in London. The Chinese consider specks of black pepper unsightly, so white pepper is used here. It gives a nice clean hit of pungency without the more floral notes that you get from black pepper.


  • boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs 3 medium
  • egg whites 2, lightly beaten
  • salt a pinch
  • cornflour tbsp
  • groundnut oil 4 tbsp
  • garlic cloves 2, finely chopped
  • ginger root a small chunk, finely chopped
  • spring onions 2, chopped, white and green parts separated
  • white peppercorns 1 tsp, crushed
  • rice wine or dry sherry 1 tbsp
  • light soy sauce 1 tbsp
  • oyster sauce 1 tbsp
  • sugar ½ tsp
  • cashew nuts 5 tbsp
  • water 100 ml/ fl oz


Cut the chicken into evenly-sized small pieces. Put in a shallow dish, add the egg whites and a pinch of salt, and mix well with a fork. Gradually sprinkle in all but 1 teaspoon of the cornflour. Stir well to get rid of any lumps. In a separate dish, mix the remaining teaspoon of cornflour with a little water to form a paste.

Heat a wok over high heat. Add the oil and when it’s almost smoking, add the chicken and stir-fry for 5 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the pan with a wok scoop or slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Reduce the heat a little, then add the garlic (take care that it doesn’t burn), ginger, white spring onion and crushed white peppercorns. Stir for a few seconds, then tip the chicken pieces back into the wok and mix well.

Stir in the rice wine, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, cashew nuts and water. Mix well, then stir in the cornflour paste to thicken the sauce. Cook for a few more seconds, sprinkle with chopped green onion and serve.