In this Wandering Dragon Stir Fry the Chicken and shrimp are cooked together with plenty of vegetables, a delicious savory brown Chinese sauce, along with garlic and black pepper.
This takeaway style Chinese recipe is healthy and quick to make and it tastes so much better than takeout! Serve it with fried rice or noodles for a family dinner that is quick and healthy.
Plus I'll show you how to get the soft tender chicken just like your favorite takeaway.
I don't know about you but when I order takeout I have the standard things that I just ALWAYS order! And Wandering Dragon is one of them...It is the shrimp and chicken combo that I love. I mean that is double duty with two of my favorite proteins! Plus the veggies, Bell Peppers and Onions, are ones I love, I mean who doesn't love peppers and onions.
What is the Wandering Dragon Stir Fry?
Wandering Dragon Stir Fry is a popular dish in the UK, it is found in the Chef's Specialties section of most takeaway menus!
It is a combination of chicken and shrimp cooked together in a dark soy sauce based sauce, with black pepper and garlic, all mixed with plenty of crunchy bell peppers, melting onions and the fresh pop of green onions.
It is a little bit firey from the black pepper, but it is a Chinese warmth rather than a blow your heat off spice.
I haven't seen this on takeout menus in Australia or the US, which is just sad 🙁 (Try it guys you'll love it!)
How to get the soft chicken you get in a takeaway
The trick to the soft tender chicken is Baking Soda.
Baking soda is also called, Bicarbonate of Soda, Sodium Bicarbonate, and Bicarb. Just don't get it confused with baking powder. That will ruin your dish!
To tenderize your chicken, first, cut it across the grain into think strips. Then you coat it in the baking soda, let it sit for 15 minutes and then wash it really well. It is SUPER important that the chicken is washed really well as baking soda tastes gross!
To wash the chicken, place the bowl in the sink and fill it with water, use your fingers to rub the chicken well, then drain and repeat twice. Finally, place the chicken into a sieve or colander and rinse it under a cold running tap.
It sounds time-consuming, but I promise it is worth it. Your chicken will be so soft and tender. You can tenderize the chicken in advance and then just keep it covered in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours.
Tips for making this Wandering Dragon Recipe
- Tenderize the chicken as talked about above
- Have the sauce ingredients mixed together before you start cooking.
- Use a large heavy-based skillet/fry pan to ensure that your stir fry cooks quickly, a skillet is often better than a wok in the home kitchen - you can read more about that here in "Do you need a wok"
- Mix up the veg to make sure your family will eat it. (I use only red and yellow bell peppers because my children avoid the green ones) you could add mushrooms, carrot disks, snow peas, broccoli anything that your family loves!
- Use the authentic ingredients (spoiler you can buy them all in the grocery store!)
The Authentic Ingredients in Wandering Dragon Stir Fry
Oyster Sauce – available in grocery stores (Lee Kum Kee Panda brand is my favorite)
Chinese Cooking Wine/Chinese Rice Wine – not to mistaken for rice wine vinegar!!! You can sub in dry sherry if you like.
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Takeaway Style Wandering Dragon Stir Fry Recipe
To tenderize the chicken
- 1 chicken breast
- 1 tbsp baking soda - see note 1
For the sauce:
- 2 tbsp Chinese rice wine - see note 2
- 1 ½ tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 3 garlic cloves - crushed
- ½ tsp sugar
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ cup chicken broth - cold
- 11/2 tbsp cornflour
For the Stir Fry
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 onion - peeled and chopped
- 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
- 12 raw large shrimp/prawns - shelled and de-veined
Start with tenderizing the chicken
- Cut the chicken into thin strips across the grain.
- Place in a bowl and sprinkle with the baking soda.
- Let the chicken marinade for 15 minutes then wash off the baking soda and rinse the chicken several times. (See note 3)
- Pat dry with kitchen paper and set to one side.
Make the sauce.
- Combine the ingredients for the sauce together in a measuring cup or jug.
- Set to one side.
To make the wandering dragon stir fry
- Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, once the oil starts to shimmer add the chicken and cook for 2 minutes until almost cooked through. Remove from the pan.
- Add the remaining oil to the pan
- Add the onion fry for 1 minute.
- Add the bell peppers to the pan and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Add the shrimp and then return the chicken to the pan.
- Cook for 2 minutes stirring well.
- Give the sauce another stir and then add it to the skillet and bring to a simmer.
- The sauce will start to thicken.
- Cook for 1-2 minutes until everything is cooked through and the sauce just coats the meat and veg.
- Remove from the heat and serve immediately.
- Baking Soda is also called Bicarb, Bicarbonate of Soda and Sodium Bicarbonate.
- Chinese Cooking Wine/Chinese Rice Wine – not to mistaken for rice wine vinegar!!! You can sub in dry sherry if you like.
- Make sure you wash the chicken really well to remove any traces of baking soda. It is amazing at tenderizing meat, but has a terrible taste so you want to remove it.