Sunday, December 4, 2022

My Recipe Box - Chinese Chicken Curry

  Growing up in Montreal it was a treat to order curry chicken from The House of Wong on Queen Mary Road as it was close by.

My cousin just reminded me that my Dad would say (politically incorrect) that they had "the wong number"!

We always had curry chicken on Christmas Eve as Chinese restaurants were the only ones open! As the eldest cousins we would go with our parents to visit the younger cousins with presents. We would eat at a Chinese place called C'est la Vie.

We love Indian food and curries. But we both remember our Chinese curries so I looked around (virtually) and found some recipes which I took bits and parts of plus added our own touches.
This is like take-out but tastier, cheaper and healthier! 


If you are not an expert on both countries’ cuisines, it might be confusing as we often associate curry with Indian food. However curry is eaten in many Asian countries, and China is one of them.

Chinese curry is often a bit more watery in consistency than Indian curry. This is due to the fact that Indian curries often use tomatoes as natural thickeners while it’s not the case with Chinese curries.

Neither Indian nor Chinese curries use corn starch to thicken the sauce.

This being said, it’s important to mention that sauces are expected to be thicker in the West, so I’ve used corn starch in my recipe to thicken my Chinese curry sauce.

Another point of difference is the mix of spices. In Chinese curries just a touch of the curry powder and turmeric is used along with other spices like coriander and star anise, and a splash of soy sauce while the first two are the anchor flavours in Indian curries.

Homemade Easy Curry Powder Recipe:

Mix together the following:
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon cardamom
1 tablespoon coriander
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 tablespoon Chinese 5 spice
2 tablespoons ground turmeric
1 ½ teaspoons dry mustard
½ teaspoon cayenne

This makes enough to fill a spice jar for when you are in a hurry!


           1 pound chicken breasts/thighs , boneless and skinless
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari (gluten free)
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    3 tablespoons canola oil
    1 tablespoon curry powder (see recipe above)
    1 tbsp grated ginger
    2-3 cloves garlic
  • Worcestershire sauce - optional splash
  • Siracha to taste
    400ml/1 ½ cup chicken stock
    1 green bell pepper , cut into slices1/2 yellow onion , sliced
    1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Optional - potatoes, celery, peas

In a medium bowl mix the soy sauce with corn starch, then add chicken pieces and set aside until needed.
Prepare the vegetables by chopping up the onion, peeling and grating ginger, and mincing the garlic.
Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a deep frying pan or a wok and add the chopped onions and ginger. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, then add minced garlic and cook for a few seconds. Make sure not to burn the garlic.
Then add the curry powder, mix briefly until you can smell the aromatics. Add the chicken together with the marinade and cook it for a few minutes, so the chicken is sealed but not cooked all the way through. 

Add the chicken stock and deglaze the pan by scraping up the bits stuck to the bottom of it with a wooden spatula. Bring everything to a boil, lower the heat and let it simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
Then add sliced pepper and cook for 5 minutes longer. Serve over steamed white or brown rice.


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