Chinese Honey Chicken

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Chinese Honey Chicken is a light and crispy tempura battered chicken dish tossed with a sweetened honey sauce made with just 6 total ingredients in 20 minutes!

Skip the Chinese takeout! Chinese Honey Chicken is the kid sister to the ever popular and expensive restaurant favorite of Honey Walnut Shrimp and the perfect recipe to serve alongside Lo Mein, Orange Chicken and Fried Rice.

Chinese Honey Chicken

 Chinese Honey Chicken

The crazy thing about this super crispy honey chicken is how few ingredients it takes to make (plus it is naturally gluten-free). Chinese restaurants are tricking us with how intimidating they pretend this recipe is because it tastes so light and crispy and sweet and we can’t place the ingredients. But really, just 6 ingredients is all it takes and you’ll swear it tastes as good as P.F. Changs!

How do you make Crispy Honey Chicken?

The secret to the recipe is really the minimal ingredients in the breading which allow the creamy honey sauce to be the star of the show. The egg whites add a light taste while the cornstarch keeps things really crispy. It’s a take on a classic tempura recipe (like my crazy popular Tempura Shrimp).

What kind of chicken is used in Honey Chicken?

When cooking a tempura based Chinese recipe the meat is always a leaner cut of meat. In Chinese Honey Chicken we use chicken breasts to keep the bites of chicken as light as the light and crispy fried coating. If using a chicken thigh, the heaviness of the chicken would outweigh the tempura crunch.

How do you make Tempura Batter?

Tempura batter is a mixture of egg whites, cornstarch and water (or club soda) mixed over ice to keep it as light as possible.

SUPER CRISPY PF Changs Chinese Honey Chicken

Can you bake Honey Chicken?

No, this recipe requires deep frying because it has a wet batter. It will not create a crispy chicken if baked, it will cook into a pancake. You also cannot make this dish in a slow cooker or in an instant pot with any form of tempura batter.

What to serve with Chinese Honey Chicken?

We like to serve Egg Rolls, Spring Rolls, Potstickers or Crab Rangoon as appetizers, Brown Rice or Chinese Steamed Rice as easy side dishes and Chow Mein, Sesame Chicken or Sweet and Sour Chicken as accompanying dishes. Sweet and Sour Sauce or Sweet and Sour Pork would also provide a great flavor contrast to the flavors in this Honey Chicken recipe too.

If you’d like to garnish the dish you can use green onions, red pepper flakes, chives or sesame seeds.

Authentic Honey Chicken Recipe

In order for this to be an authentic Chinese restaurant version of Honey Chicken we’d have to use Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour. In order to test the necessity of this ingredient (it isn’t the easiest to source) we did a side-by-side test with the mochiko vs cornstarch and found minimal difference in taste which led me to swap the ingredient for something much more likely to be in your cupboards.

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Recipe

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Chinese Honey Chicken

5 from 13 votes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Chinese
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder

Chinese Honey Chicken is a light and crispy tempura battered chicken dish tossed with a sweetened honey sauce made with just 6 total ingredients in 20 minutes!

Ingredients

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch (or Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 pound chicken breast , cut into 1 inch thin chunks
  • vegetable oil , for frying
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk

Instructions

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. In a large bowl add the egg whites and whisk until foamy (1-2 minutes) before whisking in the cornstarch and water until combined and finally folding in the chicken.

  2. Heat three inches of oil on medium-high heat (to 350 degrees) in a large pot  and add the chicken pieces in 2 batches frying until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per batch.

  3. In a large bowl mix the mayonnaise, honey and sweetened condensed milk then toss the just fried chicken into it just before serving.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 6 servings, Amount per serving: 349 calories, Calories: 349g, Carbohydrates: 30g, Protein: 19g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 58mg, Sodium: 253mg, Potassium: 347mg, Sugar: 15g, Vitamin A: 1.1g, Vitamin C: 1.3g, Calcium: 2.3g, Iron: 2.5g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keyword: Chinese Honey Chicken
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Chinese Honey Chicken

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Comments

  1. Quick question, I want to prepare this today, but have someone who truly hates mayo… how strong is this taste?
    Thanks

    1. So sorry I’m just now seeing this. I don’t think it’s a strong mayo taste but everyone’s taste buds are different. I hope you all enjoyed it.

  2. Hi I was wondering if theres anything I can substitute for the sweetened condensed milk? Was hoping to make this but don’t have any on hand. Thanks

    1. I’ve not tried any but I’ve seen recipes online stating that you can make a substitute using a handful of pantry items. I’m sure you’ll be able to find a few options online. Good luck!

  3. Absolutely amazing! Thank you so much for posting this recipe. It was delicious.

    I didn’t have sweetened condensed milk, so I just used two tablespoons of milk with two tablespoons of sugar. Worked like a charm!

  4. It was SOOOOO good even the picky eaters in my family couldn’t get enough! Now they are going to expect it at every potluck lol

  5. Omg, this was INCREDIBLE! Exactly like the PF Changs version. This was super easy to make too, only a handful of basic ingredients! Cant wait to make again! Thanks for the recipe!

  6. the sauce would be good if it didn’t taste like a hint of mayo… i hate mayo with a passion, but i figured if i added the honey/condensed milk that it will change the flavor, but that mayo flavor doesn’t go away unless you lightly sauce the chicken. the sauce is just way too much, so i ended up blotting a lot off the chicken, and yet it was still too much. i suggest slowly adding it to the chicken until you get the amount you like.

  7. Do you have any substitution ideas instead of mayo? My husband hates mayo and won’t eat things that have it in the recipe even if he can’t taste it.

  8. I’m sorry, I’m so confused. Do you dredge the chicken in the egg whites and then the cornstarch mixture or are the egg whites and the cornstarch mixture mixed together?
    Thanks so much.

  9. I always get this Honey Walnut shrimp from this one place we get take out, but every time the sauce gets watery. so I vowed to figure out the sauce. I always thought it was from putting it in the container while it was hot and the condensation watered it down.

    then I stumbled on this recipe for the breading, and decided to make the whole recipe. oh man, it was amazing, and it was the Honey Walnut sauce I was looking for!(without the walnuts and shrimp obviously) but my sauce also watered down after it sat for a while with the chicken in it, is there anyway to fix that?

    I’ll definitely be keeping this recipe in mind, even for the breading for other stuff. glad I stumbled on it!

    1. I’m so glad you love the recipe! Because this recipe has mayo in it, it will breakdown over time. It’s best to serve immediately.

    1. You can substitute with Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour. If you don’t have that either, you can use AP flour in a pinch though it will change the flavor.

  10. Super yum!! I cooked with a bit of sesame oil, and that added a delish flavour. Great being Gluten Free. Very yum! Would make again any time.

  11. I made this. It was delicious and easy. My husband was in heaven said it was one of his top 5 meals. Making again this week, because of left over ingredients. We are really looking forward to it. I usually try to go a couple months before making something over, but this is too good to wait.

  12. This turned out amazingly well. Tastes just like takeout but better. Impressed everyone who had it tonight. Thanks for the concise but delicious recipe! Love that it’s only 6 ingredients!

  13. The egg whites and corn starch don’t mix well together it’s doughy. Is it supposed to be doughy it’s definitely not a coating.  

  14. I’m going to try this tonight, but I am confused. How much oil do I use? Do you use enough for like a deep fryer or use a few tablespoons to pan fry? Thanks for the clarifications.

    1. You’ll want to add each chicken piece to the oil individually but you’ll cook them all at once. Hopefully this helps clear up any confusion.