The Panda Express Black Pepper Chicken Recipe with Celery is one of my favorite copycat recipes from the popular Asian food inspired franchise.
I recreated the panda express dish and I dare say I even made it better by using quality ingredients at home.
Panda Express Black Pepper Chicken Ingredients
The black pepper chicken consists of a few ingredients only which include chicken, celery, green onion and ginger and garlic as main ingredients.
Besides the marination and seasoning ingredients.
Use either boneless breast or leg chicken.
Leg tends to be more flavorful but I do like to use breast because it’s faster to cut it up.
The celery is another main ingredient in this dish and compliments the chicken.
It surprised Paul who loves this dish now because of the flavor balance between the ingredients.
Use fresh green celery stalks cut into bite sized pieces.
Pick not all too old celery stalks because they tend to get more fibrous in age.
Green Onions are also known as Spring Onions.
They are small and mild and not that strong compared to red or white/yellow onions.
I separate the bulbs from the stalks which are all sliced.
The bulbs are stir-fried while the stalks are used as a garnish.
Ginger and Garlic
These two ingredients go hand in hand in Asian foods.
Ginger has meat tenderizing properties, besides enriching the dish with interesting flavors.
I’m a bit lazy because I hate to peel garlic, so I tend to use Ginger and Garlic paste.
This is actually a common Indian ingredient but I love ginger and garlic paste in all Asian dishes because it mixes in easily and saves me time.
You can also use fresh ginger and garlic by chopping them fine.
Black Pepper Chicken Marinade
The black pepper chicken marinate is made of:
- freshly ground black pepper
- soy sauce
- rice vinegar
- corn flour
The soy sauce adds a salty rich aroma to the chicken and the rice vinegar adds a nice sour touch to it, while the sugar balances all these ingredients.
The black pepper needs to be of good quality.
That makes all the difference in this dish.
I got some organic sun-dried black pepper from Goa India and that black pepper is nothing compared to the already ground stuff that you get in packets.
The black pepper can make or break your panda express copycat black pepper chicken.
I add cornflour to add the shine that you see on your black pepper chicken form panda express.
You can skip that if you like, it’s just for aesthetics.
How to make Panda Express Black Pepper Chicken?
To prepare this panda express copycat black pepper celery chicken, you will need to follow these easy 3 steps.
Cut your chicken into bite-sized pieces, mix all the marination ingredients together and marinate your chicken pieces.
Keep all the ingredients ready.
Cut your celery stalks into bite-sized pieces, chop the ginger and garlic finely and slice the green onions.
Heat up a wok or shallow pan with oil and stir cook each ingredient for a minute, the onions, ginger garlic, celery pieces, and chicken pieces with marination.
Stir cook and mix everything together before serving.
Homemade Copycat Black Pepper Chicken Plus Points
I have a few reasons for you why you would want to prepare your own copycat panda express pepper chicken at home.
- quick and easy to prepare, cooking Asian style food couldn’t be easier
- you get to adjust the flavors the way you like it
- you know what’s in it, hence you get to pick quality ingredients and the dish won’t contain artificial ingredients.
- the next Panda Express is located miles away
- this is a low carb friendly and keto panda express chicken recipe
- you can meal prep this Chinese pepper chicken to take it to work for lunch
More Panda Express Recipes
Dear Reader, have you tried the black pepper chicken?
Panda Express Black Pepper Chicken Recipe
For the marination:
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar I used brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
- 1/2 Teaspoon Cayene Pepper
- 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper about 12 pepper corn
- 2 Tablespoon Corn Flour
- 10.6 ounces Chicken cut into bite sized pieces
For the cooking process:
- 2 Tablespoon Oil
- 2 large Green Onion aka spring onion, sliced
- 1 1/2 Tablespoon Ginger + Garlic *see Notes
- 5.3 ounces Celery stalks fresh, cut into bite sized pieces
- In a small bowl prepare the marination by mixing together the sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, cayenne pepper, and black pepper first.
- Pour the marination over the cut cleaned chicken pieces and add the corn flour as well. Mix it through. Leave to marinate, a minimum of 5 minutes.
- Heat up a pan with the oil and add the sliced green onion bulbs to the pan. Stir cook for a minute before adding in the ginger and garlic as well. Stir cook quickly and mix.
- Now add the celery stalk pieces to the pan and stir cook for another 1-2 minutes on high heat.
- Reduce the heat and make some space in the center and add the marinated chicken with the marination to the pan. Mix it all through and stir cook until chicken is done.
- Garnish with the sliced green onion stalks and serve hot with a bowl of rice or bread.
- The longer you leave the chicken to marinate the better.
- You can skip the addition of corn flour, which gives a nice shine to your chicken.
- Green Onion bulb slices and stalks kept separate
- Use chopped fresh Ginger and Garlic (1:2 ratio) or Ginger and Garlic Paste
- You can also sprinkle some more freshly crushed black pepper over the chicken dish as a garnish.
- Use only quality freshly ground or crushed black peppercorn. Makes all the difference in this dish!