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Cooking + Entertaining

Chicken with almonds: the original Chinese recipe

Chicken with almonds: the original Chinese recipe

Il almond chicken it’s a second dish from Chinese but now famous all over the world thanks to its diffusion in Asian restaurants. What we propose is a simple and light recipe, for which very few ingredients are needed: i chicken nuggets will be joined to toasted almonds and wrapped in a delicate cream based on soy sauce and ginger.

Accompanied by White riceof pilaf or basmati variety, chicken with almonds becomes a single dish perfect to prepare for a dinner with friends or family: children like it a lot too. Traditionally this preparation is done in woka high-sided pan that keeps the temperature constant, thus ensuring even cooking, but alternatively you can use a non-stick pan, preferably with a thick bottom.

In just 30 minutes you can bring to the table a truly exquisite homemade chicken with almonds, which you can accompany with other delicious Chinese recipes such as spring rolls, Cantonese rice or steamed ravioli stuffed with meat.

How to make almond chicken

Peel the ginger with a potato peeler or a very sharp knife. Then cut it into very small cubes of 2-3 mm 1.

Peel and cut the onion into thin slices, so that it cooks faster 2.

Also peel the garlic and cut it into slices 3.

Remove any cartilage and bones from chicken breasts: they must be perfectly clean 4.

Cut the chicken breasts into 3-4 cm cubes, trying to make them as regular as possible 5.

Flour the chicken cubes with the rice flour 6: remove the excess using a sieve.

Pour a drizzle of oil into a non-stick pan, heat it over low heat, then add the ginger, sliced ​​onion and garlic 7.

In the meantime, toast the almonds in a pan over a low flame, taking care to turn them often so as not to burn them. 8. Alternatively, you can toast the almonds in the oven: it will take about 10 minutes at 200 ° C.

When the onion is golden and the garlic and ginger have softened, add the chicken and cook until it is well browned. 9.

Pour in the soy sauce and a glass of chicken broth and let it evaporate for a few seconds 10.

Finally add the previously toasted almonds, leaving them to cook for a few more minutes over low heat, stirring often 11.

Spread the almond chicken on individual plates and serve immediately 12. If you like, you can accompany it with simply boiled basmati rice, just like it is used in many Asian recipes: the neutral taste of the rice, flavored by the cooking juices of the chicken, will perfectly balance the flavors of the dish.


The salsa is the main feature of this dish: be careful not to make it too narrow during preparation. In case you want to get more, just increase the amount of soy sauce – preferably choosing the low-salt version – and add hot water or broth. If, on the other hand, the cream is too liquid, you can add a couple of tablespoons of rice flour or potato starch, which will help thicken it.

You can enrich the recipe with bamboo shootswhich can be found fresh, dried or canned in the most well-stocked supermarkets or ethnic shops, or with verdure: chicken with almonds is excellent, for example, with carrots or zucchini.

To give an extra touch to the dish, you can add some on the surface Sesame seeds or of fresh spring onion cut into small pieces.

Although the traditional recipe provides it, chicken with almonds can also be prepared without soy: you can simply sauté the chicken in a pan and then add the almonds, or, to obtain a slightly sweet and sour taste, also add a few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.


Almond chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for approx 2 days in an airtight container. If you’ve used fresh chicken, you can also freeze it for up to a month.

Where did the almond chicken originate

The origin of chicken with almonds is not certain: according to tradition, the dish was born in GuangDong province at the time of the last Qing dynasty, and in particular around 1800, when the then empress Dowager Cixi asked the court cook for a tasty dish that would allow her to relieve herself from the harsh winter cold. Originally the recipe was made using quail and Chinese cabbage, but the difficulties in finding this type of meat led to its replacement with chicken, more widespread and therefore easy to find. Instead, it seems that almonds are a relatively modern addition, dating back to when the dish became part of traditional home cooking.

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