Firecracker Chicken

Firecracker Chicken is packed with heat and little bit of sweet! This spicy chicken dish is served over rice and makes a delicious dish that everyone will love and come back for more!

Plate of firecracker chicken with green onions served over rice

The Spicy Sauce

The sauce for Firecracker Chicken is spicy but the great thing is that you can control the level of heat!

There is nothing really fancy in the sauce- the heat comes from dried red pepper flakes (found in the spice aisle), sriracha, and buffalo sauce! I know you are all thinking Buffalo Sauce is not a typical Asian Sauce. This is not meant to be an authentic Asian dish…it is just a yummy chicken dish served over rice!

To make the sauce I use a glass measuring cup. Add the water and the soy sauce. NOTE: I use low sodium soy sauce so the sauce isn’t too salty.

Soy sauce and water being measured and poured into a glass measuring cup to make firecracker chicken sauce

Next, add some brown sugar, ground ginger and minced garlic.

Soy sauce, water, ground ginger and minced garlic for Firecracker Chicken Sauce

I use bottled/jarred minced garlic because I am lazy! NOTE: If using fresh garlic you will need 3-4 fresh garlic cloves minced (or add to taste).

Plastic bottle of mined garlic

Add a little sesame seed oil/sesame oil (same thing as far as I know). A little goes a long way-don’t add too much!

Sesame oil added to Firecracker Chicken Sauce ingredients

NOTE: I just mentioned sesame seed oil and sesame oil are the same thing as far as I know. This is what my bottle looks like. You can find it on the same aisle as Asian foods and sauces.

Bottle of sesame oil

The HEAT for the Sauce

All things spicy for your sauce.

To bring the heat you will add some dried red pepper flakes, buffalo sauce and a squirt (or 2) of sriracha to your sauce.

Red pepper flakes, buffalo sauce and sriracha in the Firecracker Chicken Sauce

NOTE: I use this Buffalo Sauce. It’s “Mild” so it’s not as spicy. Any brand works. If you like some serious heat you can use a full heat Buffalo Sauce like Franks brand … or the brand you like best.

Buffalo sauce

The last thing you will add to your sauce is cornstarch.

Your sauce has to be cold (don’t heat up any of the ingredients) or the cornstarch will not mix in without creating lumps. The cornstarch is added so the sauce so when the sauce is heated it will thicken.

Cornstarch added to the Firecracker Chicken Sauce

Whisk all of the ingredients together and set the sauce aside. You can taste test the “heat” of the sauce and add a little more of the “hot” ingredients if you want it a bit spicier.

Firecracker chicken sauce

The Chicken

Chicken breasts cut into thin strips/pieces is used for Firecracker Chicken. You can cut the chicken into larger or smaller strips or pieces, just make sure it is thin so it will cook fast.

Chicken cut into thin strips for Firecracker Chicken

The chicken will be tossed in cornstarch to be cooked. This is called velveting the chicken. Just place the chicken in a zip top bag and dump the cornstarch in the bag with the chicken.

Shake the chicken and make sure all of the pieces are covered with the cornstarch. Add a little more cornstarch if needed to make sure the chicken is all evenly covered.

NOTE: You will notice the cornstarch will soak into the chicken a bit after it sits for a minute and that is ok. (See photo above.)

Heat some oil in a large skillet/pan over medium-low heat and cook the chicken. Flip the pieces so they cook on both sides.

*You may have to cook the chicken in batches and add more oil as needed. Adjust the heat as needed as well.

Use a meat thermometer to make sure the chicken is done. Poke it in a thicker piece of chicken and make sure the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Chicken pieces in a large skillet cooking in oil
Chicken cooking in a skillet with oil

After the chicken is done cooking take it out of the pan and place it on some paper towels. If cooking in batches, repeat and cook the chicken until it is all cooked.

Cooked chicken for Firecracker Chicken

The Sauce and Chicken

Use the same pan you cooked the chicken in (wipe the oil out of it). Pour the sauce in the warm pan, keep the heat on medium-low. The sauce will start to bubble and thicken. Whisk it as it warms.

Firecracker Chicken Sauce poured into warm skillet

Your sauce will thicken pretty fast and will pull away from the bottom of the pan as it is whisked. See photo below.

Firecracker Chicken Sauce in a hot pan thickening to add to chicken

Next, add the chicken into the thickened sauce and turn the heat down to low.

Cooked chicken strips added to Firecracker Chicken Sauce

Gently stir the chicken and sauce, making sure the chicken is all evenly covered. Take the chicken off the heat.

Cooked chicken pieces stirred into Firecracker Chicken Sauce
Chicken covered in Firecracker Chicken sauce
Firecracker chicken covered in sauce

Serve immediately.

Serving Firecracker Chicken-Rice and Green Onions

Serve Firecracker Chicken over rice.

Plate of Firecracker Chicken serving ed over rice with green onions

I prefer Jasmine Rice. Jasmin rice has an aromatic flavor that is perfect for the flavors in the sauce. It helps balance the heat in the sauce and rounds out all of the strong flavors.

Bag of Jasmin rice

Jasmin rice has a perfect sticky soft texture and you will love the combo with the chicken and spicy sauce. Another great alternative is Basmati Rice, with a more firm texture. Brown Rice or plain ol’ white rice works too!

Top each serving with chopped green onions (optional).

TIP: You can add extra dried red pepper flakes to each serving for more heat (optional).

Firecracker Chicken on a plate with rice

If everybody likes green onions you can add the green onions to the chicken and sauce in the pan.

Firecracker Chicken with green onions

For some other Asian inspired dishes try my Mongolian Chicken, Mongolian Beef and Broccoli, Steak and Peppers Stir Fry or my Lettuce Wraps!

If you liked this recipe please take the time to leave a comment and a star rating below! Also, don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram!

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Firecracker chicken topped with green onion served over rice

Firecracker Chicken

This Chicken is packed with heat and a bit of sweet! You will love it served over jasmine rice (or the rice of your choice).
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 5 servings


  • 1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced into strips
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch *or more as needed-see notes
  • 1/4 cup oil for cooking the chicken *add more as needed- see notes
  • 6-8 green onions, chopped- to be added before serving *chop as little or as big as you like
  • rice for serving, cooked *see notes **not included in nutritional calculation

Firecracker Sauce

  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce- low sodium
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Bottled minced garlic (or jar) *if using fresh minced garlic use 3-4 cloves
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp sesame seed oil *small amount but necessary
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp dried red pepper flakes *or more to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp buffalo sauce *start out with 1 tbsp and add more to taste
  • sriracha sauce to taste


  • Mix/whisk all of your sauce ingredients together. Add your red pepper flakes, buffalo sauce and sriracha according to your taste and how hot you want the sauce. Set aside.
    *Cook your rice while you make the chicken!
  • Place your thinly sliced chicken in a zip top bag and add the 1/2 cup cornstarch. Toss the chicken in the bag (a bowl works too) until all the pieces are completely coated in the cornstarch.
    *add more cornstarch if needed
  • Heat oil (see notes) in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add your chicken and cook until golden brown and cooked fully. Cook your chicken in batches if necessary. Don't overcrowd the pan or the chicken won't cook even.
    *Add more oil as needed and adjust the heat as needed so the chicken doesn't burn.
    **As the chicken cooks, take it out of the pan and place it on paper towels.
    ***Make sure the chicken is fully cooked. You can check the internal temperature of a thicker piece and make sure it reaches 165°F.
  • Once all of the chicken has cooked (and is out of the pan on paper towels), wipe the pan clean with paper towels. Make sure to get most of the oil and little bits out of the pan.
    Pour the sauce in the pan and whisk it until it thickens.
  • Once the sauce starts to thicken, turn the heat to low. Add in the cooked chicken and gently stir it so all of the chicken is covered evenly in the sauce. Once the chicken is covered evenly let it warm for a minute then remove it from the heat.
  • Serve the Firecracker Chicken over rice and top with green onions. (If everyone likes green onions you can add them to the chicken and sauce in the pan).
    *To add a little extra heat you can add extra dried red pepper flakes to each individual serving for those that want more spice.
  • This chicken can be kept in the fridge for 3 days and is just as yummy as leftovers


You can make the sauce as hot/spicy as you want adding more red pepper flakes, buffalo sauce or sriracha to taste.
If you need more cornstarch to coat the chicken, just add a bit more at a time.
For cooking your chicken, you will need oil and the amount will vary depending on how big your skillet is. Start with 1/2 cup. If you have a really large skillet that all of your chicken can cook at once, then 1/2 cup will probably be plenty. If you are cooking your chicken in batches, you may have to add some additional oil to the pan as you are cooking the batches and the oil may vary from 1/4 cup- 1/2 cup each time. Just make sure your pan is completely covered with oil on the bottom (not deep but covered) so the chicken doesn’t stick (the cornstarch can tend to make it stick a bit). If you are cooking in batches, just remove the chicken and let it sit on paper towels to soak up the excess oil while you cook the rest of the chicken. Adjust the heat as needed so the chicken doesn’t burn.
You can serve this with any rice of your choice. I prefer Jasmine rice because I love the slight aromatic flavor of it and I love the slight sticky, soft texture. Basmati rice is delicious also, and has an aromatic flavor and is a bit more fluffy and firm.

Nutrition information is automatically calculated and should only be used as an approximation.

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 415kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 1567mg | Potassium: 603mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 278IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 2mg

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