Black Pepper Chicken Recipe

And the moment you’ve all been waiting for – a recipe for black pepper chicken.  If it’s well seasoned black pepper chicken is probably one of the best things you can find at any Chinese buffet. Normally thigh meat is used for this type of recipe but I decided to go with chicken breasts instead.

If you enjoy dark meat chicken be sure to use boneless skinless chicken thighs! The sauce is truly outstanding, both black and white pepper and a little sake give it just the right amount of kick. There are also a few vegetables added to this recipe such as white onions, peas, and carrots. Normally on the buffet tables, they have white onions and green bell peppers and I have also seen celery in it before so just feel free to add whatever vegetables you like. You might want a little extra sauce to go with your rice, if so make sure to double or even triple the sauce depending on how much you want. Let me know how it turns out.

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If you like this one, try black pepper beef next.

Yield: 4 servings

Black Pepper Chicken

Black pepper chicken, prepared.

Breaded and fried chicken pieces coated in a splcy black pepper sauce.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (or thighs)
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch (for dusting)
  • 1 white onion (diced)
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots
  • oil (for drying)
  • ¼ cup oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sake or rice wine


  1. Mix together all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Cut chicken into ½“cubes and dust chicken pieces with corn starch until fully coated.
  3. Deep fry (or fry in a wok) chicken in batches until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
  4. Heat about 1 tablespoon of oil in the wok and stir fry diced onion for a minute or two. Add peas and carrots and stir fry for another minute. Add sauce mixture to the wok and heat until bubbling. Add chicken stirring to fully coat with the sauce. Serve with white rice.


47 thoughts on “Black Pepper Chicken Recipe”

  1. This is Grumpy’s favorite dish when we go out for Chinese – I’m so glad you posted this and it looks so easy to make!!

  2. I’ve cooked similar dish like this.. but i’ve fried it together with sphagetti.. it taste really great!!!! together with Shitake mushrooms and asparagus.. hmmm.. NICE!

  3. I love your recipes but need to find some sake. I read somewhere that this can be substituted by cider vinegar. Is that so?

  4. Patrick Garry – Thanks, many more great recipes to come!

    Vani – Thanks, It’s really good, you will love it.

    rita – It needs some black pepper chicken 🙂

    HoneyB – Thanks, its very easy to make. Let me know how it turns out.

    Xing – Black pepper chicken with speghetti -sounds interesting!

    Priti – Thanks for the compliments.

    Kevin – Thanks.

    Ivy – I’m sorry I’m not really sure about the cider vinegar. You can use rice wine or mirin in place of sake. I think KIKKOMAN makes it. If you can’t find any of those, I would recommend using any white wine with just a tiny bit of sugar in it. I hope this helps and let me know how you enjoy the recipe.

    Kristen – Black pepper chicken really is amazing! I hope he likes it.

  5. Allyson – I would say there is no real replacement, the closest thing would be mushroom soy sauce or just regular soy sauce but its not going to taste the same.

  6. i like the recipe but it is not like the black pepper chicken that i have had before. the chicken i have had seemed to have sugar or something to make taste it very sweet. it seemed to be caramelized or something. it is wonderful. the resturant has closed and i don’t know how to make it. can you hgelp

  7. Jamy – Sorry, I would not recommend it but you never know? I could probably give you a substitute but is the problem you dont want to use alcohol? If so that might be a little hard.

  8. This is a great and easy recipe. And Jamy, I did use rice vinegar because that was what I had in my pantry. This is probably the first time, after many attempts, that I’ve actually cooked a Chinese dish at home that tastes like something from a restaurant! I did omit the peas and carrots due to personal tastes, but I am very impressed with the results and the little time it took to prepare it.

  9. Hi-
    I just made this. WOW SPICY. Mine is darker–purhaps the oyster sauce I’m using was darker than yours. I liked the flavor, but couldn’t eat much as it was too spicy hot. Also the coating of just corn starch tasted good but doesn’t look like yours or what it looks like at the resturant.

  10. Just subscribed. Love your recipe breakdowns, pics and all! This is my favorite dish at Chinese buffets. Thanks so much for posting the recipe. I haven’t been able to find it anywhere else! Great site!

  11. Wow! I stumbled upon this recipe and I am so glad I did. This dish is my favorite at chinese restaurants and now I can make it at my own home and it is cheaper and better. I did add a little bit of water and a tad of brown sugar & green peppers (instead of peas and carrots) to make it a little closer to what I am used to. My kids even loved it. Thank you so much for blessing me with such a great recipe!

  12. AWESOME. The best BPC I ever tasted. I used the onions and green peppers in it. I would recommend if you are doubling the recipe, dont bother adding more white or black pepper. It was wonderful!!

  13. I’ve made this recipe before & got rave reviews, but i lost the recipe. thanks for posting this, my husband is very happy making this for chinese new year with a lot of other great recipes. thanks again

  14. Great recipe, I live in a small town with only a small shop, I can’t find Rice wine or Sake, can I use sherry instead.

  15. Made this tonight Bobby – after having had it bookmarked forever, I finally took the plunge. I was holding off because of the frying but honestly, this went together so quick and so easy I am disgusted with myself for taking so long to finally try it! Thank you! Now, if I can only get a recipe for Shrimp w/ Onions. Its a fried shrimp with a seasoned onion mixture. We haven’t had it in a long time since the chinese buffet we used to get it at closed over a year ago. I keep hoping to see it here someday!

  16. I found this recipe on Shelby’s site from Grumpy’s Honeybunch. I had to come by and get the recipe. I love doing different stir fries at hime and this looks awesome. I can’t wait to try it.

  17. Thank you! This recipe looks delicious! I have never had black pepper chicken before.

    Question: does the oyster sauce taste strong? We are not seafood fans, really.

  18. This recipe is fabulous!!! I’ve cooked lots of Chinese-style recipes, and this might be the best one I’ve tried. Especially considering how easy and quick it is to pull together. I opted for different veggies (red & green bell pepper, broccoli, and a little bit of Chinese eggplant). They probably totaled ~4 cups worth, altogether. Given the increase in veggies, I took your advice and tripled the sauce. Everything was absolutely delicious! Coating and frying the chicken– rather than just stir-frying it– added a lot of texture to the dish. The sauce was superb. And for me, the veggies were perfect. My husband raved about this meal, so it’s going into our regular rotation. Thanks Bobby!

  19. This recipe is fabulous! And so quick and easy to pull together! I opted for different veggies (red & green bell pepper, broccoli, and some Chinese eggplant). Veggies probably totaled ~4 cups worth. Given that, I took your advice and tripled the sauce. Everything was absolutely delicious! Coating and frying the chicken– rather than just stir-frying it– added a lot of texture to the dish. The sauce was superb. And for me, the veggies were perfect. My husband raved about this meal, so I’ll be making it again soon. Thanks Bobby!

  20. I made it for tonight and it was delicious. I added potatoes and bellpepper. The next time I will not fry the chicken, i’ll stir fry instead. The sauce was just how I remember it

  21. Sharon Wrosch

    This is my FAVORITE dish at the buffet I frequent, the pic you posted looks exactly like it. I can’t wait to try your recipe! Thanks for sharing with us!

  22. The recipe was awesome!! I’ve made this dish twice now and everyone in my family loves it. I did substitute Rice Vinegar for rice wine or sake and it still tasted absolutely amazing. Thanks for sharing this!!

  23. I am not really a big Chinese food fan, but we go to the Chinese buffet occasionally to appease my husband and my favorite is the Pepper Chicken…thank you so much for this recipe! Can’t wait to try it tonight!

  24. I loved how this turned out. I have tried others recipes online for Black Pepper Chicken and this is the best by far. My husband loved it! Thank you so much for posting. Also, it was a breeze to make. It was done by the time the rice was finished in the rice cooker. Lovely!

  25. I don’t have saki or rice wine on hand. Is there something I can use as a substitute? I do have Rice Vinegar though…not sure if that’s the same thing or not.

  26. Bobby
    This is my favorite dish at the buffet it is all I eat there. I have seen some one post that they put brown sugar in it to give it the more sweet flavor like the buffets have. Do you know where I would add that in to the cornstarch or the sauce? Thanks so much can’t wait to make this.

  27. I’m trying to make this for dinner tonight but all I have is green peppers, chicken breast, an onion, soy sauce, and rice. Is there anyway I can make the same meal but with substitions?

  28. Prayer – I would say that you would not be able to make the exact same dish using those ingredients. You could try using just soy sauce and black pepper for the sauce but it is not going to taste the same without the oyster sauce.

  29. This is a FABULOUS recipe. There is a Thai/Chinese restaurant, and on Mondays they have a buffet that I specifically go to for a chicken recipe they only feature on Mondays. After searching the only two ingredients I could think of, it took me here, and when I made the recipe, it was the EXACT same as what I looked forward to on Mondays. THANK YOU!

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