Sesame Chicken & Napa Cabbage Stir-Fry

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes

This quick and easy Sesame Chicken & Napa Cabbage Stir-Fry is the perfect solution for the busy week-night cook.

Sesame chicken and napa cabbage stir fry.

Quick and easy stir-fry recipes are the perfect dinner for the busy week-night cook. I love the fact that you can squeeze in several servings of vegetables without offending even the pickiest of eaters, and this Sesame Chicken & Napa Cabbage Stir-Fry is delicious. Cabbage is a nutritional powerhouse just loaded in nutrients and fiber. Not to mentions it’s dirt cheap and works well with any number of flavors. Break out the wok and try it yourself!


  • Chicken: Accessible, affordable, low-fat protein that works with almost any flavor profile.
  • Onion: I use a yellow onion, which is mild in flavor and caramelizes nicely with the other veggies.
  • Red pepper: Slightly sweet in flavor, adds almost a bit of citrus to the stir fry.
  • Napa cabbage: Also referred to as Chinese cabbage, it’s full of fiber and nutrients, it remains a bit crunchy when cooked and absorbs flavors wonderfully.
  • Ginger: Fresh ginger is sweet, while also being a bit spicy and peppery.
  • Garlic: Nutty, earthy, and aromatic.
  • Soy sauce: Salty, umami flavor that is classic for stir-fry.
  • Rice wine vinegar: A type of vinegar made from fermented wine, it has a sweet, acidic taste.
  • Chicken broth: Helps to fill out the sauce and is e
  • Sesame oil: Deep, rich, nutty flavor that elevates and enhances the sauce.
  • Scallions: Adds a great, fresh flavor and bit of crunch to the finished stir fry.

How to Make Sesame Chicken & Napa Cabbage Stir Fry

Liz slicing napa cabbage

Start your Sesame Chicken & Napa Cabbage Stir-Fry by chopping your cabbage very thin, slicing the bell pepper and onion, and cutting the chicken into cubes.

Cooking cut chicken

First, heat oil in a hot skillet or wok and add the chicken. Season with salt and pepper, and cook until chicken is browned on all sides. Remove from pan and set aside.

Grating fresh ginger

While the chicken is cooking, start on your sauce. First freshly grate ginger and garlic into a small bowl using a microplane.

Adding soy sauce to bowl

Then stir in the soy sauce and rice vinegar.

Adding chicken broth to bowl

Followed by the chicken broth and sesame oil.

Adding red chili paste to sauce

It’s optional, but I highly recommend also adding some red chili paste to the sauce. It adds wonderful heat without it being overly spicy.

Grating garlic into pan

In the same pan you cooked the chicken, heat some oil over medium-high and grate some garlic into the pan.

Cooking onions

Sauté the onion and bell pepper with the garlic for 2-3 minutes, or until soft.

Frying cabbage and bell pepper

Then add the cabbage and continue sautéing for another 8-10 minutes.

Pouring sauce over stir fry

Pour sauce over vegetable mixture and stir so everything is coated.

Adding chicken back to stir fry

Add the chicken back to the pan, stir and cook for an additional 3 minutes until warmed through.

Sesame chicken & Napa cabbage stir-fry.

Serve over your choice of brown or white rice, and top with fresh scallions. Enjoy!

Easy Substitutions

  • Make it vegan or vegetarian. Switch out the chicken for tofu, mushrooms, or broccoli.
  • Swap out the veggies. Swap something out for carrots, broccoli, different kinds of cabbage, water chestnuts. The possibilities are endless with stir fry!

Frequently Asked Questions:

What makes a good stir-fry?

Make sure your pan is nice and hot before adding anything to it, and make sure your meat has been thawed before cooking.

What can I serve with stir-fry instead of rice?

You could serve it alongside a salad, or with chow mein noodles instead of rice.

How do I store leftovers?

Kept in an airtight container, leftover stir fry will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Sesame chicken and Napa cabbage stir-fry.

More Stir-Fry

Like It, Eat It, Share It!

Did you try this stir fry and love it? The next time you make it, snap a picture and share it to your socials! Tag @thelemonbowl and #thelemonbowl so we can admire and share your dish.

Liz eating sesame chicken and Napa cabbage stir-fry.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy dinner to make this week, your search is over. My Sesame Chicken & Napa Cabbage Stir Fry is sure to be a hit for the whole family.

Your fork is waiting.

Sesame chicken and napa cabbage stir fry

Sesame Chicken & Napa Cabbage Stir Fry

4.67 stars average
This quick and easy Sesame Chicken & Napa Cabbage Stir Fry is the perfect solution for the busy week-night cook.
PREP: 10 minutes
COOK: 20 minutes
TOTAL: 30 minutes

Recipe Video


  • 1 pound chicken breasts (cut in 1″ in pieces)
  • 1 large onion (diced)
  • 1 red pepper (diced)
  • 1 head napa cabbage (thinly sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons ginger (grated)
  • 3 cloves garlic (grated)
  • 2 teaspoons chili garlic paste (optional)
  • ¼ cup soy sauce (low sodium)
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup chicken broth (low sodium)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 4 scallions (diced)


  • Heat a pan over medium-high heat and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Sauté chicken breast until browned, about 6-7 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • In the same pan, sauté onion and red pepper for 2-3 minutes or until they begin to soften. Add sliced cabbage to pan and continue sautéing for 8-10 minutes until cabbage is softened.
  • Meanwhile in a small bowl, whisk together ginger, garlic, chili garlic pasta, soy sauce, vinegar, chicken broth, and sesame oil.
  • Add sauce to vegetable mixture and throw the chicken back in as well. Cook for about 3 minutes more, to warm chicken through, and sprinkle with diced scallions. Serve with rice.


Excellent source of Vitamin C and A.


Calories: 211kcalCarbohydrates: 13.8gProtein: 27.2gFat: 5.1gSaturated Fat: 0.6gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 696mg

Photo of Liz Della Croce

Hi, I’m Liz!

Hey there, I’m Liz Della Croce and I’m thrilled to have you here! My aim is to motivate and ignite your passion for cooking amazing meals for your loved ones. I believe in the power of real, wholesome ingredients that are bursting with flavor and won’t break the bank. Whether it’s a traditional Lebanese recipe from my family or a culinary creation from across the globe, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover that nutritious food can be exciting, affordable, and easy to prepare.

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9 responses to “Sesame Chicken & Napa Cabbage Stir-Fry”

  1. Diane Avatar

    This was tasty – the flavors are nice. Next time though I’d add some cornstarch to the sauce, to make the dish less watery.

  2. Jo-Ann Avatar

    I liked it! was very good. I added carrots, and may add broccoli in the future. The next time I make this I’ll decrease the rice vinegar, a little too much for my taste. I used 1/2 a large Napa cabbage, but wish I had added more…Thank You for a recipe I’ll use again!

  3. Mardi Lopez Avatar
    Mardi Lopez

    It was pretty good, albeit a bit too vinegary for us. I will play with it and report back. Thank you for sharing. Oh I served it over Chinese noodles because we are riced out.

  4. Brad Avatar

    T’was pretty tastey. My nappa cabbage was huge so I only did 3/4 but it really breaks down so I could have done the entire thing.

    Trying to stay away from nightshades so I used shredded carrots instead of peppers.

    Will make again.

  5. Jo Avatar

    Excellent, full of deliciousness! Used half TB of Gochujang. For those who aren’t familiar, it is a red chile paste that also contains glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, salt, a thick, sticky condiment that’s spicy and very concentrated and pungent in flavor. I had a gelatinous homemade chicken broth which also contributed deep flavor. Loved the ginger! Added eggplant. I agree, this is a keeper!

    1. LJ Avatar

      Is Gochujang gluten free?

      1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
        Liz DellaCroce

        I would check the specific brand you use to be sure, because some are and some are not.

  6. Calvert Avatar

    This is a great recipe, especially since I had a half of a Napa cabbage left and, during these times of stay at home due to coronavirus, we can’t afford to waste anything. I made a minor change by adding some broccoli. Other things to consider, which I will do next time, is to add some sesame seeds before serving and, although many will disagree, it does not even need the chicken so it could be vegetarian by substituting vegetable broth for the chicken broth. This is a keeper either way.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!!!

Liz Della Croce eating black bean dip

Hi I’m Liz!

Hey there, I’m Liz Della Croce and I’m thrilled to have you here! My aim is to motivate and ignite your passion for cooking amazing meals for your loved ones.