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Sesame Chicken & Napa Cabbage Stir Fry

    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: 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.

    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 use a microplane to grate some garlic into the pan.

    Cooking onions

    Sauté the onion and bell pepper 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

    4.69 stars average
    This quick and easy Sesame Chicken & Napa Cabbage Stir Fry is the perfect solution for the busy week-night cook.
    PREP: 10 mins
    COOK: 20 mins
    TOTAL: 30 mins
    Servings: 4


    • 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.

    Recipe Video


    Excellent source of Vitamin C and A.


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

    SHOW AND TELL ON INSTAGRAM!Show me your creation and rate it below! Mention @thelemonbowl or tag #thelemonbowl! I would LOVE to see!

    Liz DellaCroce

    Liz Della Croce is the creator and author of The Lemon Bowl, a healthy food blog. Since 2010, Liz has been sharing delicious recipes that just so happen to be healthy. By using real ingredients with an emphasis on seasonality, Liz has built a growing audience of loyal readers who crave good food for their families. Click Here To Subscribe to my newsletter:


    1. 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!

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

    4. 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!

    5. 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.

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