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Marinated chicken stir-fried with vegetables in a savory sauce, this lightened-up Mongolian chicken can be on your the table in just 30 minutes. Make it your own by adding your favorite veggies or make it completely vegetarian by swapping out chicken with tofu or cauliflower. 

Lightened-Up Mongolian Chicken

I posted a sneak peek of this dish on my Instagram saying “recipe on the blog soon,” and here I am nearly 3 weeks later pretending I just made this. How naive of me to have thought that once I was done with school, things would slow down, giving me more time to focus on this little space of mine.

Now my mind is kicked into full gear with career development. I’ve been thinking a lot regarding what I’m really passionate about rather than what I’m “good” at. And I can slowly sense the transition of my approach from “I can do a little bit of this and that” (a.k.a spreading yourself too thin) to “I want to specialize in something.” Perhaps it’s the influence of my father, a businessman through and through and an embodiment of the American dream. Perhaps it’s the support of loved ones to free myself from my safety net, comfort zone, insecurities, or whatever you want to call it, and JUST GO FOR IT! Whatever it is, I’m going to continue to pray for the Lord’s guidance through this time of transition, and see what doors open up.

Lightened-Up Mongolian Chicken

Now getting back to this dish…

In 2014, I did all my meal prep/cooking on the weekends because I wasn’t home much during my dietetic internship, and the thought of standing over a stove after a long day didn’t sound very appealing. While cereal and PB&J sounded really amazing in the beginning, my tastebuds were not amused after awhile.

Honestly, planning for meals a week in advance and staying on top of things were extremely difficult at first. But trust me, they will eventually become second nature, AND the time spent will become shorter and shorter. It’s amazing what trained hands can do. Don’t underestimate them ;).

Now that I’m home in the afternoons, I have more wiggle room to cook on the fly. This lightened-up Mongolian chicken couldn’t have been simpler to make with ingredients I already had on hand. I understand sugar snap peas might not be a staple at your house, and if so, just substitute them with whatever veggies you have at your disposal.

Side note – The lighting on this particular day was fantastic-o! I normally NEVER shoot at ISO of 100, but this photo came out unbelievably crisp and vibrant (You can check out my photography tips and set-up here). Naturally, I showed the pics to the Hungryman with much enthusiasm and pride, but he senselessly replied “what’s the difference between the first picture and this one?”

Feeling crushed {and irritated} at his lack of attention to detail, I quickly turned the screen towards myself and said something along the lines of, “the last one is more zoomed in, obviously” (Just look at the chopsticks). And that was that. You can tell the difference, can’t you? 😉 Well, I suppose I could’ve experimented more with angles during this shoot. But then again, I did want to devour this dish as quickly as possible.

While the sauce itself is quite flavorful, I like to marinate the chicken to deliver even more taste. Want to make this vegetarian? You already know what I’m going to suggest – tofu (or even cauliflower!) would be an excellent substitute ;). Hope you enjoy! And as I’d like to share more quick and easy Asian recipes, if you’ve got any suggestions, please leave a comment below!

5 from 6 votes

Lightened-Up Mongolian Chicken

Marinated chicken stir-fried with vegetables in a savory sauce, this lightened-up Mongolian chicken can be on your the table in just 30 minutes. Make it your own by adding your favorite veggies or make it completely vegetarian by swapping out chicken with tofu or cauliflower. 
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6
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  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast (2 chicken breasts)
  • 1/2 teaspoon rice wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch


  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon sambal or chili paste with garlic, optional
  • red bell pepper, sugar snap peas, green onion, or veggies of choice


  • In a bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce. Set aside.
  • Slice the chicken into bite-sized pieces (best if slightly frozen) and add to a large bowl, Mix all the ingredients (except the cornstarch) together and pour over the chicken. Let it marinate (at least 15 minutes) while you prepare the other ingredients. When ready to cook, add the cornstarch, and mix until all the chicken strips are coated.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil in a wok over med-high heat, and then add the chicken being sure to shake off excess cornstarch. Pour in the sauce and mix well. Add the veggies and cook until softened but still crisp. Top with chopped green onions and serve over rice.


Calories: 144kcal | Protein: 17g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 228mg | Potassium: 289mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!


About Min

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am Min, a Registered Dietitian, a Christ follower, a wife, and a mom to our two miracle babies! Currently, I’m having a ton of fun feeding their tummies and sharing our baby led weaning journey! Follow me on Instagram if interested in seeing daily menu as well as tips and tricks.

5 from 6 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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  1. The lighting on those photos is amazing. I can’t believe how much the colour pops in those vegetables. They look so crunchy and delicious and it is pretty amazing for me to say that about vegetables!

  2. I can totally tell the difference between the first and the last! And the lighting in both is so great – I love the stream of light coming in from the back. This is something I’m still working on figuring out how to do – using the light in this way. This dish sounds like the perfect thing to make ahead on the weekend – a task I should also work on getting in the habit of doing. I’m sending so many positive thoughts your way during this transition – I know that whatever you do, it’s going to be so wonderful. I am a feeling that urge of “doing a little of this and a little of that” right now too, so I am 100% on the same page!

  3. Wish I had a massive bowl of this mongolian chicken to devour right now. It looks so fresh, flavoursome and delicious!

  4. You are KILLING it with these recipes. Killing it! This looks insane and I’m making my sister make it (because she claims to be a gun at Asian cuisine).

  5. It’s so funny because I feel as if I’m spreading myself thin all the time, too! My resolution this year is definitely to write ALL my ideas down, no matter if they’re big or small. The next one is to make lists so that I keep myself on track (plus, I love lists). It’s been working so far!

    A HUGE YES to this Mongolian chicken dish! I love that you get excited about good lighting because I’m the exact same way!!

  6. That first paragraph was so funny (and honest), we all do that 😉 This is such a gorgeous and delicious looking dish- don’t you just love perfect lighting days!

    It’s wonderful that you have options and the support of your loved ones, that’s really all you need. I just know you’ll be amazing at whatever you decided to pursue 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    Oh Min this looks AMAZING!! I am sitting here TOTALLY appreciating your beautiful photos 🙂
    And I will be keeping you in my prayers too for your decision making while trying to figure out what your future plans are for your career, and I’m obviously just a phone call, email, or text away! xxoo
    Have a fab weekend!