I don’t even like chicken. But I made my husband cook this for us two nights in a row, with leftovers for lunch both days. He said no the third day. Yup, that’s how good it is!

I was inspired by the recipe I stumbled upon from the cooking channel and adjusted it to be nut-free and dairy-free (but it does contain soy). To be fair, our 10-month-old loves spicy things almost as much as we do, so this was a sweet treat for her. I will say that it does require some work to make (not a throw-it-in-the-pot-and-wait kind of meal), but it is sooooooo worth the effort!

Sweet & Spicy Ginger Chicken Bites


  • 1 lb chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • enough vegetable oil to generously cover the bottom of the pan (at least 1/4 inch)
  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp sriracha sauce
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar (or rice vinegar)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp honey (not safe for children under 12 months)


  1. Add the chicken, olive oil, soy sauce and pepper to a bowl or ziploc bag to marinate for at least 30 minutes in the fridge.
  2. Meanwhile, mince the garlic and ginger, prepare the cornstarch station (put it in a shallow dish) and the sauce mixture (put the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, fish sauce, sriracha sauce, lemon juice and honey in a small bowl).
  3. Heat the oil in a medium-sized pan, get your rice ready to cook, and take the chicken out of the fridge.
  4. Dredge each piece of chicken into the cornstarch, shaking off any extra, and set them aside.
  5. Once the oil is hot enough, fry the chicken in batches until the pieces golden brown, about 3 minutes. Set them on a plate lined with paper towel to soak up any excess oil.
  6. In a different pan, saute the ginger and garlic in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until golden brown (about 30 seconds or so). Lower to medium-low heat.
  7. Add the sauce mixture and bring to a simmer. This doesn’t take very long, and will thicken the sauce.
  8. Then add in the fried chicken bites and toss gently to coat with the sauce.
  9. Serve over rice and/or with steamed broccoli.

We made it again without the cornstarch breading and it just wasn’t the same; the chicken was much less flavourful, even when drowned in the sauce. I can also confirm that the sauce was just as delicious without the honey, and definitely was not lacking any sweetness.

And there you have it, a meal that adults will love as much as the kids. It is easy to make this one baby-friendly by omitting the honey and chopping the cooked chicken bites to appropriate sizes for your baby’s eating skills.


stephanie de montigny SdeM handrawn initials ottawa blogger

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