Pei Wei Spicy Chicken

Lightly fried chicken pieces are tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce along with sugar snap peas and carrot slices. You’ll love this Copycat Pei Wei Spicy Chicken recipe! 

Pei Wei Spicy Chicken

I was standing in line amongst several other hungry travelers, waiting patiently to have my order taken in the busy airport, when I overheard something that changed my life.

Pei Wei Spicy Chicken

I was hungry, but it was 8am, and I just wasn’t in the mood for breakfast. I walked up and down the airport terminal surveying my dining options. I know I’m technically supposed to want eggs, or bacon, or some sort of fluffy pastry, but that wasn’t going to satisfy my hunger on this particular morning.

I stumbled upon a Pei Wei, which serves Asian food, and I knew instantly that that was what my stomach was growling for. After surveying the menu, realizing that they not only serve breakfast but also regular food, I spotted their Spicy Chicken.

Oh how I wanted that Spicy Chicken.

But here I am, 8am, with sleep still in my eyes. FOR SURE I’m going to get some eyeballs looking at me like I’m some crazy lady if I order that chicken. Who on earth eats SPICY chicken for breakfast?!

As I’m standing in the forever long line, I’m glancing back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

I should mention how indecisive I am.

This lady with a notepad and pen starts walking up the line taking people’s orders, getting closer and closer.

This quiet guy in front of me who also looked like he was watching a tennis match between the breakfast menu and regular menu, quietly gives his order to the lady with the notepad, “Spicy Chicken.”


Pei Wei Spicy Chicken

After hearing that, I confidently ordered my Spicy Chicken. I heard 3 more people do the same. After I ate my delicious, and spicy breakfast, I decided that I needed to recreate this recipe and share it with you all.

So one day, you too can eat it for breakfast. Or dinner. What-evs.

The sauce is my absolute favorite. I used a mixture of pineapple juice and chili paste to create an outrageous sweet and spicy sauce that completely mimics the classic Pei Wei dish. I served it with white rice, but I actually had it with brown rice at the airport, so both work perfectly to soak up any extra sweet and spicy sauce.

Pei Wei Spicy Chicken

Who needs breakfast for dinner, when you can have dinner for breakfast?

Ok, just eat it whenever you want. No judgements here.

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5 from 1 vote

Pei Wei Spicy Chicken

Pei Wei Spicy Chicken is lightly fried chicken pieces tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce along with sugar snap peas and carrot slices.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Asian
Servings: 5
Calories: 318 kcal
Author: Shawn


  • 10 oz boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas
  • 2 cups vegetable oil, for frying

For the batter:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water

For the sauce:

  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 tbsp green onion, chopped (white parts only)
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 tsp chili garlic paste, more if you want it spicier
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp corn starch
  • 2 tbsp water


  • Whisk together the batter ingredients until smooth, then add the chicken pieces. The batter should be thin and only lightly coat the chicken.
  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the carrots and snap peas and cook for just 2 to 3 minutes until they become crisp tender. Drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile heat the 2 cups of vegetable oil in a pot or deep fryer to 375 degrees F. Fry the chicken a few pieces at a time, about 3 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. Drain on a paper towel lined plate. Keep warm.
  • In a large wok heat the 2 tsp of oil over medium heat and cook the garlic and green onion until fragrant. In a separate bowl whisk together the remaining sauce ingredients, excluding the corn starch and water. Pour into the wok and cook until it lightly bubbles. Mix the corn starch and water together and stir into the sauce mixture. It should thicken up, then add the chicken pieces, snap peas and carrots to the wok and stir gently to combine and heat through.
  • Serve over rice and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from: Tasty Kitchen


Calories: 318kcal | Carbohydrates: 35.9g | Protein: 18.5g | Fat: 10.9g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 1269.7mg | Sugar: 11.9g | Vitamin A: 17IU | Vitamin C: 44mg
Keywords: Chicken, Pei Wei, Spicy
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?don't forget to share a picture and mention @iwashyoudry on Instagram or tag #iwashyoudry!
About the author

Shawn is the Owner and Creator of I Wash You Dry. She loves to create and share simple, family-friendly recipes. Mom to 5 adorable children and dwells in the desert of Southern Utah.
33 Responses
  1. Melissa

    Hi! I’ve always wanted to make Pei Wei Spicy Sauce at home. However, I’d love to find a low-carb substitute for the pineapple juice. What role does the pineapple juice play in the recipe: liquid, sweetness, acid, etc.? Is it possible to sub for a half-and-half mixture of lemon juice and water that sweetened with stevia? That’s the only idea I can come up with.

  2. Rob

    I followed this exactly. Tasted extremely bland. Not remotely like pei wei. There’s a much better way to bread the chicken too by the way.

    1. Shawn

      Hmm… sorry it didn’t turn out well for you. I’ve always found that this recipe has a lot of flavor. But you could always add a some Sriracha or Chili Garlic Sauce on top for a little extra kick of spice! 🙂

      1. Deni

        Don’t you love when someone suggests that there is a better way to prepare a dish, but expect you to read their minds and don’t bother to offer an explanation?

        I can’t WAIT to try this recipe. It’s my all-time favorite Pei Wei dish. thanks for posting!

    1. Angie

      Jason Anthony Do you know what is in the lime dressing that was on the spicy salad? I crave it so much and it’s not on the menu anymore. So sad.

      I can’t wait to try your recipe!!

      This chicken is amazing on a mixed green salad with wontons, cucumbers, snap peas, cilantro and a lime vinegar dressing.

  3. John @ Garage Gyms

    How fun to be able to make this at home. I like Pei Wei, but I especially love Asian chicken and rice dishes. What a deal! =)

  4. Anna @ The Table

    Our closest Pei Wei is clear across town, so this is the perfect alternative! Love the combination of pineapple juice and chili paste!

  5. Adelina

    I eat whatever I want whenever I want. I grew up that way. We almost always had leftovers from dinner the night before for breakfast. No judgement here whatsoever. Spicy chicken sounds like a great kick to get you going in the AM 🙂

  6. Annie @Maebells

    We went to Jamaica last fall and we did the exact same thing! Pei Wei for breakfast! It should be come a thing, way better than bacon and eggs 🙂

  7. Chantal

    Hi Shawn,
    I’am Chantal from Travelling Papilles! Wooww, you are so right!
    There’s no rule to eat what you want and when you need!
    In many countries in the world (most of countries in Asia, India, Thaïland… and in Africa or America Latina) people eat a real meal in the morning!
    So you are officially right!
    I also like your nice recipe!

  8. CTY

    Love Asian inspired dishes–especially for using up leftover or odds & ends of vegetables (and fruit). If the items are leftover & not crunchy I stir in chopped raw celery right before serving for instant crunch.

  9. Sheila @ Sweet Baked Life

    Love your Pei Wei spicy chicken Shawn! Sounds delish and a great choice when wanting something different for breakfast! Am a big fan of dinner for breakfast, and for that matter breakfast for dinner!

  10. Anna @ Garnish with Lemon

    I am SO coming to your house for breakfast from now on! Beautiful shots, Shawn. And so glad I was able to meet you in Miami!

  11. LS Gourmet

    Dinner for breakfast isn’t a new concept – how many of us have eaten that last slice of pizza, cold, straight from the fridge at 7:30 in the morning? But as for Chinese food in the AM? When we went to China I always opted for the Asian menu for breakfast, they had incredible food so much more interesting than an egg mcmuffin. Goes without saying there were all sorts of dim sum dumplings, but there was congee with little shreds of fish and gourds mixed in; steamed rice in lotus leaves that had hard boiled eggs, mushrooms and sometimes chicken or those fantastic salty Chinese sausages hidden inside; noodles with salty peanuts and those wonderful steamed buns stuffed with red bean paste. I’m drooling I’m so hungry now!!! Thanks for bringing back those days.

    1. Shawn

      You’re making me hungry! And THANK YOU!! I guess my husband has instilled this theory in me that leftovers for breakfast is considered weird. I think he just gets angry when I beat him to all the good food. 😉 It’s nice to know I’m not alone in craving Asian for breakfast!

  12. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking

    I love homemade twists on takeout favorites! This chicken looks irresistible, Shawn! Your photos are beautiful, too.

  13. Carol at Wild Goose Tea

    I love making my own Asian food at home. It’s all in the sauce. You have provided a most excellent sauce. I am very much looking forward to giving this recipe a spin. Using the word ‘spin’ made me have an instant picture of tooling down the road in a convertible. Aaaah that is what warm weather does to you.

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Shawn Syphus

Hi, I’m Shawn and I’m a busy mom of five; pretending to live on a budget. I love to cook, and explore new recipes, but they have to be quick and easy with as few dishes as possible.

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