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.”

I’M NOT ALONE! 

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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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.

  • Author: Shawn
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 5 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Asian
Scale

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the batter ingredients until smooth, then add the chicken pieces. The batter should be thin and only lightly coat the chicken.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Serve over rice and enjoy!

Notes

Recipe adapted from: Tasty Kitchen

Keywords: Pei Wei, spicy, chicken

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.
32 Responses
  1. 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. 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!

  2. 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 🙂

  3. 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!
    Chantal

  4. 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.

  5. 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. 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!

  6. 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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