This Burmese Chicken is so flavorful! It’s a Burmese-style stir-fry with healthy veggies that can be made in 20 minutes. Vegan-adaptable, with a video.Fiery Burmese Chicken and Veggies- a fast and full-flavored, Burmese style stir-fry that can be made in 20 minutes. Vegan and Gluten-free adaptable, this meal is low in carbs. 

One of our favorite dishes while in San Fransisco was this flavorful Burmese Chicken at a restaurant called Burma Superstar. Since that discovery, I committed the flavors to memory and came home and recreated it for Brian. He loooooooooved it!  I loved it!

There are two ingredients that really set this dish apart, but first, I want to stress,  it doesn’t have to be overly spicy. Also, you can make this with tofu, if you are vegan.

Fiery Burmese Chicken and Veggies- a fast and full-flavored, Burmese style stir-fry that can be made in 20 minutes. Vegan and Gluten-free adaptable, this meal is low in carbs. #burmesefood #burmesechicken #burmeserecipes #burma #stirfry #chicken #wok

 Burmese Chicken Ingredients

What makes this  Burmese Stir Fry a little different and unique is the addition of Chinese Five Spice and Thai Basil. These are a must in my opinion, but I’ll show how to improvise a bit. One of the things I buy at our local farmers’ market each summer is Thai Basil–  that way I always have it on hand growing in a pot, saving me the trouble of making a trip to the Asian market.

Chinese Five spice, if you don’t have it, can be made. Here is a simple recipe. Burma, if you look at a map, is bordered by Thailand, China and Bangladesh, so you can easily see how these flavors influence its cuisine. There are no borders when it comes to food.

Burmese Chicken Instructions

Prep the Chicken if using (or Make this Crispy Tofu)

burmese chicken

If using chicken breast, slice thinly, across the grain into pieces about ⅓ inch thick. Then cut in half or into bite-sized pieces. This will really keep the cooking time down to a minimum, which is key when using a wok. Yes, you can also use a large cast-iron skillet. how to cut chicken for wok

The secret here is to really get the pan really smoking hot. Turn your hood fan on high and open a window or door. I’m not kidding! 🙂

Prep all the ingredients first, and only start the wok when everything is totally ready to go. The cooking will go very fast and requires your complete attention.

So….get the pan smoking hot, using a wok oil–  a high heat oil like peanut oil, coconut oil or actual “wok oil” ( I like this brand)  which stand up to higher cooking temperatures. By getting the pan hot like this, you will infuse some smoky flavor into the dish itself which will bring this to the next level. Since you will be constantly stirring, it won’t burn.

If in need of a good wok, this is a good set up,  or consider a cast iron wok!  burmese chicken in a wok

Working in batches, sir fry the chicken, then set aside on paper towels.  wok veggies

Then stir fry the veggies- letting the green beans char a little in places. This will take a bit longer. Once slightly tender, you will make a well in the center, add a tiny drop of oil and cook the garlic and sear the dried chilies.

The dried chilies add a little heat and flavor to the overall dish, and are absolutely not meant to be eaten.  Fiery Burmese Chicken and Veggies- a fast and full-flavored, Burmese style stir-fry that can be made in 20 minutes. Vegan and Gluten-free adaptable, this meal is low in carbs. #burmesefood #burmesechicken #burmeserecipes #burma #stirfry #chicken #wok

Add the stir fry sauce and lower the heat, and add the chicken or tofu back into the wok and cook until heated and cooked through, 2-3 more minutes. At the very end toss in the Thai basil leaves. Serve immediately.

Serving Suggestions & Storage

Serve over Jasmine rice, Brown rice, noodles or on its own! Leftovers will keep up to 4 days in the refrigerator.

More Favorite stir fry recipes!

Watch How to make Burmese Chicken! | 60-sec video

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A flavorful recipe for Fiery Burmese Chicken (or tofu) and veggies based on our visit to Burma Superstar Restaurant in SF. Simple and incredibly delicious!

Burmese Chicken Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 26 reviews
  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: Chicken, main,
  • Method: Stir fry, Wok
  • Cuisine: Burmese


This Burmese Chicken ( or Tofu)  is fast and full-flavored! A Burmese-style stir-fry that can be made in 20 minutes. Vegan and gluten-free, this meal is adaptable and low in carbs. Watch the video! (You may also like Burmese Chili Lamb with Cumin Seed)


Units Scale
  • 1012 ounces chicken breast (boneless, skinless) or sub tofu, cubed and patted dry.
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice (do not leave this out -see notes)
  • 1 tablespoon oil for searing (peanut, coconut or high temp”wok” oil)

Stir Fry Sauce:

Stir Fry Veggies:

  • 6 ounces fresh green beans, haricot verts, snap peas or asparagus
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, sliced into 1/2 inch wide strips
  • 1/2 an onion, sliced into 1/2 inch wide strips
  • 3 fat garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • 510 dried thai chilies- optional but good! (you won’t eat these, just for flavor)
  • 1012 Thai Basil leaves ( torn) or use regular basil if in a pinch

Optional Garnish: Roasted peanuts, shrimp powder, scallions

Serve over rice, or just on its own.


Pat dry chicken breast and slice at a diagonal into thin  ¼-⅓ inch thick slices, then cut in half. See photo.

Place in a wide shallow bowl and sprinkle with cornstarch, salt, pepper and Chinese 5 Spice. Toss to coat well and set aside.

Make the Stir fry sauce by placing all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together with a fork.

Slice onion, bell pepper and rough chop the garlic.

Gather everything near the stove. Turn your stove fan on high and open a window or door. Heat the oil in a wok or extra large cast iron skillet over medium high heat, until it’s smoking. Sear the chicken in two batches, using tongs to brown each side, then set aside on a paper towel-lined plate ( you will cook it through later).

Add the green beans, peppers and onion to the wok and dry fry over med high heat ( wok will smoke). Keep stirring often until the green beans soften slightly and begin to char in places, about 4-5 minutes. These charred bits add a lot flavor, so make sure you are patient and allow them to char a little. Make a well in the center of the veggies, and add the garlic and hot chilies and a tiny splash of oil. Stir fry 1-2 minutes, until garlic is fragrant. Add the chicken back into the wok and pour in the sauce.  Turn heat down to med low and stir to incorporate- let this simmer for a few minutes, stirring until chicken is cooked through, 2-3 minutes.

At this point, if you feel like chicken needs to continue cooking but the wok seems dry, add a splash of water or more chinese cooking wine, until chicken is cooked through. (Cutting it thin will ensure it cooks quickly.) Taste. Add chili paste for more heat, or a pinch more salt if you like. Add the Thai basil right at the end.

Divide among bowls over rice if you like, or on its own.  Feel free to add roasted peanuts or crispy shallots for texture. Serve with chopsticks.


If using tofu, cut into ¾ inch cubes. Toss with the corn starch, salt, pepper and 5 Spice. Sear until golden and crispy. Set it aside and follow the rest of the the recipe. Add it back in at the end.

You could also make this with shrimp, same preparation.

To make your own Chinese 5 spice, go here.


  • Serving Size: 2 hearty bowls ( using chicken breast)
  • Calories: 443
  • Sugar: 23.3 g
  • Sodium: 954.1 mg
  • Fat: 12 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 38.5 g
  • Fiber: 6.6 g
  • Protein: 43.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 124.1 mg

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  1. After visiting a Burmese restaurant that opened near our home in Ojai, I saw this recipe and had to try it. It’s phenomenal! I made it with a combo of tofu and chicken breast slices, added Thai basil and extra hot dried peppers, and served it over rice. My husband and I gobbled it up. Thank you, Sylvia!

  2. Excellent. Made with tofu and snap peas but the rest was as written. Cut the tofu into smaller pieces. Sauce is perfect

  3. Wonderful and exotic! Crazy good and very easy! Way better than just about any restaurant stir fry. I made mine with tofu, and my husband was craving beef, so I can attest that this recipe works well with beef, too.

  4. Perfect recipe—so delicious and easy! I made it with the tofu last night. Agree with the other reviewer who said they would be thrilled to have this at a restaurant. My first time trying this dish and was so impressed. Only question, and looks like I’m the only dummy who s doesn’t know how to stirfry—how do I avoid oil splatter when frying up all these things on high heat? My arm’s a little spotted today!

    1. hi Supriya- I would recommend using a splatter guard, it’s like a wire mesh lid with a handle. Either that or a lid that is 3/4 covering the pan?

  5. Oh. My. Word. So good. I went a little heavier on the spices and added a dash of Thai chili oil and mushrooms. Served on a bed of crispy chow mein. Definitely a keeper!

  6. Fantastic web site. Lots of useful info here. I’m sending it to a few friends ans also sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks for your effort!

  7. This was sooo good! Perfect amount of spice and great flavours. I didn’t have basil but still great without.

    1. Can you tell me what chilies they are? not sure of the heat level. I would start conservatily, like 2-3, add more taste.

  8. This was SO good. Definitely better than any restaurant dish I’ve had. Thanks for the recipe! I’ll be making this a lot more often. Even my kids loved it. 🙂

  9. This was so full of flavor but then again, every recipe I’ve cooked from you has been absolutely delicious! I didn’t have Thai chilies so I left that out and there was still enough heat for me and also, I accidentally left out the Thai basil but it I didn’t even miss it! Thank you always for sharing your wonderful recipes.

  10. The only change I made was I used frozen snap peas because of …well, pandemic. It was incredible. I would expect this in a restaurant. Heck, I would be thrilled to get this in a restaurant. I will definitely be making this regularly.

  11. This dish makes me fondly recall my stay in Myanmar! (Although I don’t remember eating something as tasty as this stir fry….. 😀). Looking forward ro trtig the other Burmese dish on your blog!

  12. Tried this recipe as a way to use some frozen green beans and it did not disappoint. We’ve probably made it 5 or 6 times since then. We’ve tried it with both chicken and tofu, but for me I prefer it with chicken. It turns out great every time! Great flavors.

  13. Our guests were vegetarians and I had never cooked with tofu. To my surprise the dish was a success. It was easy, delicious and healthy. This will be my go to recipe for our vegan friends. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Yum! Complex flavors, easy to follow recipe, quick to put together. Whole family loved it. I did not use the thai peppers, but with just the sambal, I felt there was enough kick to it. Used asparagus instead of the green beans. Another winning recipe from my favorite cooking blog!

  15. So excited to try this! Fiery tofu is my favorite dish at Burma Superstar. That and the tea leaf salad! Yay!

  16. Those step by step photos are great. Thanks for sharing ALL the tips! Looks so delicious and reminds me of something out of a street vendor in china town.

  17. Awesome! My husband and son kept saying: This is restaurant quality! I made recipe 3X with mix of tofu & chicken. For veggies used suggested + zucchini because that’s what I had. Three of us ate a pile of it and there are two quarts left over for lunches or another dinner. Thanks Sylvia for making me a great cook!

    1. Love it Nancy! So glad you adapted and used what you had. Perfect! Thanks for the comment and rating. Very appreciated!

  18. Full disclosure, I have not tried this recipe, but Burma Superstar is one of our family’s favorite restaurants of all time. If this is a replica of their dish it HAS to be good!

    1. Thanks Jennifer- It’s not exactly the same, because I wanted to use grocery store ingredients that are accessible to most people – but hopefully close enough. 🙂

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