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. As you note in the recipe the Chinese 5 Spice is essential to this recipe. The Stir Fry Sauce is also delicious. Will adjust the vegetables seasonally, using the sauce and spice mix. Served with your cauliflower rice. Both Winners!

    1. Great to hear Barbara- so happy you are enjoying this one- one of my favorites. The five-spice is magic here!

  2. This was great with tofu instead of chicken! I used the two teaspoons of sambal and 10 dried chilis and found it to be a perfect level of spice. Delicious, thank you for the recipe!! I cook with recipes from this blog most evenings – it has really changed how I cook and how I eat. Thank you so much!

  3. Sylvia, I love this recipe! With some prep work, it comes together pretty quickly. I served over brown rice for a delicious weeknight meal and leftovers were even better today for lunch!

  4. I appreciate your hints about managing the high temps
    But I’m daunted; I really don’t enjoy setting off the fire alarm – let alone the relatively laid-back warning that comes from my Google fire alarm. Your excellent run down of this recipe is fascinating (5 elements?! Of course! 🤦‍♀️), exciting, and reads like a thriller! I may attempt this! Thank you.

    1. I’ve made this dish so many times because I love it so very much. It is most definitely worth a smoky home!! The flavor of the charred veggies elevates the flavor! I’ve made it without the cooking wine, using coconut oil and even olive oil at lower temps. You don’t get the same char but it’s still really good. I’ve added all kinds of veggies, eaten it over jasmine rice, and even made it with left over green beans, which was good but wasn’t my fav since it tasted like any other stir fry dish I usually make and not like this actual dish. Either way, you can make it any way you like and it’s still really good. You can even use the basic idea of this dish to elevate any stir fry you make. Chinese five spice goes with a lot of things. I especially enjoy it on my tofu. I make it super crispy and then cook and char my veggies separately. I’m obsessed with french green beans and crispy red pepper flake chili oil which elevates the veggies in the best way. The combination is fantastic! Again, I’ve been making this dish since she first posted it in 2018. I’ve not been as obsessed with anything else or anything on this website, though I’ve never ever been disappointed with anything I chose to make by Sylvia.

      1. Ditto ALL of this! Totally worth the smoky kitchen. I make this often — and agree, it’s a standout despite so many favorites on this blog.

  5. Although this looks delicious I am wondering if there is a way to lower the sodium and sugar amount as both are very high.

    1. Hi Christine- you could try lowering both, keeping proportions the same, so you don’t lose the balance?

  6. Whoa! I was taken aback by how flavorful this is given the relatively simple process. The complexity and depth are such a delight. Loved this dish.

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