The Emperor’s Chicken: A Savory Blend of Spices and Sweetness

Eating is a journey in itself, and no dish has taken us further into that journey than Emperor’s Chicken. This traditional Chinese-American dish has been a staple in many households since its invention and with good reason. Emperor’s Chicken combines succulent, tender chicken with a flavorful sauce of spices, sweetness, and umami that creates a unique balance. The result? A dish that is sure to satisfy any appetite.

Origins and Cultural Influences

The origins of Emperor’s Chicken are unknown, however, it is believed to be an adaptation of a classic Chinese dish, Xiao Long Bao. It is often served as a signature dish of Asian-American restaurants, as the combination of spices and sweetness is popular in many cultures outside of China as well. Emperor’s Chicken is also known for its ability to elevate a meal when served as part of a Feast of Seven or Eight.


– 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken
– 1/4 cup soy sauce
– 1/4 cup rice wine
– 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
– 2 tablespoons sesame oil
– 2 tablespoons honey
– 1 tablespoon Chinese Five Spice Powder
– 2 tablespoons cornstarch
– 2 tablespoons water


1. In a bowl, combine soy sauce, rice wine, oyster sauce, sesame oil and Chinese Five Spice Powder.

2. Cut the chicken into small bite-sized cubes and add to the marinade, stirring to coat. Let sit at least 10 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.

3. In a large skillet or wok, heat the marinade and chicken over medium heat until chicken begins to brown, about 5- 10 minutes.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together honey, cornstarch, and water.

5. Pour the cornstarch mixture over the chicken and mix until combined.

6. Continue to cook for an additional 5-10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is cooked through.

7. Serve over steamed rice or veggies and enjoy!


Emperor’s Chicken is a dish that will keep you coming back for more. Its complex flavor is derived from a seemingly simple combination of ingredients that awaken the senses. Be sure to adjust the spiciness to your preference and feel free to experiment with different variations of the ingredients to make the dish your own. Enjoy!