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Chinese Chicken Curry British Takeaway Style!

A Chinese chicken curry is a British takeaway institution, a fragrant but not too spicy silky curry sauce, juicy & soft meat and sweet peas.

This is a quick fakeaway to knock up, going from your fridge to your table in under 30 minutes, making it much quicker than the average delivery service!

Portrait image of a takeaway influenced Chinese chicken curry with garden peas and spring onions

Takeaway Curries.

I cook lots of curries, I eat lots of curries and the first rule of making curry is that none will taste like your local takeaway!

That is because they taste like my local takeaway, or more accurately, of the memories of my favourites local takeaways.

This simple and really quick Chinese takeway chicken curry is no different to any of my takeaway recipes. It does not matter if it is my Chicken Balti, Singapore chow mein, Chinese Chicken and Mushroom recipe or completely made-up honey chilli chicken quick and made from a core set of ingredients is the game!

It features a silky curry sauce that is lifted with Chinese five spice, rice wine, rice wine vinegar and soy sauce.

Indo-Chinese, Sino Indian or rather playfully Chindian food has been around for around 100 years. But it has only recently gained any “reasonable traction” in food circles in the last decade or so.

The Chinese curry sauces of my memories have a very different flavour profile to most Indian curry sauces.

In the main, this is due to the addition of soy and rice wine and or rice wine vinegar. But the spicing is slightly different too!

For me, it needs to have that little fizz that you get from Szechuan pepper, the dominant flavour in kung pao chicken, and cloves.

But the British takeaway Chinese curry has been popular for as long as I can remember.

Portrait close up image of a takeaway influenced Chinese chicken curry with garden peas and spring onions

Frequently Asked Questions

What curry powder should I use?

I make my own curry powder for dishes like this or my Katsu curry as below. Just toast off the whole seeds and grind it all up.

  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon Coriander Seeds
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon Turmeric
  • 1 Teaspoon Chinese 5 Spice
  • 0.5-1 Teaspoon Dried Chilli Flakes

You can use a store-bought curry powder. Look for something mild and read the ingredients, you want to have as little fenugreek in the mix as possible. The further down the list of ingredients it is the less dominant a flavour it will be.

Can I make this in advance?

Yes, this dish will reheat wonderfully and the flavours will improve. It will also freeze for up to 3 months.

However, if I were to be making this in advance I would omit the peas and add them whilst you are reheating the dish in order to keep them fresh.

Can I use chicken breast?

Yes, but you do get far more flavour when you use chicken thighs.

Can I use beef?

You could use this but I think that the flavours are better tweaked to complement and contrast the beef a little better.

Ain’t no stress though because I have a Chinese takeaway-style beef curry recipe!

Portrait overhead image of a takeaway influenced Chinese chicken curry with garden peas and spring onions

Serving Suggestions.

I usually serve this recipe with my favourite stalwart side, simply boiled or steamed rice. An egg fried rice or cauliflower fried rice would also work really well!

However, growing up I would ALWAYS have ordered this with chips.

Chips from the Chinese takeaway were always great, very similar to chip shop chips but without the salt and vinegar.

Let me tell you, this Chinese curry sauce is heavenly with proper chips dipped into it! In fact, in many ways, it forms the base of my chip shop style curry sauce recipe.

And if you liked this recipe you really must check out my Vietnamese chicken curry recipe.

Landscape image of a takeaway influenced Chinese chicken curry with garden peas and spring onions

Equipment Used

I only mention brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • Wok.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Chopping board.
  • Mixing bowls.
  • Stirring and serving spoons.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring jug, cups and spoons.
Square image of a takeaway influenced Chinese chicken curry with garden peas and spring onions
Yield: 2 Servings

Easy Chinese Chicken Curry Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Every Chinese takeaway had a Chinese chicken curry on the menu when I was growing up, this is my ode to the dish that I would order all of the time!


  • 350g (12 oz) Chicken Thighs
  • 225g (1½ Cups) Onion
  • 150g (1 Cup) Frozen Peas
  • 5 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Tbsp Grated Ginger
  • 1 Tbsp Mild Curry Powder
  • 1 Green Chilli Pepper
  • ½ Tsp Chinese 5 Spice (Omit if using Chinese curry powder or my mix ain the FAQ section)
  • 2 Tbsp Cornflour
  • ½ Tsp Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Rice Wine
  • 1 Tsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 250 ml (1 Cup) Chicken Stock
  • 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil


  1. Mix together the cornflower with the light soy sauce, rice wine and rice wine vinegar.
  2. Cut the chicken thighs into bite sized pieces and add to the bowl with the cornflour mix.
  3. Top and tail the onion, then peel it and cut into 8 wedges.
  4. Mince the garlic.
  5. Grate the ginger.
  6. Remove the seeds from the chilli and slice it thinly.
  7. Just before you start cooking remove the chicken from the marinade and pour hot chicken stock into the remaining marinade.
  8. Add the curry powder and five-spice and whisk to combine.
  9. Heat a wok over a high heat, when it shimmers add the cooking oil.
  10. Throw in the onions and stir fry for 2 minutes.
  11. Add the chicken, chicken, garlic and ginger and stir fry for 3-4 minutes.
  12. Pour in the sauce and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.
  13. Add the peas and cook for a final 60 seconds before serving.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 634Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 228mgSodium: 1092mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 7gSugar: 11gProtein: 51g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!


Friday 28th of April 2023

Thanks for this great recipe! I removed the onion and garlic due to low FODMAP diet but it still tasted really good.

Brian Jones

Sunday 7th of May 2023

Awesome, glad you liked it Dan and found a way to make it work for you!

Steve Harford

Monday 19th of October 2020

Looks good Brian. I normally just use Goldfish brand paste which is good but I much prefer to make things from scratch so will be giving this a go. Now about those chips - do you remember they were always chunky, a bit greasy but oh so flavoursome! They don’t do them like that any more but I do wish they did. They must have been fried in dripping of some sort and maybe the potato variety was different too ?

Brian Jones

Saturday 31st of October 2020

Cheers Steve... I reckon it was the brown paper bag that they came in that gave them their texture, I loved them growing up.

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