Main Dishes

Thai Chicken, Butternut Squash, & Onion Stir-Fry

This hearty chicken, squash, and onion stir-fry is inspired by the robust flavors of Thai cuisine.

By Yankee Magazine

Mar 19 2018

Thai Chicken, Butternut Squash, & Onion Stir-Fry

Thai Chicken, Butternut Squash, & Onion Stir-Fry

Photo Credit : Hornich/Rivlin

The robust flavors of Thai cuisine inspired this delicious stir-fry. If you get all of your ingredients prepped and organized before proceeding, this Thai chicken recipe is a breeze. Serve with steamed rice or — as a twist — with lettuce leaves for wrapping.

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6 servings


1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and thinly sliced
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin, rice wine, or dry sherry
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch, divided
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
4 teaspoons vegetable or peanut oil, divided
1 small (about 1 pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 onion, peeled and cut into chunky wedges
8 medium-size garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint or cilantro (or 1/4 cup of each)
1/3 cup crushed roasted unsalted peanuts (optional)


Wrap chicken-breast slices in plastic and use a mallet or rolling pin to gently pound them very thin. (Don’t worry if some pieces tear.) In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together soy sauce, mirin, and water; add chicken, toss to combine, and chill 15 minutes.

In another medium-sized bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons cornstarch and sesame oil; set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together fish sauce, broth, lime juice, sugar, black pepper, and 1 teaspoon cornstarch; set aside.

Drain chicken, pat dry, and toss with cornstarch-sesame oil mixture until thoroughly coated. Heat 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in a large (14-inch) nonstick frying pan (or a wok) over high heat until just smoking. Add chicken, using tongs to separate and spread pieces out, and cook, stirring, until both sides are well browned and interior is almost cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

In now-empty pan, heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil until smoking and cook butternut squash, stirring occasionally, until just tender and browned on the edges, about 6 minutes; transfer to bowl with chicken. Add onion wedges to pan and cook, without moving, until nicely charred on one side, about 1 minute; continue cooking for an additional minute, stirring frequently. Push onions to the outside edge of the pan; in the center, add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Move onions back to center of pan, add reserved chicken and squash, and stir in fish-sauce mixture.

Cook, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with herbs and crushed peanuts (if using), and serve immediately.