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Cabbage, Carrot, and Chicken Stir-Fry

Some nights it goes like this…

It’s been one of those days (you know those days, when anything that could go wrong did), and now it’s almost 6 o’clock. Hubby just walked through the door…he’s hungry and so are you, and if you have kids they’re probably claiming to be starving. Dinner is an afterthought, and more of an inconvenience than anything else; you’re thinking take-out and you’re about to reach for the menu.

Cabbage, Carrot, and Chicken Stir-Fry 2

Before you do, take a quick look in your fridge. If you have some kind of protein (chicken, fish, beef, eggs, tofu, etc…or even a can of beans in the pantry) along with a few veggies, you can whip up a stir-fry in about 20 minutes. This particular stir fry was based on what I had on hand, but if you pay attention to the method more than the ingredients, you can use whatever is in your fridge/pantry.

This recipe makes two servings but can easily be adjusted to feed more. Or you can make a double batch and plan to have leftovers…tossed with steamed brown rice, this stir-fry makes a super quick (basically instant!), delicious leftover meal. So there you go, dinner for two nights in less time than it takes to order take-out!

Cabbage, Carrot, and Chicken Stir-Fry 3

Cabbage, Carrot, and Chicken Stir-Fry
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 2 servings
  • 5 tablespoons water, divided
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce (see Note)
  • ½ tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey (see Note)
  • 1 large clove garlic, grated on a microplane
  • ½-inch piece ginger, grated on a microplane
  • ½ teaspoon sesame seeds, plus more for garnish if desired
  • Pinch salt and pepper
  • ½ lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced cross-wise into thin strips
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (see Note)
  • ½ lb green cabbage, sliced into thin shreds
  • 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • 1 shallot, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 scallion, white and greens parts, thinly sliced
  1. Whisk together 1 tablespoon water, ½ tablespoon sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, honey, garlic, ginger, sesame seeds, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir in the chicken and let it marinade 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the marinade (reserving the marinade for later use) and toss it with the cornstarch to coat.
  2. Add the remaining 1½ tablespoons oil to a wok or large skillet over high heat; once the oil is hot, turn the heat down to medium-high. Add half the chicken in a single layer and cook until browned on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes; remove the cooked chicken and cook the rest of it the same way.
  3. To the skillet you cooked the chicken in, add the cabbage, carrot, shallot, reserved marinade, and remaining 4 tablespoons water; toss with a wooden spoon, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom. Cook until the veggies are crisp-tender, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Turn off the heat and stir in the chicken.
  5. Serve garnished with the scallion and more sesame seeds if desired.
Paleo Version: Use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce; use arrowroot starch instead of cornstarch. Omit honey for Whole30.
Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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  1. This was great! Love the versatility of being able to add any veggies on hand. Whole family enjoyed it!

  2. Dear Faith, you can never go wrong with a good stir fry. I do the same thing on a late night. Its a great way to use up what’s left in the refrigerator, so that nothing goes to waste. Blessings my dear, your friend, Catherine xo

  3. This looks so good,Faith!Love all those Asian flavors!

  4. I enjoy cooking with sesame oil too, in fact we had salmon the other night which was prepared with a bit of sesame oil and it added this lovely flavour for a change from the usual. Stirfries are such a great after work meal too. Yum!

  5. I love this quick and easy meal! Sub in tofu for chicken and you’ve got the perfect post-gym dinner for me!

  6. I love stir fries they are always good when you have little time. This sounds a particularly good selection of flavours. Have a great Sunday, Diane

  7. This sounds fantastic Faith – I love stir-fries, and as you say, you can use pretty much anything you have in your refrigerator. In fact, that’s how I use up little bits and pieces of vegetables in my fridge.

  8. I agree, stir fries are great last minute meal options! I love the flavor combination here, and especially the little hit of honey in there along with all the other traditional flavors. Looks like a very satisfying meal :)

  9. Ah, it’s been so long since I last made a stir fry! Thank you, I absolutely needed this delicious reminder. Sounds like the perfect thing to use up the veggies in the fridge, and some of my tofu stash. I over-purchased last time the tofu was on sale, so I really need to start working it down!

  10. I just had cabbage stir fry and love it… just threw it together because I had a head of cabbage to get rid of (they are soooo big and dearly beloved hates cabbage so it’s only me to eat it). Your’s is a lovely recipe for the remaining wedge in the fridge!!

  11. Tasty and healthy! I love stir-fries of this kind.



  12. I absolutely love stir fry for a quick and easy dinner. They are so quick and very flavorful. This one looks good and I like the cabbage in it.

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