Introducing Our Deliciously Authentic Classic Cantonese Chicken Legs Recipe!

Are you ready to indulge in a culinary journey that will transport your taste buds straight to the bustling streets of Guangzhou? Look no further than our delectable Classic Cantonese Chicken Legs recipe! This timeless dish has been passed down through generations of Cantonese cooks, and we’re thrilled to share it with you today.

Our take on this beloved classic, features juicy, tender chicken legs marinated in a flavorful blend of sauces and spices. The result is an irresistibly savory and slightly sweet masterpiece that will leave you craving more with each delicious bite.

Besides step-by-step instructions, we have tips to help ensure your dish turns out perfectly every time. So go ahead, give our Classic Cantonese Chicken Legs recipe a try, and experience the rich flavors of Cantonese village cuisine from the comfort of your own kitchen!
Ready to embark on this gastronomic adventure? Let’s get started!

Photo of finished cantonese chicken legs dish

Cantonese Chicken Legs Recipe

This popular dish from the Guangdong province of China is a staple in many Chinese restaurants and is loved by people all over the world. Our recipe uses tender chicken legs marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil, then stir-fried with crispy vegetables and served with steamed rice. It’s sure to become a new favorite in your household!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4
Calories 421 kcal


  • Large bowl for marinating chicken legs
  • Small bowl for mixing cornstarch and water
  • Wok or large skillet for stir-frying
  • Steamer basket for steaming rice
  • Wooden spoon or silicone spatula for stirring
  • Measuring cups and spoons


  • 4-6 bone-in skin-on chicken legs drumstick and thigh together, ideally
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/4 cup sliced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup sliced carrots
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooking oil for stir-frying
  • Steamed rice for serving optional


  • In a large bowl, whisk together soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger. Add the chicken legs, toss to coat evenly, and massage until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
  • In a small bowl, mix together cornstarch and water until smooth. Set aside.
  • Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken legs from the marinade, letting any excess liquid drip off. Stir-fry the chicken until browned and cooked through, about 8-10 minutes per side. Remove from the wok and set aside.
  • In the same wok, add another 1-2 tablespoons of oil if necessary. Stir-fry the chopped scallions, sliced red bell pepper, and sliced carrots for about 3-4 minutes, or until they start to soften.
  • Pour the cornstarch mixture into the wok and stir constantly until it thickens, about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Return the chicken legs to the wok and stir to combine with the vegetables and sauce. Cook for another minute before serving.
  • Serve hot over steamed rice, if desired. Enjoy!


This recipe serves 4-6 people, depending on serving size.
Nutritional Facts:
Per serving (based on 4 servings):
  • Calories 420
  • Protein 39g
  • Fat 24g
  • Saturated fat 8g
  • Carbohydrates 26g
  • Fiber 2g
  • Sugar 4g
  • Sodium 400mg.
Keyword Cantonese, Chicken Legs, Chinese

Wine Pairing Recommendation

A dry Riesling or Pinot Grigio pairs nicely with this chicken dish.

Tips and Techniques:

  • Make sure to pat the chicken legs dry with paper towels before marinating to help the marinade adhere better.
  • Make sure to pat the chicken legs dry with paper towels after marinating to get a crispy exterior when stir-frying.
  • You can also marinate the chicken legs in a ziplock bag if you prefer. Just turn the bag around a few times to coat the chicken evenly.
  • For extra crispy skin, try dusting the chicken legs with a little bit of cornstarch after marinating and before stir-frying.
  • Don’t overcrowd the wok when stir-frying the vegetables, do it in batches if necessary.
  • You can also add other vegetables like broccoli, mushrooms, or snow peas to the stir-fry.Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.


Can I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead of chicken legs?

Yes, but keep in mind that: the cooking time will be shorter; the texture may be different; and the meat may not be as tender.

How long can I marinate the chicken legs?

Marinating time can range from 30 minutes to 2 hours, but not longer than that to avoid the meat becoming too salty.

What kind of soy sauce do you recommend using?

We recommend using a light soy sauce or a low-sodium soy sauce to avoid overpowering the dish.

Can I substitute oyster sauce with hoisin sauce?

No, not for this recipe: hoisin sauce has a sweeter and thicker consistency than oyster sauce. It won’t provide the same umami flavor to the dish.

I hope you enjoy making and devouring these Cantonese Chicken Legs! It’s a classic Chinese dish that never goes out of style.

Feel free to experiment with different vegetables and seasonings to suit your taste preferences. Happy cooking!

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