Jamaican mallah chicken is a common Jamaican Chinese dish. It’s made from very simple ingredients but packs a huge punch and comes together in a few minutes. Perfect for a quick lunch or dinner and is also great for meal prep. This Whole30 compatible version is soy and gluten free.
What is Jamaican mallah chicken?
This is a stir fry very similar to Chicken Chop Suey, but the technique is a little different. The chicken has a bit more heat to it and there is more sauce in this dish. The cooking times are very similar.
Do I have to use cucumber in this dish?
To get the most authentic flavor, yes. But you can use zucchini or yellow squash instead. I find that cucumber really adds a unique flavor and texture.
Could I swap the chicken for another protein?
You sure can! That’s one of the good things about cooking from home is being able to adjust recipes as you need to. In most Chinese restaurants in Jamaica this dish is made with pork, shrimp or beef. If you are plant based, try this recipe with a compatible tofu or tempeh and use vegetable broth. Just keep in mind that cooking times will vary so adjust as needed.
What can Jamaican mallah chicken be served with?
It can be enjoyed as a standalone dish but, it can also be served with a side dish. For Whole30/paleo it can be served with cauliflower rice, zoodles or spaghetti squash. Otherwise, it would be perfect over a bowl of white rice or even gluten free noodles.
Things to know about this recipe:
- If you want more heat, add in some red chili flakes when seasoning the chicken. I recommend 1 tsp but season to your liking.
- To make your life easier get precut vegetables from the store. You could even use garlic powder instead of chopping fresh garlic.
- Ask the butcher to cut the chicken into strips for you at the supermarket or, check to see if they have chicken strips already packaged on the meat shelf.
- Chicken thighs were used in this recipe, but you can use breast meat instead.
- Since it is a stir fry, having everything prepped ahead of time is key.
- If when you add the slurry in it becomes gummy, just add 1 TBSP of water and stir to help thin it out.
- I used a nonstick pan to make this but if you have a wok that would be better. Use a high smoke point oil instead of olive oil.
- To make it non-Whole30, marinate the chicken with 1 TBSP GF soy sauce (tamari) instead of the coconut aminos and omit adding the coconut aminos when the chicken is done cooking.
Jamaican Mallah Chicken
- Cutting board
- Chef knife
- Vegetable peeler
- Mixing bowl
- Large skillet
- Wooden spoon
- 1 pound Boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into strips
- 2 Carrots chopped
- 1 Red bell pepper julienned
- 1 medium to large Cucumber chopped
- 3 stalks Green onion chopped
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2.5 tsp Ginger powder
- 3 TBSP Coconut aminos, divided 2 TBSP for marinating and 1 TBSP for cooking
- 4 cloves Garlic chopped
- 5 TBSP Chicken stock/broth
- 4 TBSP Olive oil, divided in half
- ¼ cup Water
- 1 TBSP Tapioca starch
- Add chicken thighs to a mixing bowl.
- Add 2 TBSP coconut aminos, salt, ginger powder and garlic. Mix and set aside.
- While chicken marinates, prep all the vegetables.
- Heat a large skillet on medium heat.
- Add 2 TBSP olive oil. Once hot add carrots and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Then add in bell peppers and cucumber and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Remove vegetables to a bowl and set aside.
- Add remaining 2 TBSP olive oil. Once heated add green onions and sauté until the white parts are translucent (1 minute) stirring occasionally to avoid burning.
- Increase heat to medium high then add chicken including leftover marinade. Cook chicken for 5-7 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Reduce heat to medium and add remaining 1 TBSP of coconut aminos and chicken broth then stir to combine.
- Mix together the water and tapioca flour to form a slurry. Pour the mixture in to the skillet and immediately stir to combine. The sauce should thicken after a minute or 2.
- Once sauce is thickened, add in vegetables and mix for a minute. Turn off the heat.
- Once all the vegetables are coated in the sauce, taste for additional seasoning then you're ready to serve.