Asian Chicken and Cabbage Stir-Fry

This dish is such a delightful number to add to your Paleo lineup because of the different textures and flavors that it packs. From the varied textures of cabbage, celery, and water chestnuts to the palate-satisfying combination of sesame oil and coconut aminos, this dish is a pure win!

While this style of dish is sometimes called “Lo Mein,” a popular Chinese noodle dish consisting of meat, vegetables, and noodles (grains are a BIG no-no when eating Paleo so noodles are out *tear*), I opted to rename this and call it a stir-fry instead because I wasn’t fully convinced that cabbage serves as a suitable noodle replacement, even if it’s cut small.

Asian Chicken Stir Fry

[Enter a possibly unnecessary tangent, but I’m just gonna run with it here to explain why…]

The reason for this is probably because, when I make pancit (a Filipino noodle dish similar to chow mein/lo mein), it already includes cabbage with noodles. Take the noodles out, and that just leaves the cabbage and meat mixture. And to me, that’s a stir-fry. Now, for my next round, I think I will try to make spaghetti squash “noodles” and mix those in. In my mind (yes, it’s kinda crazy in there!) that option seems to emulate the carbiness that I miss a little more closely.

Sorry if that went on for way too long!

So, proper recipe naming aside (and to get back on track), this dish is AMAZING and Bill was definitely onto something when inspiration struck him in the kitchen!

I may consider adding some shredded carrots for the next round as well as the spin on spaghetti squash noodles, but even without these additions, those are not ingredients that will make or break the meal.

You could even use the topping from our Sriracha tofu, green bean, and carrot stir-fry with this dish for a spicy soy-based alternative.

We are only a family of four in my household, but I always like to double up recipes so we’ll have leftovers to carry into lunchtime the following day (and for limitless indulgences if someone is in the mood for a little snack until then).

Asian Chicken Stir Fry with bean sprouts and broccoli, in a black bowl with brown wooden chopsticks.

Lynne’s Notes:

  • This dish is mega-good! The recipe below is already doubled from the original, so that I can make it straight without doing any extra mental math. If you’re just trying it out, you can do a test run using half of the listed quantity for each of the ingredients.
  • The original recipe also calls for the dish to be cooked with sesame oil from the beginning. I opted to add the sesame oil at the end once it’s off the heat to keep it from becoming degraded and oxidizing further. No thank you, damaged fats!

Family Verdict:

The boys enjoyed the dish but were weirded out by the mushrooms. I had mushroom issues too when I was little, so I totally understand. The compromise at our house is that they still have to try it (“try everything at least once” is our motto) and if they don’t like it, they don’t have to eat it.


Can we say, “it’s going on the master recipe list”?! YUP!

Paleo || Asian Chicken Cabbage Stir-Fry
 = 8-10 servings


  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 8-oz cans of water chestnuts
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup halved and sliced mushrooms
  • ½ cup chopped or slivered almonds
  • 1 medium head cabbage, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • ½ cup chopped green onions
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • Sesame seeds to garnish


  1. Take your wok or large skillet, and heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and brown it up. Cook the chicken for about 3-4 minutes, or until mostly cooked.
  2. Next, add the broccoli, water chestnuts, celery, and mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the almonds, cabbage, ginger, green onion, and garlic. Stir to combine.
  4. Season with the coconut aminos and cook until cabbage has softened, about 2-3 more minutes, stirring constantly.
  5. Remove from heat, stir in sesame oil, and garnish with sesame seeds.
  6. Voila! Do your happy dance and enjoy this wonderfully Asian-inspired dish!
What’s your favorite paleo way to enjoy your favorite Asian style meal? Let me know in the comments below!And for even more Asian-inspired dishes to try at home, skip the takeout and make these next:

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Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Lynne Jaques

Lynne is a stay-at-home mother of two boys. As a former US military officer and the spouse of an active duty US military member, Lynne enjoys traveling the world (although not the moving part!) and finding new cuisine and methods of preparing food. She also has the habit of using parenthesis way too much!

26 thoughts on “Asian Chicken and Cabbage Stir-Fry”

  1. This is a great dish if I’d be eating light for the night. Perhaps if I had a lot of work to do and couldn’t have something too heavy in my stomach. I like the look of this one, and would love to give it a try!

  2. This is very similar to a stir fry I make. Don’t you love how you can just throw in a little of this or a little of that? Shredded carrots WOULD be a great addition. My kids eat up the carrots so quick that I hardly ever get a chance to cook with them, lol. The only thing I have never used in my chicken/cabbage stir fry is coconut aminos. I’m curious about the taste – is it a salty coconutty flavor?

  3. I love stir fry’s, there are so many possibilities. I often use spare or left over ingredients I have and make up a stir fry when short of time. I might reduce the amount of garlic slightly but would be willing to give this dish a try for sure.

  4. I normally buy packed stir fry at the grocer’s on the go {but the article tells me homemade stir fry is the BEST}…thankfully no mushrooms in sight…just like your boys am spooked out…i ate once and yes, that is a long story for another day. Now if only i’d know how to tackle stir fry with chop sticks what a blissful meal that ‘d be…my best alternative would be the all famous fork…just wondering are there lessons on how to use chop sticks?

  5. I do not use carrots as an ingredient in Asian dishes. I noticed that the carrot flavor over powers other delicate flavors. The stir fry recipe looks yummy and since there are other ingredients that add crunch, I won’t add the carrots to the Asian Chicken Stir Fry.

  6. I’ve made this dish before. Not exact, but close enough. I found it delicious and filling. My daughter on the other hand, claimed she was starving after an hour.
    Haven’t made anything like it since. I’m thinking its about high time to do so again…..

  7. I love stir frys. So frugal and easy, and definitely tasty! This one looks and sounds great, even without the noodles. Have you guys seen that Vegetti thing that makes noodles out of zucchini? Might be an option for a similar dish.

    I have a non-mushroom eater in my house, too. Such a pity, because mushrooms are one of my favorite things to eat and the non-mushroom eater claims he can’t pick them out because he can still taste them. I miss mushrooms 🙁

    I’ve never heard of coconut aminos! I had to google it. I’m gathering it’s a soy-sauce substitute? That’s pretty interesting!

    Thanks for sharing the recipe. Using cabbage in place of noodles and coconut aminos instead of soy-sauce are great ideas for paleo diets.

  8. Mushrooms were always a huge headache for me as a kid. I hated them, but as I grew older I began to love them dearly. It just goes to show that you can never know how your taste buds will evolve as you progress in years.

  9. The flavors in this dish look like they’d be so good together. I’ve never thought about using cabbage as a noodle substitute. I’ve been trying to cut down on my carbs though so this is a good idea. It will be a nice switch up from all vegetable stir fries.

    I have a wok I purchased on a sale online and I really love it. I use it for all kinds of dishes, not just stir fries. If you can manage to find a good deal on one I would definitely recommend picking one up.

  10. Cabbage is the best pasta substitute I’ve tried since going low carb/paleo. I know people swear on “zoodles” (zucchini noodles), but I’ve never liked zucchini to begin with, and I still don’t like it no matter its shape. I’ve tried a similar stir fry recipe once, but I found I made it far too spicy to my taste. Maybe it’s time to try again.

  11. I usually don’t do a stir fry very often but this looks so good I might need to start. I’m always looking for new recipes to try and this looks amazing and best of all it seems fairly easy. Stir fry is great to make in larger batches and it is cheap. Cheap dinners that actually taste good make me super happy.

  12. It’s so funny… when I first started reading this I was thinking of suggesting spaghetti squash noodles. And then boom, a few paragraphs later you talk about it. 🙂 Anyway, I love this recipe. Whenever I go on a low-carb diet, I eat a lot of this or a variation of this dish.

  13. This dish looks delicious. I probably would add some sweet and sour sauce to it (I like to pour sweet and sour sauce on most Asian dishes). This looks so good, I wouldn’t mind eating some of this right now, but it’s not to be because I don’t have even a 4th of these ingredients in my pantry in order to cook this. But I’m definitely going to make this someday soon.

  14. Cabbage doesn’t get enough credit for being a healthy food. Kale is the buzzword these days, but cabbage is known as “the poor man’s doctor” because it is full of fiber, nutrients, antioxidants, and you can feed a large family with one head of cabbage for a dollar. You can’t say that about very many things.

  15. Being Asian, stir fries are in my blood, so naturally I love dishes like this. The great thing about this dish is that you can put whatever veggies you have lying around in the fridge and it’d STILL taste awesome. Trust me, I’ve done all sorts of combos and it’s never come out bad

    • Queen, just so you know. If you have a kitchen stove that can truly put out the heat that does a wok justice, then I’m insanely jealous. I will get one someday. Oh yes. Right now, my best stove for wok use is actually an outside camp stove that puts out 30,000 BTU (which I’ll be reviewing sometime in the next couple of months as I get time).

  16. That looks like such a quick and easy dish. It’s also a great way to get some of your “five a day”. I’d probably add some hot chilli too!

  17. This is an absolutely good looking and healthy meal. Chicken is a favorite of mine, and so is cabbage. It’s a wonderful dish that really showcases them both. I can’t wait to try it.

  18. I actually think Asian cooking is very very hard to do. I have had a number of Asian dishes in my time, but trying to cook them the way they do is so hard. I think it is the same as many cuisines though, but the Asian cuisine is a lot harder than most.

    A great sounding dish, it seems very light.

  19. My Asian dishes that I make at home never seem to taste like Chinese or Asian take out. I have this addiction with lo mein and no matter how hard I try I can never seem to match the flavor. I think it might be the sesame oil. I don’t have that as a staple in my pantry. I am surprised that there is not a drop of soy sauce in this recipe? I always put soy sauce so I wonder if that is where I am making my biggest mistake. I love a good stir fry, and lo mein is king, but why can’t mine taste like Panda Garden!

  20. I’m not familiar with paleo or coconut aminos, but will have to see what the aminos translate to, since I love coconut. I make a lot of stir fries, and add whatever I have that seems to go together. I usually include soy/teriyaki/oyster sauces in varying amounts, as well as egg, but being paleo, I guess those aren’t allowed. I love carrots, so usually do include them in my stir fries, and would probably add them in here, or, if I had parsnips, I might substitute a few of those. It looks and sounds delicious, and like you, I almost always double my recipe, because I love leftovers. Thanks for the inspiration!

  21. Those look like they may be udon noodles. Have you tried it with other varieties? I wonder if a ramen noodle could stand up to the weight of all the other ingredients? I’m not the biggest fan of udon noodles clearly.

  22. I love Asian food. I have never tried anything I didn’t like. I have never tied cooking it myself, though. I think it’ll be really nice to eat it for a change and know exactly what’s in it, lol. This does look really good. Thank you!

  23. I really had a kick reading through the ‘possibly unnecessary tangent’ part of the post. While it may sound blabbering to most, I find this kind of post endearing as it provides insight to how certain recipes came to be. So, I really don’t mind if there are parts like that, hehe. I was even tickled pink when you mentioned “Filipino pancit”. How did you come by this dish? Anyway, you’re quite on point about the leaving the noodles out bit, thus stir-fry, haha! Cut to the chase, I LOVE cabbage. Thus, this is something I would really enjoy. I’m not much a fan of broccoli, so I’ll probably leave that out when making this.

  24. This dish looks delicious. Chicken is one of my favourite meats to cook with. Sometimes you get in a routine and forget about all the other dishes you can make. This sound like something my whole family will enjoy. A perfect low carb meal. Thanks


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