zucchini chicken with garlic black bean sauce

This zucchini chicken with garlic black bean sauce recipe is one home-style Chinese dish that both my daughters love.  It is so easy to make and goes well with rice.  The thick, tasty garlic and black bean sauce is absorbed by the chicken and zucchini.  I remember the girls just enjoying the rice and sauce on its own.   I usually use skinless chicken thighs that have been cut into bite size chunks.  I find that due to the simmering of the chicken and zucchini for an extended period, white chicken meat such as chicken breasts get a little tough!  I also add some sliced water chestnuts or jicama for a little "crunch" in the dish.  Eventhough the black bean sauce already has garlic, I saute more chopped garlic as an aromatic. 

Tips for making zucchini chicken with garlic black bean sauce

Because the black bean sauce contains a fair amount of salt, I have removed the need for salt that is in the basic Chinese marinade  that can be used with any meat for this recipe and substituted it with the black bean sauce.  However, this really depends on how tasty you like your food.


I prefer using dark meat or chicken thighs as they are more tender when stewing than using white meat or chicken breasts.  Cut the thighs, around the bone into large chunks.  I include the bones, without chopping through them, as they do provide added flavor.

Marinate chicken with Chinese marinade ingredients for blakcbean sauce zucchini and chicken recipe


It's important to marinate the chicken for at least 1/2 hour.  I usually add my basic Chinese meat marinade together with some cornstarch.  If you don't have bulk marinade, just add the individual ingredients.

Basic Chinese meat marinade

Basic Chinese meat marinade


Zucchini and sliced water chestnuts are used.  You can also substitute the water chestnuts for jicama.  The water chestnuts or jicama gives the dish a nice crunch as in my household, "crunch gives punch!"



Garlic black bean sauce.

I prefer to make my own black bean sauce because you can add tons of garlic. (My family loves garlic.)  You can also spice it up a bit and use the chili garlic black bean sauce which takes it up a notch!  Otherwise, you can use store-bought black bean garlic sauce. 

Simple garlic black bean sauce

Simple garlic black bean sauce

Chili, garlic, black bean sauce

Home made chili, garlic and black bean sauce.

black bean sauce

Black bean garlic sauce

When cooking, caramelize the (garlic) and garlic black bean sauce before adding the marinated chicken pieces.  Do not discard the marinade in the marinating bowl but add the water to that bowl when making the sauce!

caramelize garlic with black bean sauce

Caramelize garlic with black bean sauce before adding chicken

Once the chicken is browned, add the zucchini and water chestnuts or jicama.  Add the water and allow to stew.  Enjoy with rice to soak up all that delicious sauce!

zucchini chicken with garlic black bean sauce


Michelle Sam
Chinese homestyle zucchini chicken with garlic black bean sauce is an quick and easy comfort food. Delicious with rice.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4 people
Calories 367 kcal


  • 453 grams chicken thighs cut into bit sized pieces
  • 453 grams zucchini cut diagonally in ½ inch pieces
  • sliced water chestnuts or jicama optional
  • 2 Tbsp oil for frying
  • 1 Tbsp fresh minced garlic
  • ½ cup water


    Black bean sauce


    • Mix the chicken pieces with the marinade ingredients
      453 grams chicken thighs
    • Let marinate for at least 1/2 an hour.
    • Preheat oil in a saucepan.
      2 Tbsp oil
    • Add garlic.
      1 Tbsp fresh minced garlic
    • Add garlic black bean sauce.
      1 Tbsp black bean sauce
    • Add marinated chicken pieces and brown.  Do not discard chicken marinade.  This will be added later.
    • Add zucchini pieces.
      453 grams zucchini
    • Add ½ cup water to the leftover marinade, stir and add it to the chicken.
      ½ cup water
    • Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until zucchini is soft.
    • You can add sliced water chestnuts or jicama if you like a little "crunch" in your dish.
      sliced water chestnuts
    • Enjoy with steamed rice.


    Serving: 4peopleCalories: 367kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 21gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 111mgSodium: 484mgPotassium: 545mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 315IUVitamin C: 21mgCalcium: 32mgIron: 1mg
    Keyword black bean sauce, chicken, chinese cooking, cooking recipe, easy chinese comfort food recipe, fresh garlic, zucchini, zucchini chicken with garlic black bean sauce
    Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was or if you have any questions or suggestions!
    I want to see!Follow @Sammywongskitchen on Instagram or Facebook, snap a photo and tag it #sammywongskitchen

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.

    Rate this recipe

    {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    Need meal ideas?