What’s cooking – Coca-Cola Chicken

For those who are extremely clumsy in the kitchen, Coca-cola chicken is definitely your perfect solution for the desperate moments of searching for something to bring over to a potluck party.

Well-known for its easy-to-get ingredients, easy-to-make steps, and also its ‘zero-failure’ rate, Coca-cola chicken surely captures the hearts of many housewives who wish to quickly throw together a delicious home-cook dish. It is also a popular party-dish for Chinese students living abroad, craving something Asian without having to put too much effort into gathering ingredients.

The preparation of coca-cola chicken is very similar to making a soy-sauce chicken, a common Cantonese dish. For the most basic version, you just need some onions and scallions, a can of coke, a little bit of soy-sauce, some chicken, and you’re all set. It doesn’t require any sophisticated cooking skills or accurate steps, while offering ample flexibility of variation in the ingredients, depending on your personal taste. Different parts of the chicken determine the main textures: chicken wings for those who love to chew on bones; chicken breasts for meat-lovers; and drumsticks for those yearning for a taste of the countryside. Spicing up the dish with ginger, pepper or a hint of rice wine or dry sherry is up to you: just remember that this is a dish perfect for dummies in the kitchen and there’s no way you’ll ruin the chicken as long as you remember to add Coca-cola and soy sauce!

Coca-cola chicken is actually the first proper dish I learned to make while studying abroad. Having always been less-than-adequate in the kitchen, I recall the surprised and proud look on my family’s face when I presented this dish garnished with fresh scallions and a hint of ginger during one of my visits home. Even my sister, who is always highly skeptical about my cooking skills, made some nice comments about the slight sweetness of the tender meat enhanced by the Coca-cola. And, just like how the dish is pronounced in Mandarin Chinese – as ‘joyful chicken’ – the sheer happiness of sitting together with my family and fighting over who gets the larger pieces certainly captures the best moments of Coca-cola chicken.


  • Chicken wings or drumsticks

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons of oil

  • 1 can Coca-Cola (not diet)

  • 2 scallions, chopped, 1 onion, sliced

  • Other spices to your desire (ground black pepper, chili pepper, ginger)


  1. Heat the wok with oil, add the onion (and ginger), and put the chicken wings (or drumsticks, chicken breasts) into the wok and quick fry for 5 minutes until they turn golden on each side (but not cooked through).

  2. Add Coca-Cola and soy sauce into the wok and bring the liquid to a simmer. Turn to medium-low heat and simmer the chicken for 20 minutes until the liquid turn into a glaze.

  3. Garnish the dish with scallions and other spices (ex: pepper) and it is ready to serve.


Editor Redactie

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