Perfect Paleo Stir-Fry

Or semi-perfect, if you don’t want rice noodles in your diet.  Feel free to leave them out of the recipe. I often make stir-fries without them.

I didn’t intend to write a post about a stir-fry. I was simply minding my own business, making myself some lunch. But it turned out so pretty and delicious, that I decided to replicate the dish the next day and jot down the exact recipe.

Paleo Stir-Fry

Perfect Paleo Stir-Fry

I love to make a stir-fry for lunch when I’m home alone (I work from home), but these dishes don’t find their way to my blog. One reason is that I make them up as I go along. I usually include chicken breast, and add to it whatever vegetables I happen to have in the house, and seasonings that I think will go well with it. Each stir-fry is a variation on a theme.


I tend to make enough just for myself, or maybe myself and my daughter or one guest. When you prepare a stir-fry for one person, it’s quick and easy. For two, it’s still not too bad. But for larger groups of people, it starts to be a lot of work, and I’d rather prepare something else. Think about it, when you make a pot roast, the work is pretty much the same whether it’s a small roast or a large one. But with a stir-fry the work increases dramatically since you have to chop up lots more ingredients.

If you’re less experienced with stir fries, then prepare all the ingredients before you start cooking. I tend to prepare the first few ingredients I’ll need and then cut or grate the next thing I need while I stir-fry. This makes it quick, but hectic.

Rice noodles

Rice noodles don’t take long to cook, and the exact time will depend on the size and brand of noodle you buy. Since you’re cooking them while you’re stir frying, remember to check for readiness from time to time by taking out a noodle, letting it cool for a few seconds, and biting into it to see if it’s done (please don’t throw a noodle at the wall. Why do people do that?).

Rice noodles for chicken stir-fry

This is the amount of noodles I used. I broke them in half before I put them in the water.


Arrowroot is the original thickener used in Chinese cooking. It’s often replaced by cornstarch in the West. Cornstarch does the trick just as well, but I prefer to use organic arrowroot since any corn product is very likely to be produced from GMO (genetically modified organism) corn. And corn is a grain too, not a vegetable, so not paleo, if we’re getting technical.


Stir-frying is more convenient in a wok, but the lack of a wok shouldn’t stop you. I need a new wok, so I actually made this particular stir fry in a large, deep pan.


Writing up this recipe, I see how many stages there are and it looks daunting. In actual fact, once you’re used to stir-frying, it isn’t complicated and doesn’t take long at all (unless you’re making a large quantity). Yes, lots of steps, but they are simple steps and each one takes a short amount of time.

Perfect Paleo Stir-Fry

Makes 1 large portion


2 tbsp. of coconut oil

2 cloves of garlic (thinly sliced)

1 inch ginger (finely grated)

2-3  green (spring) onions (sliced into long slivers)

1 carrot (coarsely grated)

1 green pepper (sliced into thin, long pieces)

Rice noodles (see picture for amount)

1 chicken breast (cut against the grain into bite-sized pieces)

1 heaping tsp. arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)

1/4 cup water

2 tbsp. homemade bone broth

1 tbsp. organic, gluten-free soy sauce

A few drops of toasted sesame oil

Chicken for chicken stir-fry

Chicken is cut against the grain, which makes it softer.

Chicken Stir-Fry Ingredients

All the ingredient are ready!

Let’s Cook!

  1. Put a pot with a bit of salt to boil and make sure your rice noodles are handy. Later, when the water has boiled, pop the noodles in and give it a stir.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp. coconut oil in a wok or large pan.
  3. Add the sliced garlic and grated ginger to the wok and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the green onion and stir-fry 1 more minute.
  5. Add the carrot and stir-fry about a minute. You want it just barely cooked, not limp and soggy. Remove the vegetable mixture to a bowl and set aside.
  6. Reminder to put the noodles in the boiling water.
  7. Add another 2/3 tbsp. of coconut oil to the wok.
  8. When the oil is very hot, add the green pepper and stir-fry for 1 minute.
  9. Add just a few drops of soy sauce, reduce the heat and cover for a minute or two, stirring occasionally. This is just to make sure the green peppers soften enough. It’s ready when it is a bit soft but still has some crunch. Add them to the other veggies and set aside.
  10. Heat a ½ tbsp. of coconut oil, then add the pieces of chicken breast and stir-fry. I found that the chicken got some color from the previous ingredients that were in the wok. If this doesn’t happen, add a tiny amount of soy sauce. Stir-fry until just done and no more. To check, I like to cut open the biggest piece to make sure it isn’t pink in the middle.
  11. While stir-frying the chicken, mix 1 tsp. of arrowroot in ¼ cup of cold water.
  12. Add all the ingredients back into the wok and mix. (Reminder: If the noodles are ready then strain them and set them aside.) Back to our wok. Push all the ingredients to the sides of the wok (or pan).
  13. Add the broth, soy sauce, and sesame oil to the middle of the wok (on medium heat) and stir.
  14. Give the arrowroot and water a stir to make sure it’s well mixed, then add it to the sauce ingredients and stir. You’ll immediately see it thicken – like magic! When it’s at the thickness you like, push the vegetables and chicken back into the middle. Add the noodles and mix to coat with the sauce. That’s it! You’re done.



Love stir-fries? Try these as well!

Quick Tuna and Rice Noodle Stir-Fry

Coconut Curry with Pumpkin & Sweet Potato


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Posted in Paleo Diet Recipes, Paleo Main Dishes Tagged with: , ,
18 comments on “Perfect Paleo Stir-Fry
  1. Heather says:

    Just made this and it is super good! I used coconut aminos instead of soy sauce, added zucchihi, a sweet red pepper, and a healthy handful of pineapple, and it’s colorful and delicious! Thanks for the detailed instructions!

  2. Steve says:

    Cheaters! Not paleo. How dare you break tradition. This is pure blaspheme. It’s a slippery slope you’re riding and soon you’ll using McDonalds chicken mcnuggets with Monsanto Roundup sauce your recipies. Change the name to “Chicken Stir Trouble”.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the recipe. I added broccoli n cabbage in place of noodles n I added squash as well.

  4. Nuture says:

    Why do you call it paleo when it’s not ??? Maybe you need a new blog name.

    • Ruth Almon says:

      Chris Kresser explains it perfectly.
      “We’re not robots: variation amongst groups and individuals

      The answer to that question depends on several factors. First, are we asking what our Paleolithic ancestors ate, or are we asking what an optimal diet for modern humans is? While hard-core Paleo adherents will argue that there’s no difference, others (including me) would suggest that the absence of a food during the Paleolithic era does not necessarily mean that it’s not nutritious or beneficial.”

      But feel free to take from my site just what suits you. If you don’t eat rice, for instance, fine. You can make this stir fry without rice noodles. If you want to use coconut aminos… knock yourself out! But what you isn’t and cannot be exactly right for everyone on the planet.

  5. Sarah says:

    Soy is not paleo, nor is rice or cornstarch. The fact that it is gluten free does NOT make it paleo. Paleo is much more than gluten free. It is grain free and low carb. Soy comes from a legume which can damage your digestive system. Yes, some folks can handle that, but you cannot call your recipe paleo. Gluten free yes, paleo no.

    • Ruth Almon says:

      Being healthy and imposing rigid rules don’t go hand in hand.

      You’re absolutely right that soy isn’t the wonderful health food some people think it is. But the soy I’m using is organic (therefore not GMO) and it’s fermented for months. The long fermentation process breaks down all the anti nutrients that you say can damage your digestive system. Lastely, I’m not eating pounds and pound of tofu, it’s just a tablespoons in the entire dish!! And finally, it tastes fantastically wonderful. Not going to apologise for using a little organic, gluten free soy. Nope, nope, nope!

      Also, if you read more in depth, you’ll discover that paleo isn’t necessarily very low carb. It’s not high carb… but low carb doesn’t suit everyone. When carb levels drop to a minimum, some people just aren’t healthy. Try this link for more info

      If this stir-fry is not for you, then alter it or choose another recipe, but I suggest relaxing a bit from the rigid rules. Good health comes not only from eating the optimal foods, it also comes from reducing stress levels.

  6. Karen says:

    Just made this recipe, and I love it!!!! I did not make the noodles….just eating the stir fry itself. I was hoping it would taste as good as it looked and smelled while it was cooking….and it does!! Thank you!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Great stuff. To make it even more paleo, I served it over cauliflower rice. Delicious.

  8. Natalie says:

    The use of soy sauce and rice noodles is absolutely not paleo. That being said, this looks great for my gf kiddoes who are not paleo.

    • Ruth Almon says:

      Hi Natalie! Thanks for dropping by.
      Not everyone includes rice in a paleo diet, and as I mention in the post, you can leave it out. I sometimes do. It is considered by many to be a safe starch, not nutrient dense, but a food that most people don’t react to (though, if you do have an adverse reaction, then leave it out by all means).
      I use an organic, gluten free soy sauce. The lengthy fermentation process neutralizes anything that would be problematic in the soy (and of course, it’s not GMO since it’s organic). Additionally, it’s just sauce, not a main ingredient, so you use small amounts.
      What problem would you see with the soy sauce?

    • sabrina says:

      You could use Coconut Aminos also known as Coconut Seasoning that works very well in place of Soy Sauce…it’s less salty and slightly sweeter.

  9. Andrea davis says:

    I love you

  10. Rachel says:

    Yum! Made this last night and it was delicious. No sesame oil, didn’t have any, and used coconut aminos instead of soy sauce to make it more paleo. Yummy!

  11. Ruth Almon says:

    Glad it was a success!
    And yeah, I changed it to pepper. Thanks.

  12. laurie says:

    This looks delicious and pretty easy. I am making it tonight so I will follow up this comment after it is finished :-) Side note-I do believe you meant Green Pepper in step 8 or 4.
    Thank you!

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