Spicy Stir-Fried Chicken with Fresh Vegetables

1 ½ pounds boned chicken breast, skin removed

Marinade:
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 ½ tablespoons rice wine or sake
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 pound oyster or button mushrooms, stem ends trimmed
¾ pound snap or snow peas, ends snapped off and veiny strings removed
3 ½ tablespoons canola or corn oil

Seasonings:
3 tablespoons minced scallions, white part only
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon hot chili paste (or to taste)

1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into ½-inch squares
1 orange bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into ½-inch squares

Chicken Sauce:
¾ cup Classic Chicken Broth (page 27)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine or sake
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1. Trim the chicken of any fat or gristle. Cut it into ½-inch cubes and place them in a bowl. Add the premixed Marinade and turn the chicken cubes in it to coat them. Cover with plastic wrap, and let the chicken marinate for 30 minutes.
2. Cut the mushrooms in half or into thirds, if large.
3. Blanch the snap or snow peas in boiling water for 10 seconds. Refresh immediately in cold water and drain.
4. Heat a wok or large skillet, add 2 tablespoons of the oil, heat until very hot, and add the chicken. Cook over high heat, stirring, until the chicken changes color and separates—about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the chicken cubes with a slotted spoon and drain. Wipe out the pan.
5. Reheat the pan, add the remaining 1 ½ tablespoons oil, heat, and add the Seasonings. Stir-fry briefly, about 15 seconds, then add the red and orange peppers and mushrooms; toss them with the seasonings and stir-fry for 1 ½ minutes. Add the snow peas and Chicken Sauce, and cook, stirring continuously, to prevent lumps, until the sauce is thickened. Return the cooked chicken to the pan, and toss lightly to heat through and coat the pieces. Scoop onto a platter and serve immediately.

Spicy Stir-Fry 101

Watch the Video 5:18
YouTube

Summer is here and farmer’s markets are now offering a bounty of locally grown rainbow vegetables. Stir-fried dishes are perfect for this time of year. They are easy to prepare, healthy, and versatile, and you can make a large batch and enjoy them for multiple meals. In “Spicy Stir-Fry 101” I not only demonstrate a simple recipe for “Spicy Stir-fried Vegetables with Chicken”, I show the classic Chinese method of cutting, marinating, and cooking raw chicken breast as well as a time-saving method of boning and using rotisserie chicken from the supermarket.

This recipe is from my recently published paperback of the award-winning classic, “Spoonful of Ginger”, which I am proud to say is as beautiful as the hard cover edition. For the uninitiated, ”Spoonful of Ginger” took 7 years to research and write and was inspired by my fascination with the ”food as medicine” philosophy that is incorporated into classic Chinese cooking. For the book, I traveled all over the world, seeking out “food as medicine” healers, doctors, and cooks. This book chronicles my travels and relates my adventures meeting the extraordinary authorities and cooks. Spoonful also contains a treasury of some of my favorite, delicious, and health-giving recipes, many of which I compiled and adapted from my travels.

So here is a basic recipe for Spicy Stir–Fried Chicken with Vegetables. Feel free to substitute other vegetables – whatever is available – and adjust the cooking time as necessary. BTW, don’t overcook your vegetables. They should be al dente or crisp tender.

Enjoy!

Nina

SPICY VEGETABLE SAMBAL

Six servings

“Sambal” is a common term used by Asian cooks referring to either a fresh or cooked relish, a curry, or a sauce. Inevitably, it contains chili peppers and is quite spicy.

2 ½  tablespoons virgin olive oil
2 medium red onions, coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
1 teaspoons dried chili flakes (optional)
1 ½ 12-ounce jars good quality Tikka Masala Simmer Sauce
2 pounds assorted frozen vegetables such as string beans, cauliflower, and peas, defrosted or roughly 8 cups
Juice of ½ lemon
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1 .Heat a Dutch oven or large casserole with the olive oil over medium-low and heat until very hot. Add the chopped onion and chili flakes (if using), stir for a minute, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon for 3 to 4 minutes until the onions are translucent.

2. Add the Tikka Masala Simmer Sauce, ¾ cup water, cover, and heat until boiling. Add the defrosted vegetables, cover, and let simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and have absorbed the flavor of the sauce. Serve with roasted chicken, simple raita, and steamed jasmine or bamati rice. Serve.

Copyright Nina Simonds

Disclaimer: Herbs, foods, and other natural remedies are not substitutes for professional medical care.
For a specific health problem, consult a qualified health-care giver for guidance.

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