This is so simple to throw together—please don’t be dismayed by the ingredient list. A little chopping, a little mixing, a little wok-action, and you’ve got a delicious, colorful, fresh meal for the clamoring masses.
A couple words of wisdom that apply to all stirfries:
-Do all your chopping and sauce-mixing beforehand, because once you start up the wok it comes together quickly.
-Always cook over high heat. It’s the way God designed Chinese food. Don’t go against his plan!
-Fry the meat in 2 or more batches, and wait until the oil is hot before putting it in. If you put in too much meat at once, it will crowd the pan and turn into a liquidy bubbly thing that will steam-cook instead of frying. Believe me—that happened my whole first year of stirfrying. I was too lazy, and I should probably issue an official apology to anyone who consumed those tough, colorless pieces of animal flesh.
-Be creative! Any stirfry maker will tell you that it’s extremely easy to switch up the ingredients. You can use this basic marinade with any meat, you can add any sauce (plum sauce, chili sauce, black bean sauce, etc.), and any veggies.
2 TBS soy sauce
2 TBS water
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
2 TBS Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
1 tsp sesame oil
Dash white pepper
3 TBS hoisin sauce (heaping)
1 TBS oyster sauce
1 TBS honey
2 TBS Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
1/3 c chicken stock
2 tsp corn starch
1/4 tsp five spice
2 tsp soy sauce
2 TBS peanut oil, divided
3 chicken breasts (1.25 lbs)
1/2 tsp five spice, divided
1/4 tsp black pepper, divided
4 tsp honey, divided
1 large white onion
1 TBS diced ginger
4 cloves garlic
1 red pepper
1 yellow squash (summer squash)
1 bunch green onions
1/2 tsp salt
White rice or noodles, to serve
Start by cutting the chicken into thin strips or small cubes. I went the thin strips route.
Place it in the marinade for 15-20 minutes.
Now, grab your fresh stuff:
Mince your ginger and garlic and set them aside in a little bowl. Dice your veggies and set them aside in another bowl. Mix the sauce and chop your green onions. Everything should be ready before the frying begins.
Here we have (clockwise from top left): a bowl of chopped veggies; a bowl of marinating chicken; the sauce; a ramekin of ginger and garlic; a ramekin of green onions. Aaaah. I love order.
Heat 1 TBS of peanut oil in a wok or very large skillet. When it starts smoking, add half of the chicken (drain with a slotted spoon so the marinade stays behind for the most part). It will spatter–so be ready!
Add 2 tsp of honey, 1/8 tsp black pepper and 1/4 tsp of five spice to the chicken and fry over high heat for about 5 minutes.
The honey will start to caramelize, giving your chicken a lovely dark brown crust.
After 5 minutes, remove. Heat the remaining oil for the rest of the chicken and repeat the process, removing the chicken and setting it aside.
Add your ginger and garlic to the hot wok and fry for no more than 60 seconds, stirring constantly so the garlic doesn’t burn.
Add your veggies and your salt. It’s very important to salt the veggies, because that way the seasoning will adhere before the sauce comes into play. Cook for 4 minutes over high heat, stirring.
Put the chicken back in and add the sauce, cooking for another 2 minutes.
The sauce should thicken nicely. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Take off the heat and stir in your green onions.
Serve over rice or noodles.
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