Frustrated with your stir-frying techniques? Are your chunks of chicken scorched on the outside and raw on the inside, your onions wilted and your broccoli nowhere near that elusive state of crisp-tender?
Maybe it's time to master the basics.
This streamlined recipe makes it easy to know when to add what. Though not as lean as some stir-fries, it has depth of flavor despite a minimum of ingredients.
Besides, who said you can't steam those antioxidants on the side?
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine (may substitute dry sherry)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 (24 ounces) skinless chicken breast halves
- 2 scallions
- 4 tablespoons peanut oil
- 1 cup (4 ounces) cashews, blanched peanuts or walnuts
Preparation: In a large bowl, combine the hoisin, soy sauce, rice wine, cornstarch and pepper and mix until the cornstarch is completely dissolved. Set aside.
Cut the chicken into thin strips not much larger or wider than the cashews. Add to the cornstarch mixture, combine well and set aside.
Remove and discard the green tops of the scallions (or reserve for another use) and cut the whites into -inch pieces. Set aside.
Procedure: Place a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil and heat until hot but not smoking. Add the scallions and stir-fry until slightly brown and fragrant. Add the chicken mixture, reduce the heat to medium and cook just until the chicken is opaque and cooked through, about 2 minutes. Add the cashews and mix well. Remove from the heat. Serve immediately.
Adapted from the "Basic" chapter of local cooking instructor Joan Shih's "The Art of the Chinese Cookery."
Tested by Renee Schettler.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.