Although Chinese food isn’t one of the Rents’ favorites, I can get away with making it every once in a while. It’s so quick and easy, and I’ve been feeling like we’re not getting enough veggies. This is a great way to take care of that. There are a few keys to doing stir-fry at home, and when you don’t have a wok. First, a good chef’s pan is a fine substitute for a wok. Second, use the hottest burner that you have.
Third, prep everything first, then your actual cooking will take only about 10 minutes at the most. Well, the rice takes longer, but I start that in the rice cooker when I start to chop the veggies. And of course it helps to have a sous chef (husband) who will help you chop!
Last tip: cook your protein first (chicken in this case) in two batches if needed so that you don’t crowd the pan. Then add the veggies in the order they take to cook. Bok choy stems and red bell peppers first, then eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, etc. Save the bok choy leaves and water chestnuts for the end. I change up the veggies depending on what looks good at the store, or what I have on hand. Here’s what I did this time.
- 1 very large (or 2 small) boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1 piece of ginger, about 1″ long, grated
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1/4 cup tamari
- 1 tbsp grapeseed oil
- 1 tsp peanut oil
- dash of sesame oil
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 large, or 3 baby bok choy
- 1 red bell pepper
- 3 scallions
- 1 Japanese eggplant
- 1 zucchini
- 1 large handful snap peas
- 10 crimini mushrooms
- 1 small can water chestnuts
Mix ginger, garlic, hoisin, and tamari in a measuring cup. Add enough water to measure about 1 cup. Cut up chicken into thin slices. Add 1/4 cup of sauce to chicken and let marinade while you prep everything else.
Add grapeseed and peanut oils to a pan and set over high heat. Once oil is very hot, add chicken and sauté till nicely browned. Remove chicken to a plate.
Begin adding veggies to the hot oil, starting with the ones that will take the longest to cook. In this case, add in the order in which they appear in the ingredient list, separating bok choy leaves from stems and cooking the stems first, leaves last. Keep everything moving almost constantly for even cooking. While veggies are cooking, add the cornstarch to your reserved sauce.
Once all of your veggies are cooked, add back the chicken, pour the sauce over, add a splash of sesame oil, and cook for about a minute. At this point, I serve the rents their portions, then add some hot chili oil for us. Serve with rice.