If I had my choice between Asian or Italian for dinner, 9 times out of 10 I go Asian. Something about it doesn't weigh me down like a big bowl of pasta tends to and I just plain am in LOVE with the flavors....oooh, all those glorious flavors! I love all cuisines under the Asian umbrella- Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese...you name it. When Kara and I lived in Arizona (her going to culinary school and I going to massage therapy school) we would go to this place in Scottsdale called The Bamboo Club at least once a week, sometimes twice. Oh, I miss that place...everything on the menus is good! The lettuce wraps are in a league of their own and the Vietnamese black pepper shrimp and chicken is life changing (I promise I'm not blowing smoke). Since I live in a small town, albeit quaint, I don't have access to good asian cuisine. I've learned that I've got to make it if I'm going to honor my cravings. :) One of the simplest Asian style dishes to make is a stir fry. It cooks quick and is no slouch on flavor, especially my recipe I'm sharing below.
You've probably already noticed this, but all of my recipes are tweakable. I like to be able to sub in different ingredients depending on mood, season, or convenience. This is that type of recipe- you could sub in some thinly sliced zucchini for the snow peas, or you could add a finely diced jalapeno pepper for some heat (I'm talking to you Kara!). I've tried to make this fairly simple by having you buy a bag of carrots that have already been cut into matchsticks. This'll save you time for sure.
Recipe (yield 6-8 servings):
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 10 oz bag fresh matchstick carrots
1 8 oz bag fresh snow peas
2 bunches green onions, white and light green parts only, finely diced
3 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated finely
3 cloves garlic
3/4 cup soy sauce, divided (I prefer brand SAN-J Reduced Sodium)
4 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, 2 cloves minced garlic, and 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger. Add chicken pieces and stir to thoroughly coat each piece (the marinade is just enough to coat the chicken). Cover and allow to marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup soy sauce, remaining 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil, remaining clove of minced garlic, remaining 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger, and 4 tablespoons light brown sugar. Set aside for later. When the chicken is finished marinating, remove from fridge. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add diced green onion and stir around for 30 seconds. Add chicken, continually stir and allow to cook through, about 3 minutes. Transfer chicken and onions to a bowl. Add a little more oil to same skillet if desired. Turn heat up to high. Add carrots and snow peas. Stir and saute until they are just tender, about 2ish minutes (don't over do it). Return chicken mixture to skillet. Stir in reserved soy sauce/brown sugar mixture, stir until heated through, about a minute. Season with a little black pepper if desired. Serve over white or brown rice. I highly recommend jasmine rice for its fluffy texture and subtle fragrance. You can garnish this with toasted sesame seeds, the dark green parts of the green onions that have been finely diced, or some toasted cashews or peanuts. Enjoy!
image by Briana