Stir fry is one of the basic ways of producing quick, healthy, and highly customizable meals. In this post will be going through the steps of creating a basic stir fry, specifically, we are making chicken mushroom stir fry with vegetables today.
The basic of stir fry dish is cooking in a hot pan/skillet for a short time on high heat. This way, the vegetables are not overcooked, the protein won’t get tough, and the flavors are intensified. Due to the short cooking time, it is imperative to have every component ready to go, this means all the vegetables are pre-chopped, the protein has been prepared, and (if necessary) the sauce mixed in advance.
• Chicken, cut into bite size pieces, I’m using skinless breast in this, but thigh is actually better
• Carrot sliced into thin pieces
• Broccoli cut into bite size pieces (I’m actually using baby broccoli but that’s just due to availability)
• Straw mushroom cut into halves (I’m using canned, canned button mushroom are also good for this). We are using canned mushroom to eliminate a step. Fresh mushrooms contains a lot of water and require a specific way to prepare and cook in a stir fry.
• Chinese rice wine/shaoxing rice wine
• Soy sauce
• Corn starch, mixed with water to create a slurry
• Garlic, crushed
• Sugar, salt, pepper (White pepper preferred)
• As mentioned before, prepare everything
• Mix soy sauce and rice wine with the chicken pieces (about 1:1 ratio). If you prefer, you can do this step way ahead of time so more of the flavor permeates into the chicken
• OPTIONAL, If you prefer your vegetables to be softer, I recommend microwaving the carrot and broccoli pieces with about 1 tablespoon of water for about 60 seconds
• Now we can start cooking, heat up your pan on the stove, once it’s heated up, pour a little bit of oil into it
• Add the chicken that has been mixed with the soy sauce and rice wine into the pan and cook for 3 minutes max, you don’t have to move them around too much, but make sure to flip them at least once so you have browning on most of the surface. After about a minute into cooking the chicken, add the garlic
• Add all of the vegetables into the pan and mix, cook for about a minute or two and season with salt, pepper and sugar
• Add water into the pan, about halfway covering the vegetables
• Once it reaches boil, stir your corn starch slurry and add it into the pan and let it cook and thicken
• Do a final seasoning before serving
Tips and Thought:
• Starch is a great thickener… until the food cools down, then it will create a gluey mess that requires you to bring the temperature back up for it to return to a good saucy consistency
• I recommend using oil with high smoking point for stir frying, I am personally a fan of rice bran oil which I am lucky enough to find a vendor with extremely affordable price, but peanut oil adds wonderful aroma to Asian style stir fry dishes and easier to find