I love Chinese food. For our first date, Bill and I went to a Mongolian grill and when we married, I gave him a pair of silver chopsticks to remember the occasion. Each year, we continue to celebrate that anniversary with Chinese food.
Putting together a stir fry is probably easier than you think and it is a simple option for a busy night, especially if you have already prepped your vegetables.
The great thing about stir fry is that you probably have the ingredients already in the refrigerator or freezer. While I love to use fresh vegetables, frozen veggies work well too. As long as you have a cup or so of each, you are ready to stir it up!
And you can choose any meat too. Chicken and pork are best cut into bite size pieces while beef is best when sliced.
For this recipe, I chose chicken and a ton of fresh vegetables.
One of the secrets to stir fry is marinating the meat and then mixing in some cornstarch.
In small batches, cook the chicken in hot oil. If you do not have a wok, a large skillet works well too. When the chicken is cooked through, remove it with a slotted spoon and keep it warm.
For an authentic look, slice your vegetables at a 45 degree angle. Cutting everything in the same size and shape allows it to cook evenly without overcooking.
For carrots, I prefer to cut them in thin slices, a bit thicker than a Julienne cut. Bell pepper and onions are best when sliced too.
Place your vegetables into the same skillet in which you cooked the chicken. Start with the vegetables that need to cook longer first and add the more tender vegetables later.
Mix your chicken back into the stir fry as well as any additional vegetables. Season with additional sauce if needed.
Serve over white rice, fried rice, or noodles.
If you are wondering about the sauce, I prefer to mix sesame seed oil, soy sauce, honey, olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and ginger, but experiment and have fun. Other flavors that are basic to Chinese cooking include hoisin, oyster sauce, chilies, rice vinegar, and peanut oil.
- 2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil, for frying
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
- 1 stalk celery, sliced
- 1 large carrot, sliced length-wise
- 1 onion, halved and sliced
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 cup spinach, coarsely chopped
- Â½ cup peanut or olive oil
- Â¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sesame seed oil
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, pressed
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- Prepare the marinade by whisking all the ingredients together.
- Pour half of the marinade over the chicken. (Reserve the remaining sauce.) Toss the chicken to coat and allow to rest on the counter while you prepare your vegetables. Then, stir in the cornstarch.
- Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons canola or peanut oil.
- Cook the chicken in small batched. Remove with a slotted spoon. Set aside and keep warm.
- Add the bell pepper, onion, carrots, and celery to the skillet, cooking 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chicken back to the skillet with the broccoli and spinach. Pour remaining sauce over the mixture and cook until the broccoli is softened.
- Serve over white rice, fried rice, or noodles.