Comfort food for me are many things, Chinese food is high up on the list. My mother grew up in Singapore, so she cooked a lot of Chinese and Singaporean foods at home (in Mumbai, India). Lately, I've been loving cooking recipes from Ching-He Huang's cookbook, Ching's Everyday Easy Chinese. The reasons: Easy, Fast and Healthy. Once you have your pantry stocked with the ingredients she recommends, then you're all set to whip up a quick Chinese meal. All the ingredients she asks for are easily available in any Chinese supermarket, none of which are expensive.
Her top 10 essential Chinese pantry ingredients are:
- Light soy sauce
- Dark soy sauce
- Shaoshing rice wine
- Toasted sesame oil
- Five-spice powder
- Sichuan peppercorns
- Chinkiang black rice vinegar
- Clear rice vinegar
- Chili bean sauce
- Chili sauce
This is one of Ching's own flavor combination recipe, inspired from the southern Chinese dishes from regions such as Canton and Fujian, where the combination of meat and seafood is very common.
You may have noticed that many Chinese recipes call for vegetables to be cut on the diagonal. It is a simple Chinese cooking technique to expose more of the vegetable's surface area to heat to help it cook quicker and to absorb more of the seasonings and sauces. In this recipe the scallions are cut on the diagonal.
Here is the revised recipe, hope you make it and enjoy it as much as we did!
Serves 2–4 to share
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 9 minutes
1 lb boneless skinless chicken, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp peanut oil
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1 tbsp Shaoshing rice wine, or dry sherry
5–7 shiitake mushrooms (I used button mushrooms)
2 large scallions, sliced on the diagonal
For the sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp chili sauce
7 tbsp cold vegetable stock
- Place the chicken in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the cornstarch and mix well to coat the chicken.
- Pour all ingredients of the sauce in another bowl and stir together to combine.
- Heat a wok over high heat until it starts to smoke and add the peanut oil.
- Add the ginger and fry for a few seconds, then add the chicken pieces and stir-fry another 4 minutes, stirring constantly.
- As the chicken starts to turn opaque, add the rice wine or dry sherry and cook for an additional 2 minutes, then add the sauce and bring to a boil.
- Add the mushrooms and cook for 1 minute, then stir in the scallions.
- Remove from heat and serve immediately.