Monday, August 26, 2013

Stir-Fried Oyster Mushrooms with Chicken

I have an indiscriminate deep love for Asian food. Whether it's Japanese or Thai, authentic Chinese or Indian, Korean or Filipino, I honestly haven't met an Asian cuisine I haven't liked. I was actually recently thinking it would be fun to cook at least one Asian meal a week.

Something I love about Asian cooking is that for the most part it can be very vegetable-heavy since meat isn't a major part of Asian diets. In fact, the dish I'm choosing to share today is called Stir-Fried Oyster Mushrooms with Chicken, not Stir-Fried Chicken with Oyster Mushrooms.

This is a really simple and lovely dish. The chicken is incredibly tender and has a great background flavor from the Shaoxing wine used to marinate it. Even with slices of ginger and garlic, the flavor of this dish is quite mild and understated. It's not very heavy, and it's not spicy, sour, or sweet, which can be common in some other Chinese recipes, depending on the region.

It cooks very quickly (much like other stir-fried dishes) as the mushrooms and thinly sliced chicken take just minutes to cook through. This was a wonderful centerpiece to a quick weeknight meal I recently made. Alongside this dish, I also put together some Stir-Fried Cabbage with Dried Shrimp.

That recipe will be shared in a later post. For now, please enjoy this easy and delicious home-style Chinese dish.

Stir-Fried Oyster Mushrooms with Chicken
Serves 1 (or more as part of a larger meal)
(From Every Grain of Rice)

1 chicken breast, without skin (5 oz/150 g)
1 spring onion/scallion
7 oz (200 g) oyster mushrooms
3 T. cooking oil or lard (I used less)
A piece of ginger, about the size of a large clove of garlic, peeled and sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
Kosher salt
Ground white pepper

For the marinade:
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. Shaoxing wine
1 tsp. potato flour (or cornstarch)

Lay the chicken breast on a chopped board and, holding your knife at a right angle to the board, cut it into thin slices. Place in a bowl. Add the marinade ingredients with 2 teaspoons cold water and mix well.

Holding your knife at a steep angle, cut the spring onion on a bias into 3/8-inch (1 cm) slices, keeping the white and green parts separate. Clean the oyster mushrooms if necessary and tear or cut lengthways into bite-sized pieces, discarding any hard bits at the base of their stalks.

Heat a seasoned wok over a high flame. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil or lard, swirl it around, then add the mushrooms and stir-fry for a couple of minutes until nearly cooked. Set aside.

Reheat the wok over a high flame, then add the remaining oil and swirl it around. Add the chicken and stir-fry to separate the slices. When the slices are separating but still pinking, add the ginger, garlic and spring onion whites and continue to stir for a few moments until you can smell their fragrances. Then return the mushrooms and stir to incorporate, adding salt and pepper to taste. Finally, stir in the spring onion greens, then serve.


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