Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry with Spicy Hoisin

Recipe updated July 2015

Unless company is coming, I’m cooking for two, but I usually prepare four servings so that my husband and I have leftover lunches. Stir-fries make easy leftovers, and they’re also a great way to prepare a quick, flavorful dinner packed with fresh vegetables and nutrition. For this recipe, you can substitute mushrooms or tofu for the chicken and have a hearty vegetarian dish.

Besides leftovers, I’m also a fan of getting different uses from the same vegetables for a couple of meals throughout the week. For instance, the bunches of broccolini and bok choy I bought for this dish were too large to use up in the stir-fry, so I’ll save the remainder, along with leftover red bell pepper and snow peas, for a simple pan-seared side dish for blackened mani-mahi—coming up in a day or two.

Note: Hoisin is a sweet, dark reddish-brown sauce made from soybeans mixed with vinegar, garlic, sugar, and various spices. It’s thick and rich, making it a great base for stir-fry sauces. Find it in Asian markets or in the international aisle of your supermarket.

Hoisin Sauce
Serves 4


For the Sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp hoisin
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp ground fresh chile paste (sambal oelek)
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped 

For the Chicken and Vegetables
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil, divided
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into thin 1-1/2-inch strips
  • 2 Thai chiles, finely chopped
  • 4 oz broccolini florets, thicker pieces sliced lengthwise
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
  • 3 oz. snow peas, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped baby bok choy, stalks and leaves
  • steamed white rice, for serving

Prepared Chicken 
Stir-Fry Vegetables 
Prepared Vegetables

For the Sauce
  1. Combine the chicken broth, hoisin, soy sauce, rice vinegar, chile paste, sugar, and sesame oil in a bowl.
  2. Heat a wok (or deep skillet) over medium heat and add the peanut oil. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry 30 seconds.
  3. Add the broth mixture and simmer until slightly reduced, 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and wipe out the wok.

Broth Mixture 
Garlic and Ginger 
Cooked Sauce
For the Chicken and Vegetables
  1. Stir the chicken broth and cornstarch together in a small bowl until the cornstarch is completely dissolved. Set aside.
  2. Re-heat the wok over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of peanut oil. Add the chicken and stir-fry until browned and just cooked through, 6-7 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken to a bowl. Pour excess liquid from the wok.
  3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of peanut oil to the wok and add the chiles, broccolini, and bell pepper. Stir-fry 3 minutes.
  4. Add the snow peas and bok choy and stir-fry 2 minutes.
  5. Return the chicken to the wok and add the cooked sauce and reserved broth-cornstarch mixture. Stir until the sauce is slightly thickened and glossy, 3 minutes.

Chicken Beginning to Cook 
Stir-Fried Chicken

Broccolini Mixture 
Snow Pea Mixture 
Sauce Added
To serve, divide the rice among 4 shallow bowls and divide the stir-fry on top. Serve hot.

Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry with Spicy Hoisin

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