Stir-fried Chicken with Broad Beans

Chicken cooked to perfection and paired with buttery broad beans – this is a popular, typically family dish that is transformed from the prosaic into something truly delightful by the addition of these marvellous seasonings. An easy dish to prepare, and most satisfying in every way.


  • 450 g (1 lb) boneless chicken breasts, skinned
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce or light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour
  • 900 g (2 lb) fresh broad beans, unshelled, or 350 g (12 oz) frozen shelled broad beans
  • 3 tablespoons groundnut (peanut) oil
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
  • 3 large fresh red Thai chillies, seeded and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ΒΌ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • handful fresh basil leaves


Cut the chicken into 2.5 cm (1 in) chunks and combine it in a bowl with the fish sauce, rice wine, sesame oil and cornflour. Allow it to marinate for 20 minutes.

If you are using fresh broad beans, shell them and blanch them for 2 minutes in salted boiling water. Drain them thoroughly and refresh in cold water. When cool, slip off the skins. If you are using the frozen beans, simply thaw.

Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat until it is hot. Add the groundnut oil, and when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add the chicken and stir-fry for 4 minutes or until it is lightly browned. When the chicken is browned, transfer it to a stainless-steel colander set inside a bowl, leaving behind about 1 tablespoon of oil in the wok.

While the chicken is draining, reheat the wok and add the garlic, chillies, salt, pepper and broad beans. Stir-fry for 2 minutes. Then add the sugar, water and soy sauce and continue to stir-fry over high heat for 2 minutes. Stir in the drained chicken and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Finally, toss in the basil leaves and give a quick stir. Serve at once.