Chinese-style Stir-fried Chicken with Broccoli

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A great deal of the social history of any area may be written from its recipes. It is very clear that the influences of China, India and Buddhism are very strong in Thai culture. And so, among other dishes, are many ‘Chinese-style’ Thai recipes.

This dish is very popular in Bangkok, where the Thai-Chinese mix is especially apparent. Chinese cooks prefer to use the slightly bitter broccoli of south China but you may substitute the sweeter common broccoli. This simple dish is easy to make and always satisfying.

Ingredients

  • 450 g (1 lb) boneless, skinless chicken thighs or 900 g (2 lb) unboned chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour
  • 450 g (1 lb) fresh Chinese broccoli or ordinary broccoli
  • tablespoons groundnut (peanut) oil
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons finely shredded fresh ginger
  • 2 large fresh red Thai chillies, seeded and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce or light soy sauce
  • 45 tablespoons homemade chicken stock or store-bought fresh stock or water
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce

Method

If using unboned thighs, remove the skin and bones or have your butcher do it for you. Cut the chicken into 5 cm (2 in) pieces. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the chicken with the soy sauce, rice wine, salt, ½ teaspoon of the pepper, 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil and the cornflour, and mix well. Refrigerate and marinate for 30 minutes.

If you are using Chinese broccoli, cut it into 4cm ( in) segments. If you are using ordinary broccoli, separate the broccoli heads into small florets, then peel and slice the stems. Blanch the broccoli in boiling salted water for several minutes, then immerse in cold water. Drain thoroughly.

Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat until it is hot. Add the groundnut oil, and when it is slightly smoking, add the garlic, ginger and ½ teaspoon of the pepper. Stir-fry for a few seconds, add the chicken, then stir-fry for 4 minutes or until the chicken is brown. Then add the blanched broccoli, chillies and fish sauce. Add stock or water as needed. Stir-fry at a moderate to high heat for 4 minutes until the chicken is cooked and the broccoli is heated through. Add the oyster sauce and 2 teaspoons of the sesame oil and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Serve at once.