Is this a Thai classic, or a south China speciality? The Chinese influence is quite clear in this delicious dish that combines delicate chicken flavours with tart spicy ginger and Chinese mushrooms.
‘Chines’ mushrooms have a unique flavour and texture and are well worth a special search; they absorb and enhance all the rich juices of the chicken and ginger.
If using unboned thighs, remove the skin and bones or have your butcher do it for you. Cut the chicken into
In two separate bowls, soak the black mushrooms and the cloud ears in warm water for 20 minutes. Drain the black mushrooms and squeeze out the excess liquid. Remove and discard the stems and finely shred the caps. Drain the cloud ears and rinse well in cold water to remove any trace of sand.
Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat until it is hot. Add the groundnut oil, and when very hot and slightly smoking, add the ginger and stir-fry until it is crispy, about 1 minute. Then add the chicken and stir-fry for 5 minutes or until the chicken begins to brown. Remove the chicken and let it drain in a stainless-steel colander set inside a bowl. Reheat the wok and return the chicken to the wok together with the black and cloud ear mushrooms, the garlic and shallots. Stir-fry for 2 minutes. Then add the fish sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, 1 teaspoon of the salt, ½ teaspoon of the pepper and the stock and continue to stir-fry for 1 minute. Reduce the heat, cover the wok or pan and simmer for 8 minutes. Remove the cover and reduce the sauce over high heat. When it has been reduced to about several tablespoons, stir-fry for 2 minutes, until the chicken is cooked. Drizzle with the sesame oil, garnish with spring onions and coriander, and serve at once.
© 2001 Ken Hom. All rights reserved.