Stir-fried Chicken with Asparagus and Mushrooms

One key characteristic of Westernized Chinese cooking is its adaptability. Here is a popular dish found only in Chinese restaurants in the West. Shredded chicken is quickly velveted and then stir-fried with non-Chinese vegetables - asparagus and brown mushrooms. The unique Western produce is paired with ancient tradition, and the result is a dish unlike any found in China. A quick and easy recipe that is healthy and tasty at the same time, it is delicious accompanied by plain white rice.

Ingredients

  • 450 g (1 lb) boneless; skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 egg white
  • teaspoons salt
  • 3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour
  • 225 g (8 oz) fresh bean sprouts
  • 225 g (8 oz) asparagus
  • 225 g (8 oz) Fresh chestnut mushrooms
  • 350 ml (12 fl oz) groundnut oil or water (see variation)
  • 1 tablespoon groundnut oil
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons finely shredded spring onions

Method

Cut the chicken into very thin shreds and combine these with the egg white, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and the cornflour in a bowl. Mix well and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.

Trim the bean sprouts; slant-cut the asparagus thinly; and slice the mushrooms finely.

Heat a wok until it is very hot and then add the 350 ml (12 fl oz) groundnut oil. When the oil is hot, remove the wok from the heat and immediately toss in the chicken shreds, stirring vigorously to keep them from sticking. As soon as they turn white, in about 2 minutes, quickly drain them in a stainless steel colander set in a bowl. Discard the oil.

Wipe the wok clean and reheat it over a high heat. When it is hot, swirl in the 1 tablespoon fresh groundnut oil, then add the asparagus and mushrooms and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Now swirl in the soy sauce, rice wine, the remaining salt and the sugar and continue to stir-fry for 2 minutes. Put the drained chicken and bean sprouts in the wok, stir to mix well and swirl in the remaining sesame oil. Toss in the shredded spring onions, give the mixture a few more stirs and then turn it onto a warm serving platter. Serve at once.

Variation

If you choose to use water instead of oil, bring it to the boil in a saucepan. Remove the saucepan from the heat and immediately add the chicken shreds, stirring vigorously to keep them from sticking. When the chicken shreds turn white, in about 2 minutes, quickly drain them in a stainless steel colander set in a bowl. Discard the water.

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