Chicken with vegetables is both a classic dish and a standard family meal, a familiar item in every Westernized Chinese restaurant and home. In restaurants, all too frequently the chicken is overcooked; or it has not been velveted (an extra step). In either case, the results are not as satisfactory as when the ingredients are cooked properly.
Here is that classic dish prepared the right way. The different ingredients are all treated with respect and added appropriately in separate steps. This makes for a most pleasing meal.
Cut the chicken breasts into slices or strips. Mix them with the egg white,
Heat a wok or large frying pan over a high heat until it is hot. Pour in the oil and, when it is very hot and slightly smoking, remove the wok from the heat and immediately add the chicken slices, stirring vigorously to separate them and keep them from sticking. When the chicken pieces turn white, in about 2 minutes, quickly drain them in a stainless steel colander set in a bowl. Reserve
Wipe the wok clean. Reheat (or heat) the wok until it is very hot, then add the
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 pieces, stirring vigorously to keep them from sticking. When the chicken pieces turn white, in about 2 minutes, quickly drain them in a stainless steel colander set in a bowl. Discard the water.
Other vegetables may be substituted, such as asparagus, broccoli, courgettes and mushrooms.
© 1998 Ken Hom. All rights reserved.