Stir-Fried Cilantro Chicken and Red Radish Rounds

Preparation info

  • Serves


    as a main course
    • Difficulty


Appears in

Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini

By Elizabeth Schneider

Published 2001

  • About

Small table radishes make charming cooked vegetables, softening and mellowing, although they retain some pepperiness. Red ones look cute, but the multicolor Easter Egg bouquet is even more so. Seek out cilantro with its roots intact. Their strong fragrance does not dissipate during cooking, whereas leaves, fragrant as they are, disperse their volatile aromatic oils when heated. Have all ingredients ready and close at hand before you begin cooking, as for any stir-fry dish.


  • ¾ pound boned and skinned chicken breasts
  • ½ pound round table radishes (about 1 inch in diameter), trimmed
  • 1 bunch cilantro (coriander) with roots
  • 3 thin scallions (green onions)
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • Big pinch of ground hot pepper
  • tablespoons fish sauce
  • ½ cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon brown sugar
  • Optional: flower-cut radishes for garnish


    1. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces. Slice radishes inch thick. Cut off cilantro roots, with a bit of stem. Scrub them with a brush, then mince. Rinse leaves and pull from stems. Mince half. Trim scallions and cut into 1½-inch diagonals. Measure out the other ingredients.
    2. Heat wok or skillet over high heat; add oil, and tip to coat pan. Add chicken and radishes and stir-fry until meat has just barely whitened, less than a minute. Add two-thirds of scallions, the cilantro roots, garlic, hot pepper, and fish sauce and toss until chicken is not quite cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Scoop into a warmed serving dish; set aside.
    3. Add broth, vinegar, and sugar to pan and boil briefly to reduce to lightly syrupy consistency. Add chicken and radishes and remaining scallions, tossing to heat through.
    4. Scoop into the dish and toss with the minced cilantro leaves. Add whole cilantro leaves to taste and optional radishes. Serve at once.