Vietnamese Style Healthy Chicken Stir Fry Posted by: | April 15, 2010
 

Tonight I had the pleasure of hosting a simple midweek dinner for 2 of my closest friends I met through the working world: Gary & Jolin. It was a rather random and last minute thing. Luckily I already had some nice chicken fillet in my freezer and a bunch of dry and fresh mushrooms I bought last weekend for “urgent stir fry”, such as tonight. Onions are must haves in the kitchen at all times, and it goes into this quick dish as well. Gary loves onions, fortunately. The only ingredients I had to get last minute to “pimp” up this dish was asparagus – the really thin stalk type from Thailand, which go really well with stir fry dishes, and cilantro leaves for the final kick (which I scooped up during lunch time from the market near my office – PS: Thanks Theresa). This Chicken stir fry dish was inspired by my Mom’s recipe. She would stir fry chicken with only the dried mushrooms and onions. But I prefer to have some crunchy texture and fresh green colors in this dish as well – hence the Asparagus. The fresh mushrooms also add an interesting soft and bouncy texture to the dish. Mushrooms go great with stir fries as they soak up all the flavours very easily, and they give a very distinct aroma to the entire dish. I love mushrooms just as much as vegetables! For this dish, you can choose any mushrooms that you like (button mushrooms, wild mushrooms etc). Experiment around!

Chicken Stir Fry with Mushrooms, Asparagus and Onion

INGREDIENTS (serves 4)

  • About 300g chicken fillet, chopped into small slices or bite size pieces
  • 1 pack of thin Thailand Asparagus
  • 1 big onion, chopped into quarter rings
  • Fresh Buna Shimeiji mushrooms (see picture. They are short, small, but very bouncy to eat. One of my faves for stir fries)
  • About 10 – 15 Dried mushrooms from Vietnam, “Nam Huong” (these give amazingly intense aroma, a bit like Shitake but much milder)
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 bunch of parsley, chopped

METHOD:

  1. Season the chicken in a bowl with shallots, salt & pepper. Mix around and leave it to marinate. Rinse the dried mushrooms in a bowl of water. It needs at least 15 minutes to be fully soft for cooking.
  2. Chop the onion and put aside. Cut the asparagus into 3 equal parts. Take only the upper 2/3 and put together with the onions. Cut the roots off the fresh mushrooms. Halve the now-soft-dried-mushrooms and put together with the fresh mushrooms.
  3. Now that everything is chopped up, it’s time to start the stir fry. It will be a very quick process, so make sure you place all the ingredients neatly to grab everything in the right order (First chicken, then onions, asparagus, and finally mushrooms and cilantro herbs). Have a bowl of water ready to moisten your stir fry in the process (this helps the ingredients absorb the flavors and also cook faster).
  4. Heat a wok on medium-high heat with 3 tablespoons of corn oil. Toss in the chicken and stir around quickly so that all sides are cooked. As soon as the meat color turns from pink to white, remove the chicken onto a plate, preserving some of the oil and broth in the wok. With the wok now on medium heat, toss in the onions and sauteed until fragrant. Add the asparagus and season everything with salt & pepper. Stir around while adding bits of water once in awhile. It should only be moist, not soggy. When the asparagus is al dente, throw in the mushrooms and stir well. Add more salt to taste if necessary. Remember to add about 2 tablespoons of water after everytime you add seasoning. When asparagus and mushrooms are all tender, add the chicken back into the wok and stir together with the parsley for 2 to 3 minutes. Off the heat and serve immediately with fresh ground pepper on top.

Voila! I had an awesome dish to serve my friends within 30 minutes. I usually don’t cook so fast (I like to take my time in the kitchen), but I thought I was in a rush for time so I chopped everything at high speed. In the end Jolin got lost on the way to my place. If you are making stir fries for friends, always wait until the last minute to start stir-frying for best flavour. Nothing beats a stir-fry fresh out of the wok (that’s why I hate to take the Chinese stir fries from food stalls where they are already waiting in trays since don’t know when). It was a lovely dinner and I’m really happy my friends loved the food. I get immense joy and pleasure out of feeding my friends and having them appreciate my food, even if it’s such a simple dish. Why pay more money to eat with your friends in restaurants when you can achieve much more joy for less? I strongly believe that home-food binds people. Be it friends or family. Have you cooked for your friends lately?

 

5 Responses to “Vietnamese Style Healthy Chicken Stir Fry”

  1. Chi Mai says:

    This is a classic in our kitchen too! In fact, i am gonna do it tonight and think of you!!

  2. Chi Anh says:

    hey sizzy! glad to know we are eating the same thing for dinner ;) have fun cooking!

  3. gary says:

    Thanks Chi .. it was fantastic!!!

  4. Shami says:

    love your blog so much :). Thanks :* xoxo

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