Sesame Ginger Chicken Stir Fry

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One of the best things about sauces, is that they often can be thrown together quickly, and easily jazzed and juiced up in a trillion ways. They complement all sorts of starches and sides. It’s the surest way to add flavor to an otherwise bland whole grain, a simply steamed vegetable, or naked chicken.

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Here, I paired a simple garlic and ginger stir fry of vegetables with chicken I had grilled a few nights before, and married the two in a spicy sweet sesame sauce.

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This is my favorite stir fry syrup. I say syrup because the key to a good stir fry, the kind you know and lust after in restaurants, is a thick sauce. You want something that coats your veggies like a luscious lacquer, not something that dribbles, thin and watery, to the bottom of your plate.

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The way to get your sauces sticky and standing up rather than running down, is cornstarch. It must be stirred into cool liquid before heating, but once it dissolves into your cold mixed sauce and then comes to a simmer over medium heat, it turns to syrup, a glossy gravy.

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This sauce is a cinch to whisk together, and it’s got a fantastic salty but deeply roasted flavor. There’s caramelized sweetness from brown sugar and a heavy zing from fresh ginger.

Here’s my advice for the simplest, most versatile stir fry: whisk together a simple sauce with all the components of brilliant and bright flavor: salty, sweet, spicy, and sour. Add a few teaspoons of cornstarch to that sauce and stir ‘til dissolved. Set the cool sauce aside. Saute your favorite blend of fresh vegetables in a little oil with garlic and ginger over medium-high heat. Pour the sauce over the vegetables just as they’re beginning to turn tender and bring the pan up to a simmer. Reduce the heat and let the mixture bubble gently until the sauce has thickened and coats the vegetables.

Stir in any protein you like, toss to combine and heat through, and serve with steamed white or brown rice.

Sesame Ginger Chicken Stir Fry

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 4 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 pound chicken breast, thinly sliced into strips
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons grated or minced fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup bell peppers, sliced very thinly
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced very thinly

Instructions

  1. Whisk soy sauce, stock, sesame oil, brown sugar, and cornstarch in a small bowl until the mixture is smooth. Set aside.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons of the canola oil over medium-high heat in a large frying pan or wok. Add the chicken strips and cook, stirring frequently, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm.
  3. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of canola oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Add the red pepper flakes, ginger, and garlic, and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add the broccoli, bell peppers, cabbage, and carrots, and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Return the chicken to the pan and stir to incorporate. Add the soy sauce mixture, stir to coat, and bring to a simmer for about 2 minutes, until the sauce is thickened and glossy.
  5. Serve with brown rice.

Notes

Nutrition Information for 1 Serving (1/4th of entire recipe): Calories 270, Total Fat 10.2 g, Total Carbohydrate 18.2 g, Dietary Fiber 2.8 g, Sugars 11.6 g, Protein 28.3 g

http://www.canyoustayfordinner.com/2011/09/11/sesame-ginger-chicken-stir-fry/

Comments

  1. Johnny says

    Definately a must try. My wife and I love stir frys and are always looking for a way to “jazz” them up!
    Thanks for the recipe! :)

  2. Wendy says

    Andie this looks lovely – too bad I don’t have most of the ingredients at home to make it tonight and just having come out of hospital don’t feel in the mood to go shopping. Later this week though – that’s a promise to myself!

  3. says

    This is beautiful Andie!! I made teriyaki sauce this weekend and used it in a noodle bowl, and although it was delicious and the noodles seemed to sop up the dribbles, it definitely did lack that syrupy texture that you’ve described. I’ll make sure I whisk in some corn starch next time!

  4. Jamie says

    I made this last night…sooo soo good! Better than a lot of the bottled stir fry sauces I buy! It’s got a great zing to it and this is definitely due to stir frying the ginger/red pepper/garlic first. I might half the soy sauce, however because it was a little salty for my taste. Just personal preference :)

    Will def make this again! Got it bookmarked.

  5. says

    This looks absolutely gorgeous!!! I’ll have to try it :) yummm My boyfriend is gonna go crazy for this recipe. It’s definitelly gonna be on next weeks menu. Thanks for sharing!
    ps: I love you blog and your recipes are lovely!
    Definitelly went to my faves! x

  6. says

    Hi! making this today, BUT dont have any sesame oil… any good substitutions? … second thought, all i really have is canola and olive oil. Will either of these work? (If it must be sesame,then By George i will run out and get some!)

    Thanks!

  7. Merideth says

    Hi Andie! I’m absolutely obsessed with your blog (I’ve been reading it backwards in entirety) and this is about the 4th recipe I’ve made. You’ve taught me so much!! Stir fry is actually the one thing I already do well and one substitution I made in this recipe that you might be interested in (since I know you love the unprocessed healthier foods like I do) is that I added canned pineapple in its juice for a little sweetness and substituted 1/4 cup of the juice (drained the rest) for the brown sugar. Just an idea if you’re ever looking for a twist!

  8. Sharyn Duff says

    Hi Andie – Glad to hear you are eating and cooking healthy. I am always looking for delicious and healthy recipes. I think this Sesame Ginger sauce for stir-fry is exactly what I am looking for. I like to make my own, so I can control the sodium.

  9. Stellastarlite says

    Love this, love your blog, love your Mom’s diet. I added asparagus, snap peas, pineapple, water chestnuts and bamboo shoots. I roasted the carrots before adding them. Your sauce is Amazing. Kudos to you.

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