Even though Chicken with Bean Sprouts may appear odd, this stir fry is delicious, light, and simple to prepare. For a light and nutritious weekday dinner option, bean sprouts are excellent. In a super-hot wok with a few simple ingredients—sliced chicken, rinsed mung bean sprouts, and some rice—this dish comes together in no time.
FOR THE CHICKEN MARINADE:
- 8 oz. of chicken thighs (or chicken breast, cut into thin strips, 225g)
- 1 tbsp. of water
- 1 tsp. of vegetable oil
- ½ tsp. of soy sauce
- 1 tsp. of cornstarch
FOR THE REST OF THE DISH:
- 1 pound of fresh mung bean sprouts
- 4 scallions (white and green parts separated)
- 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 5 shiitake mushrooms (fresh or dried/reconstituted, sliced)
- 3 tbsp. of vegetable oil (divided)
- 2 tsp. of Shaoxing wine
- 2 tsp. of oyster sauce
- ¾ tsp. of salt
- ¼ tsp. of sesame oil
- 1/8 tsp. of ground white pepper
- ¼ tsp. of MSG (definitely optional, really gives that extra restaurant flavor)
- 1 tsp. of cornstarch (dissolved in 2 teaspoons water)
- Using a tablespoon of water, combine the chicken strips with the water until all of the water is absorbed by the chicken. Soy sauce and cornstarch should be well mixed with the oil before adding it to the mixture. Allow for a minimum of 20 minutes to pass.
- Next, rinse the mung bean sprouts in a large bowl of cold water, allowing the bean sprouts to soak for two to three minutes. In addition to washing the sprouts, this step will enable them to reclaim their crunch and freshness by soaking up part of the cold water. Set a colander over a bowl or the sink and allow the extra water to drain thoroughly before serving. Bean sprout roots can be a bit stringy and unpleasant, so some people choose to remove them, but we like to rinse them in cold water for a few minutes simply.
- Finally, prepare the other ingredients, such as scallions, garlic, and mushrooms. To prevent your bean sprouts from turning to mush, you must cook this dish fast. Spices, oils, and sauces may be pre-measured and ready ahead of time if you’re not an expert at quickly adding them to your food.
- In a wok over high heat, add 2 tablespoons of oil to the outside of the pan and allow it to smoke for a few seconds. Add the chicken and use your spatula to distribute the meat in the wok properly. Another 20 seconds of searing, followed by another 20 seconds of stirring, and then transfer the chicken to a serving bowl.
- Another tablespoon of oil, the mushrooms, and the white parts of the scallions go into the wok at this point. Cook the garlic for a further 10 seconds after adding it to the pan. The wok should be on the maximum heat setting possible at this stage!
- To finish things off, toss in the mung bean sprouts. Toss in some Shaoxing wine and give everything a good shake. If you’d like to use MSG or oyster sauce (or any other seasonings), do so now.
- Return the chicken, any remaining liquid, and the scallion greens to the wok and cook for a few more minutes. At this time, the burner should once again be set to its highest setting. Kaitlin learned an easy method in college when she had to cook on a small stovetop: hold the wok between two gas burners at maximum heat!
- Mix everything for another 10 seconds, being sure to spread the sauce across the sides of the wok to obtain that wok hei flavor and sear. In a wok, combine the cornstarch and water mixture and stir it into the boiling liquid.
- The mung bean sprouts should turn translucent after about 15 seconds of stirring. Serve!