Relish the fusion of chicken stir-fry with Chinese broccoli & mushrooms in this satisfying dish. The tender chicken paired with the crispness of gai lan offers a delightful contrast. When this recipe first graced our blog in 2013, it didn’t get the spotlight. Now, it returns, reimagined and fine-tuned for a superior flavor experience.
The Inspiration Behind the Dish
Transporting me back to my university days, this chicken and broccoli fusion is a testament to homesick cravings. College had me experimenting with make-your-own pasta dishes and settling for the only vegan salad option if I was slightly late. Yet, the hankering for home-cooked Chinese delights persisted.
During one such nostalgic phase, I stumbled upon a dish on a takeout menu, depicting a chicken dish with what looked like Chinese broccoli. My heart raced at the thought of relishing a familiar flavor. But the taste – overly salty and oddly sandy – was a letdown. That episode strengthened my resolve to recreate the authentic flavors of my youth. This recipe, documented on our family blog, epitomizes the victory of mastering one’s culinary roots.
For Marinating the Chicken:
- 12 ounces boneless chicken breast
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
- 12 ounces gai lan (washed diligently)
- 4 ounces oyster mushrooms (or use fresh shiitake mushrooms, or 4 large rehydrated dried shiitake mushrooms)
- 2 ginger slices
- 3 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce (light variety)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (set aside in parts)
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch (blend with 1 tablespoon water)
Cooking Steps: A Culinary Journey
- Begin by thinly slicing the chicken breast. For marinating, mix the chicken with water, cornstarch, vegetable oil, and oyster sauce. Let this mixture sit for 15-20 minutes.
- Prepare your Chinese broccoli by removing the ends and breaking the stalks into manageable pieces. If you’ve chosen shiitake mushrooms, slice them up.
- For the sauce, combine chicken stock, soy sauce, oyster sauce, white pepper, sugar, and sesame oil. Set this aside.
- Use a tablespoon of oil to boil the Chinese broccoli in a wok or pot for about 30-45 seconds. Remove promptly and drain any excess water.
- For the stir-fry, heat up the wok, add in the oil, followed by the chicken. Sear both sides for about 20-30 seconds each. After stir-frying for an additional 10-15 seconds, remove and set aside.
- With a medium-low flame, cook the ginger in the wok with some oil. Gradually increase the heat, add the mushrooms, garlic, and water for deglazing. Incorporate the Shaoxing wine and continue stir-frying.
- Pour the earlier prepared sauce into the mix and let it simmer. Now, blend in the cornstarch mixture to thicken the sauce.
- Combine the chicken back into the thick sauce, followed by the blanched Chinese broccoli. After a quick 30-second stir-fry, it’s ready to be devoured.
Feel the comforting embrace of home with each bite, and here’s hoping this dish fulfills your culinary yearnings as it did mine. Enjoy your meal!