Savory Chicken Stir-Fry with Crisp Bean Sprouts

August 3, 2023

A Classic Chinese Delight: Chicken Stir-Fry with Bean Sprouts

Dive into the world of Chinese cuisine with the chicken stir-fry with crisp bean sprouts. This delectable dish marries succulent chicken with the crunch of bean sprouts. Imagine setting aside a hectic day to indulge in a meal that’s both delightful and effortless. With just a touch of prep, you’ll swiftly be pairing this tasty stir-fry with some fluffy rice.

Understanding Bean Sprouts: Mung vs. Soy

At the heart of this dish lie the bean sprouts, so it’s crucial to understand your ingredients:

  • Mung Bean Sprouts: These are delicate with a soft bean and shorter stem. Often, they are the stars in Cantonese dishes like Roast Pork Fried Rice or Chicken Lo Mein. Their tender nature makes them a top pick in many households.
  • Soy Bean Sprouts: Characterized by a more substantial bean and a crisp stem, they have a robust presence. Dishes from Shanghai and Sichuan regions, like Fish and Tofu Soup, prominently feature them.

Mushroom Medley: Fresh vs. Dried

The dish beckons for the rich flavors of Shiitake mushrooms. While fresh mushrooms lend a subtle touch, the dried ones infuse a more profound essence. If you’re venturing with dried mushrooms, don’t rush the rehydration process; patience will gift you with a delightful texture and intensified flavor.

About MSG: To Use or Not To Use?

The inclusion of MSG is optional. Some argue that it bridges the gap between home-cooked meals and the magic of restaurant dishes. But fret not, even without MSG, this dish stands strong on its flavors, leaving your taste buds craving more.


Chicken Marinade Essentials:

  • 8 ounces chicken thighs (or opt for chicken breast, thinly sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

Main Course Components:

  • 1 pound fresh mung bean sprouts
  • 4 scallions (split lengthwise and cut into 2-inch segments, separating white and green parts)
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 5 shiitake mushrooms (either fresh or pre-soaked dried ones, sliced)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (portioned)
  • 2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine
  • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon sesame oil
  • A pinch of ground white pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon MSG (totally optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch (blend with 2 teaspoons water)

Steps to Culinary Nirvana

  1. Prep the chicken by mixing it with water until fully absorbed. Introduce oil, soy sauce, and cornstarch, mixing thoroughly. Let it bask for 20 minutes.
  2. Rehydrate the mung bean sprouts with a cold water bath, allowing them to soak up moisture and restore their crunchy nature. Drain them, ensuring no excess water remains.
  3. Get all other ingredients in order; quick cooking is key to retaining the sprouts’ integrity.
  4. Fire up your wok to a high heat, add 2 tablespoons of oil. Introduce the chicken and sear briefly, then stir-fry and set aside.
  5. Use another spoon of oil, toss in mushrooms and the white scallion bits. A brief stir, followed by garlic, ensures a fragrant base.
  6. It’s sprout time! Add them in, followed by Shaoxing wine. Quickly mix in oyster sauce, salt, sesame oil, white pepper, and MSG (if you’re using).
  7. Welcome back, chicken! Throw in the green scallions and ensure everything is well-mixed.
  8. When you notice the wok’s liquid bubbling, it’s time for the cornstarch mix.
  9. Final stir-fry should last until the sprouts hint at transparency. Serve hot and enjoy!

Concluding Thoughts

Remember, the beauty of cooking lies in experimentation. This recipe is a guide, but your intuition and preferences are the real stars. Modify, adapt, and make it your own. Each bite of this Chicken Stir-Fry with Bean Sprouts promises a journey through the rich tapestry of Chinese cuisine. Happy cooking!

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