Pretty & Easy: Asian “Stirfry” with Chili Sauce

A go-to meal in everyone’s repertoire should be a basic stir fry. And once you get the basics down, you can improvise and improve on it to your hearts content. Technically, this isn’t a stir fry, because I don’t really stir-fry the meat, but you get the general idea.

And of course, the chicken used here could be other meats, shrimp, tofu, or whatever you have on hand.

  • I started with a little over a pound of chicken*, and the veggies that I had on hand. Additional flavoring were garlic, soy sauce, and chili sauce. Other good flavor options (added with either the veggies or the garlic) would be basil leaves, fresh chopped ginger, or hoisin sauce (added at the end).
  • Serve over rice… brown rice is a healthier option, but remember that takes 45 minutes to cook, so start it early!
  • If you like your stir-fries with a sauce, you’ll also need: Chicken stock (I had some homemade with ginger flavoring in the freezer) & cornstarch.
  • Serves 2 adults and 1 child, with leftovers for lunch!

I must admit when I made this, I didn’t note all the amounts. So if you’re one of those people who needs exact measurements, this may not be the starter recipe for you! Also, it’s hard to be exact when you may have different amounts of veggies on hand. But I wanted to share it anyway, as it’s a great example of my favorite brand of ‘guesstimate’ cooking–you don’t need a recipe for everything…

*When chicken breasts are on sale–these were $1.99/lb!–, I buy the large package and slice up and freeze the rest in easy to pull out amounts. These I had sliced into thinner cutlets for ease of thawing. I let the bag thaw in some warm water for about 1/2 an hour, until they were still frozen inside, but slice-able. Then i sliced into smaller pieces (maybe 1/2 in thick, 3 inches long), and they were ready to marinate in the fridge. Just mix your marinade in a ziplock bag, and add your chicken.

(If you’re reading this in a reader, you’ll have to click through if you want to see the captions.)

This doesn’t really require an additional sauce, I’d be happy to just add toss with a bit of soy sauce and chili sauce at this point, and serve with rice. But my husband likes it saucier, so here how to do that: After removing your meat and veggies, and sauteing your garlic, add ~1/2 cup chicken stock to your pan to deglaze. Mix 1 Tbsp of corn starch with another 1/2 cup chicken stock, and add to the pan to thicken. Add soy sauce to taste.

A note on chili sauce–which really makes this dish. Some kinds are sweet and some are really spicy. Taste yours first! The particular kind I had on hand was not that spicy and a little sweet, so I added several large spoonfuls to the final dish, and set it out for the adults to add more if they chose. Use your judgment based on your eaters.

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