I love stir-fries. They are not only easy to make, they cook in minutes and the flavors are always awesome! Because it's done in a flash, the veggies tend not to be overcooked and so still retain their nutrients. So, if there is a style of cooking that also showcases fresh flavors from each ingredient, it has to be a stir-fry.
When I was growing up, we had a helper who almost always made us a stir-fry practically every night. It was really flavorful and she would always tell us that her secret ingredient in making it tasty is the fresh ginger. Of course, when I was young I didn't really care much for it. At that time, I still didn't know how to appreciate the importance of using spices such as ginger to liven up the flavor of a dish. I just wasn't much of a ginger fan then. But now that I have been cooking for more than 10 years, I am happy to add fresh ginger to a dish whenever suitable. It just lends a wonderful aroma, just enough pungency and zest to any dish, whether sweet or savory. That is what you will get from this Thai Ginger Chicken dish, a gingery flavor that adds complexity and depth to this yummy stir-fry without overpowering it. Of course, the flavorful sauce combo of fish or soy sauces plus oyster sauce makes this a truly delicious dish! Don't forget to serve with freshly cooked Jasmine rice.
1-2 Tablespoons Fish sauce or Soy Sauce, or to taste*
1 Tablespoon Oyster Sauce
1/2-1 Tablespoon brown Sugar, or to taste
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1 lb Chicken breast(s), cut into bite-size chunks
4 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
3-inch size fresh Ginger, peeled and sliced thinly (you can also cut them up like matchsticks)
1/2 cup Mushrooms,* sliced
1 medium yellow Onion, chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper, cut into strips*
1-2 Thai Chili peppers, chopped (if you like it spicy though you can remove the seeds so it won't be too hot)
1/4 cup or a small bunch of Green Onions/Scallions, cut into 1-inch length
Some fresh Cilantro leaves, for garnish
Note: I used fresh Shiitake mushrooms as I had them at hand. If using this, use about 6-8 pieces, depending on their size.
I added yellow peppers because I had some but 1 red bell pepper is enough.
If you don't fancy fish sauce or cannot find it, you can replace it with soy sauce. Feel free to adjust the quantity to suit your taste.
The key to making a successful stir-fry is to ensure that all the ingredients are prepared/measured beforehand, placed in individual bowls/plates and are within easy reach when cooking. The cooking itself would be so quick that there's no time to be looking for or measuring ingredients so make sure you have everything ready.
Combine the fish or soy sauce, oyster sauce and sugar in a bowl. I usually taste this and see if I like the flavor combo that comes out 'cause sometimes I don't measure when I cook so feel free to so use your taste buds, too. Set aside. Have the bowl nearby.
Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan on medium high. When hot add the chicken and stir-fry for 1 minute. Push the chicken pieces to the side and quickly add the ginger and garlic and let sizzle just until aromatic; this is just a matter of seconds. Add the chopped onion, mushrooms and bell pepper and continue to stir-fry for another 3 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked and the veggies are tender. You can also add the Thai chili peppers, if using. Pour the sauce then stir to ensure everything is nicely glazed. Add the green onions then give it another quick stir. Remove from the heat, garnish with some fresh cilantro and serve with jasmine rice.
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