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The Versatile StirFry with Tenderstem:
This is one of my favourite quick meals. You can make it as light or substantial as you want by varying the amount of rice or noodles in the dish and you can swap and change many of the ingredients – it works very well with beef, pork, prawns, calamari instead of chicken for example. Just use some common sense with the flavouring – I’d use more robust soy for beef or pork and make more of an effort to find lemongrass if I was serving a fish version!
Tenderstem is a great ingredient to be the ‘main’ green vegetable. It cooks quickly and has a strong enough flavour to cut through without taking over the dish completely. And, it’s very, very simple to prepare, just cut off the ends and slice through any really large pieces.
The seasoning comes from soy sauce, some kind of acid (I used lime juice here, but rice wine vinegar works well), and a selection from chilli, coriander, garlic, sesame oil, ginger and lemongrass.
- 1 skinless chicken breast
- 8-10 pieces tenderstem broccoli
- 1 piece root ginger
- 1 chilli (chilli sauce can be substituted)
- 1 handful fresh coriander
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce I use light, low salt for cooking
- 100 g straight to wok noodles I like rice noodles
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 lime (a tablespoon of rice wine vinegar can be substituted)
- Cut the chicken breast into 'fingers' along the grain of the meat
- Trim the tenderstem
- Peel and chop the ginger, garlic and chilli (removing chilli seeds unless you want things REALLY hot)
- Chop the coriander
- Put the chicken, coriander, garlic, chilli, soy and ginger into a bowl and squeeze lime juice in. Mix well.
- Heat a little sunflower or sesame oil in a wok till just smoking.
- Add the chicken, herbs and spices and marinade liquid and cook for about a minute, stirring constanty
- Add in the tenderstem and cook for a further 2 minutes if necessary adding a little water, continuing to stir
- Add in the noodles and cook for a further one to two minutes if necessary adding a little water, continuing to stir
- Serve garnished with a few fresh coriander leaves
You need a wok or a large frying pan so that you can ‘stir’ the ingredients without everything going all over the cooker. Then just use your imagination. You can add in more vegetables, but I rather like the combination of one or two vegetables, one meat or prawn ingredient, noodles and spices.