Perfect for a modern cook
Stir-fry is an ancient Chinese cooking technique that is perfectly suited to a modern, over-packed schedule. One of many great things about stir-fries is their adaptability—you can do wonders with odds and ends of ingredients, some Asian and some not. And once you get the hang of the technique, you can improvise your own stir-fries…
Cook time is key
Stir-frying is a rapid cooking method that relies on high heat to sear and lock in flavor. This quick chicken and broccoli stir-fry recipe is a great way to get started learning an exciting new way to cook. From here, you can create any number of short-cuts. It's so easy that you'll want to include it on your permanent go-to list of dinner recipes. Chicken stir fry is fast, easy, and infinitely adaptable.
What you’ll need (and what you don't)
Woks are great, but don’t let your lack of one stop you. You can conjure up a good pan-Asian stir-fry in a large skillet. However, if you do find yourself making stir-fries a regular part of your week in cooking, there are some real advantages to having a nice wok. The vessel’s high, round sides allow you to toss your ingredients as they sizzle in the oil or are steamed to perfection.
Rice or noodles?
If you’re really in a hurry, noodles can be cooked much more quickly than rice and folded into the stir-fry, as they are here. Most Asian noodles such as brown rice noodles or soba noodles cook much faster than Italian pasta, saving your time.
Your stir-fry tool box
Stir-fry is like jazz: You make a lot of it up as you go along, but you know that there are certain phrases on which you can always rely. Soy sauce, sesame oil (as well as sesame seeds) and other Asian flavors enable you add many colors to your favorite ingredients. As for cooking oil, you’ll want to use a vegetable oil with a high smoke point, such as canola, peanut (if no one’s allergic) or grapeseed. Olive oil even works here. Chicken broth is useful for increasing flavor. Fresh ginger and garlic can add zing to just about any stir-fry, and a little bit of lemon or orange zest will also kick it into another dimension.
What vegetables are good in stir fry?
Broccoli is a winner, yes, but so is bell pepper, spicy red peppers, and green onions. For the sauce mixture, you can take the basic version here and add in hoisin sauce for sticky-sweet flavor, rice vinegar for tang or oyster sauce for an umami kick.
The art of stir-fry
There are two basic modes to stir-fry. The first is high heat, a decent amount of oil and small batches. If you’re using an iron cooking vessel, pre-heat for at least 2 minutes on high heat to ensure the oil is hot enough to sear in the flavors. Some stir-fries might require that you cook ingredients separately and return them all to the pan at the end for final warming.
A cautionary note
When stir-fry became popular in the 1970s, along with the fear of communism there was also a since-revoked general paranoia about fat. Because of this, many people got the idea that three drops of oil dripped around the rim of a wok is all you need. Not true! Use as much oil as the recipe dictates (which is not that much, really).
- 1 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 ounces brown rice noodles
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- Cook the brown rice noodles according to the directions on the packet.
- Crush the garlic.
- Thinly slice the chicken.
|Calories240Calories from Fat80|
|% DAILY VALUE|
|Calories from Fat80|
|% DAILY VALUE|
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.