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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Weekday Cooking: Peanut Chicken Stir Fry

I had a friend ask me the other day how she can make the process of making dinner during the week easier. Like a lot of us she was having a hard time getting home from work at 6pm and then having to come up with a delicious and hot dinner in a reasonable amount of time. The key to being able to cook fast is to plan ahead. I know it is easier said then done but if you can plan your meals at the beginning of the week and have all the ingredients available it will make the process much easier. A great weekday meal is stir fry. It is perfect because if you have time the night before, you can slice the protein, cut up all the veggies and have the sauce ready to go all in separate containers in the fridge. When you get home from work all you have to do is cook some rice and toss everything together in a pan.

This stir fry is delicious and is very versatile. Feel free to switch up the chicken with anything you have on hand like beef, shrimp or tofu, and to add any veggies you want or have on hand.

This stir fry is perfect with some steamed rice or noodles or as I made it tonight as a filling for lettuce wraps.

Peanut Chicken Stir-Fry
Serves 4
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp. mirin (Japanese cooking wine, you can use sherry or any sweet wine you have)
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. oyster sauce (I used vegetarian oyster sauce)
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into small cubes
  • 1 tsp. minced ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup shitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 (8oz) can, sliced bamboo shoots, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (8oz) can, sliced water chestnuts, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup roasted peanuts
1. In a small bowl whisk together cornstarch, mirin, water, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil and sugar. Set aside.
2. Heat a wok or a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot add 1 Tbsp. of the oil and chicken and stir fry until almost cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
3. In the same pan add the remaining oil, ginger, garlic and onion and stir fry until softened and fragrant. Add the mushrooms, peppers, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts and peanuts and stir-fry for a minute longer. Add the chicken back into the pan and pour over the stir-fry sauce. Cook until the chicken is cooked through and sauce has thickened, about 2 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and serve with steamed rice or wrap up in crisp iceberg lettuce leaves.


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