Posts Tagged ‘hippies’

Chicken, Bok Choy, and Shiitake Mushroom Stirfry with Brown Rice

Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

Growing up in Woodstock NY in the ’70s, I ate my fair share of tempeh, homemade yogurt, and stirfries heavily seasoned with any old spices or condiments that happened to be hanging around, particularly large doses of tamari (Japanese wheat-free soy sauce). In general, I’m not a huge fan of the whole Moosewood school of cooking, but every so often, I get a craving for something inauthentically Asian, by way of the health food store. My version here contains chicken (so there, vegetarians!) as well as bok choy, shitake mushrooms, and toasted almonds. You can be very creative with stirfries, but there are some key principles to follow:

  • Remember that each of the ingredients has its own optimal cooking time. After you’ve finished your prep, come up with a game plan for adding (and in some cases, temporarily removing) ingredients so that nothing is over- or under-cooked.
  • Just because it’s in your fridge doesn’t mean it belongs in your dish. Try to use ingredients that complement one another in flavor, sweetness, color, and texture.
  • Watch how much soy sauce/tamari etc. you use! Rather than indiscriminately dumping in more of any condiment when you need to add moisture to the pan, I like to mix up a batch of sauce that tastes balanced to me, which I usually make somewhat diluted with either water or broth. Then I add that instead of a squirt of soy sauce. That way you don’t wind up with any one flavor dominating.

I like it with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast on top, proving that you can be nostalgic for anything.

For the rice:

Start the rice first, since it takes a while to cook.

1 cup brown rice
2 1/4 cups water
pinch of salt

Combine in a small saucepan with a tight-fitting lid (don’t cover just yet though.) Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer gently for 45 minutes.

For the stirfry:

2 boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/8 inch slices
1 lb baby bok choy, washed, ends removed, and sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
20 large shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch scallions, washed and sliced into wedgy-julienne (long diagonal slices, turning the scallion after each cut so that the layers of each slice will separate )
1 small red jalapeno, cut into fine dice
1 tsp vegetable oil

1/2 cup toasted almond slivers

For sauce:

2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp agave syrup
1/4 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/3 cup chicken broth

Combine all sauce ingredients except chicken broth, and taste. Should taste balanced, a little sweet, a little sour, a little salty. Add half the sauce to a bowl with the sliced raw chicken to marinate, and then add the chicken broth to the remaining sauce to use during cooking.

Heat a large saute pan or a wok over high heat. Add vegetable oil, then the chicken, and brown lightly on all sides until chicken is cooked through. Remove from the pan and reserve. Add mushrooms and bok choy and saute for several minutes, until bok choy leaves wilt and their stems turn bright green and soften. Add sauce as needed to prevent sticking or the bottom of the pan getting brown & crusty. Add jalapeno and scallions, and saute for two more minutes, until the scallions soften. Add toasted almonds and serve with brown rice.

Serves 4.

If you have leftovers, combine the stirfry and rice, and saute in a little extra vegetable oil with an egg for some tasty fried rice.