Chinese again tonight. I love, love, love Chinese. Have I said that before? Probably.
A few years ago I took a cooking class with Helen Chen and I learned a few things that really make my Chinese food taste more authentic.
1. Slice the meat and then stir in cornstarch and a little sherry. This light coating of cornstarch really makes a difference when you stir-fry the meat. If you've ever went to fry your meat and too much moisture comes out and it ends up stewing instead of frying, this will take care of that. I use cream sherry and it adds just a bit of sweetness.
2. Adding the ginger to the oil with the garlic at the beginning and stir-frying for just a minute or two before adding the meat, really adds a lot more flavor than just adding the ginger during cooking.
3. If at all possible use authentic Chinese ingredients. I'm lucky that I live not too far from a college town with a huge Asian population, so there are several Asian markets. Things are so much cheaper there I get 2-3 times as much for half the price of some items. If there isn't an Asian store near you there are several online sources.
I like this recipe because it is fast and easily adaptable when it comes to quantity.
Mix chicken, cornstarch, sherry and sugar and set aside. Separate broccoli into florets. Put a few inches water in the bottom of the wok and add broccoli. Cook broccoli a few minutes until crisp tender, remove from wok and empty water out of wok.
Heat wok on high heat until hot. Add enough canola oil to pan to lightly coat. Add half of garlic and 1 pc ginger to the wok, stirring constantly, when garlic and ginger start to perfume add 1/2 of chicken and cook until just done. Repeat with remaining garlic, ginger and chicken. When the second batch of chicken is done add the chicken and broccoli back to the wok. Add soy sauce and stir to coat and bring back to temperature. If you would like to have a little more sauce you can mix 1 tbls cornstarch with 1/2 cup cold water and add to the wok.
I am a bored, presently unemployed small town mid-westerner. I like to cook, which is why I also need to lose weight. I am an avid reader. I have a slighltly warped sense of humor and a great husband "The Little Buddy".