CHICKEN AND BEAN SPROUTS STIR FRY
While Chicken with Bean Sprouts may appear to be an unusual Chinese meal, the stir fry is actually rather delicious and simple to create. These crunchy, flavorful bean sprouts are ideal for a quick weeknight meal. Simply slice and marinate the chicken, wash and drain the mung bean sprouts, stir fried in a scorching hot wok, and serve with rice are all you need to do.
Comparing SOYBEAN SPROUTS vs. MUNG BEANS
Even though the ingredients aren’t the most complicated part of this dish, I’ll go through a few of them to set your mind at ease.
In Chinese cookery, bean sprouts most commonly used are mung bean sprouts and soybean sprouts. These two forms of bean sprouts have significant characteristics:
Tender, crisp, and with a soft bean and stem, mung bean sprouts are an excellent addition to any meal.
The bean in soybean sprouts is larger and firmer than regular soybean sprouts. As a result, you’re practically eating the giant soybean with a soft and crunchy stem when you eat a soybean sprout.
Fresh Chinese black mushrooms or Shiitake mushrooms are also required in this dish. However dried mushrooms can also be used. In order to avoid overpowering the dish, use less dried shiitake mushrooms than is indicated in the ingredients and choose the type that best meets your preferences.
Mushrooms can be used instead of or in addition to the chicken in your stir-fry with bean sprouts to increase the dish’s umami flavor. Consider soaking dried mushrooms for a sufficient amount of time so that they rehydrate.
Even if you’re using hot water to speed up the process, you should allow at least 30 minutes for rehydration.
This is a good one!
- 8 ounces of chicken thighs or chicken breast, cut into thin strips
- 1 teaspoon of cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon of water
- ½ teaspoon of soy sauce
REST OF THE RECIPE:
- 1 pound of fresh mung bean sprouts
- 5 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 4 scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 2 minced cloves of garlic
- 2 teaspoons of Shaoxing wine
- 2 teaspoons of oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon of cornstarch
- ¾ teaspoon of salt
- ¼ teaspoon of sesame oil
- 1/8 teaspoon of ground white pepper
- ¼ teaspoon of MSG, optional
- Mix 1 tablespoon of water with the chicken strips until the flesh totally absorbs the water. Soy sauce and cornstarch should be well mixed with the oil before adding it to the mixture. Allow 20 minutes for preparation.
- In a large basin, cover the mung bean sprouts with cold water and soak for two to three minutes to rehydrate them. In addition to washing the sprouts, this step allows them to reclaim their crunch and freshness by soaking up some of the cold water. Remove to a colander and allow any remaining water to drain out entirely. Bean sprout roots can be a bit stringy and unpleasant, so some people choose to remove them, but we like to simply rinse them in cold water for a few minutes.
- Preparation of scallions, garlic, and mushrooms will be your last step. To avoid mushy bean sprouts, you must cook this dish rapidly. Spices, oils, and sauces can all be pre-measured and prepped in advance so that you don’t have to worry about making rapid adjustments to the recipe.
- In a wok over high heat, add 2 tablespoons of oil to the outside of the pan and allow it to smoke for a few seconds. You can use a spatula to arrange the chicken evenly in the pan. Transfer the chicken to a bowl and continue to sear for an additional 20 seconds (without mixing it around). Then continue to stir fry for an extra 20 seconds.
- Add the mushrooms and the white parts of the scallions to the wok, along with another tablespoon of oil. Add the garlic and cook for another 10 seconds. At this stage, the wok should be at its hottest setting!
- To finish things off, toss in the mung bean sprouts. Stir in the Shaoxing wine, then cover the pan and cook for a further 30 seconds. If you’d like to use MSG or oyster sauce (or any other seasonings), do so now.
- Adding the chicken back into the wok is a simple matter of sprinkling in any remaining liquid and adding in the green parts of the scallions. At this time, the burner should be at full power! To get even more heat out of a small stovetop, place the wok between two hot gas burners and crank up the heat.
- Continue to stir-fry the mixture for another 10 seconds, making sure to spread it out evenly throughout the wok in order to achieve the wok-hei flavor. When the liquid in the wok begins to bubble, add the cornstarch and water mixture and swirl to combine.
- The mung bean sprouts should begin to turn translucent after about 15 seconds of stirring. Serve!