Stirfries are the essence of a fast, afterwork meal. The most timeconsuming part is paring meat and vegetables into small bits. After that, they cook in minutes once they meet the very hot pan.
Unless you have a stove with a burner specifically made for a wok, don’t use one here. Instead, use a flatbottomed skillet or sauté pan, the bigger the better. You want as much surface area as possible to get as hot as possible, so preheat the pan for at least 5 minutes before adding the oil. There should be a forbidding amount of smoke when the ingredients hit the pan (open the windows and turn on the fan before you start). That will give you the deepest sear.
Stirfries are infinitely variable, and I vary this basic recipe a lot. Beef or pork can stand in for chicken, and other green vegetables (asparagus, broccoli, mustard greens, cabbage, spinach or thinly sliced green beans) substitute nicely for the bok choy. Make a version of this dish once or twice and you’ll have it down. It will be faster than takeout and far tastier.
Chicken and Bok Choy Stir Fry
Yield Serves 2 to 3 Time 30 minutes
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
3/4 pound boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2inch strips
2 tablespoons finely chopped gingerroot
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
1/2 pound bok choy (1 head), trimmed and thinly sliced
2 leeks (1/2 pound), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
Pinch chili flakes
Salt, as needed
Cooked rice, for serving.
1. In a mediumbowl, whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar. Pour half the mixture over the chicken, along with half the ginger and half the garlic. Let stand 30 minutes.
2. Heat a large, 12 inch skillet over high heat until extremely hot, about 5minutes. Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil and the chicken. Cook, stirring constantly, until meat is cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
3. Add the remaining peanutoil to the skillet. Add the bok choy and cook 1 minute. Stir in the leeks and chili flakes; cook, tossing frequently until bok choy and leeks are tender, about 1 minute. Stir in the marinade and a pinch of salt. Move vegetable mixture to the border of the pan. Add remaining ginger and garlic to center of pan and cook, mashing lightly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Return chicken to skillet and combine with ginger, garlic, and vegetables.
Serve immediately, over rice.
Source: The New York Times