On a random jobless night after I’m done with the chores of the day, you are likely to find me aimlessly browsing through Amazon or Flipkart. The section that keeps me glued for the maximum amount of time is undoubtedly the Books one (need I say cookbooks?) I (virtually) flip through the samples of each book and pile them on my wishlist. At present I have lost count of the number of pages in my Amazon and Flipkart wishlists. So one fateful night in January, I decided to bring to life some of my longstanding “lusts”. In a matter of 3 such nights I placed a whopping order of 15 books. Oh yes, you read that right! I obviously won’t go into the amount of expenditure I incurred by doing so. I consoled myself by saying those were my New Year’s gifts. A little bit too expensive, but who really cares?
Anyway, for the next 8-10 days I was perpetually woken up by the delivery guy’s bell. I’d jump out of my bed, somehow make it to the main door rubbing my eyes, sign on the phone screen and come back to my room clutching on to my parcel and dancing with joy. I’d hurriedly unwrap the cardboard box, tuck away the bubble wrap (for the fear that my mother would burst every single one if she found it out) and bury myself in the colourful pages boasting of brilliant recipes and equally intriguing stories.
One such book that I bought was Ken Hom’s 100 Quick Stir-Fry Recipes. It is basic, yes, but it’s smashing as well. I was dying to try out something from my newly-acquired books and since this one called for ingredients I already had at home, I blindly went for it. I absolutely adore Chinese stir fries and this recipe has already entered the list of my favourite ones. Oh, and this is yet another good way of eating broccolis!
Boneless chicken, shredded: 500 gm
Ginger, grated: 1 tbsp
Garlic, chopped finely: 1.5 tbsp
Onions, diced: 1
Broccoli, cut into florets: 1 head
Tomatoes, diced chunkily: 2
Rice wine vinegar: 2 tbsp
Black bean sauce/Oyster sauce: 2-3 tbsp
Olive oil: 3 tbsp
Salt, to taste
Pepper powder: 1 tsp
Soy sauce: 2 tsp
Pepper powder: 1
Cornflour, to dredge
1. Marinade the chicken with the listed ingredients for 3-4 hours or overnight.
2. In a big pan, bring 2 litres of water to boil, add the broccoli with some salt and cook covered for 2-3 minutes. Drain out the water and immediately wash in cold water. Set aside.
3. Heat oil in a deep-bottomed wok/pan and shallow fry the chicken till semi crisp. You’ll have to do this in batches, ideally three. Drain on kitchen towel and set aside.
4. In the remaining oil (add more if necessary) add the onions and stir fry for a min. Add ginger and garlic and fry till onions become translucent.
5. Add the broccoli and cook for another 2 minutes so that the flavour infuses well.
6. Add the chicken, vinegar, black bean sauce and mix well. Keep stirring throughout.
7. Now add the tomatoes, mix them and stir for another 2-3 minutes.
8. Season with salt and pepper and turn off heat.
9. Serve hot with steamed rice or even as a starter.
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