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Harness the power of high heat to singe protein and vegetables. Your tender, juicy, slightly smoky stir-fry will be way better than takeaways.
A. Prep the Protein
For moist chicken, precook it: in a medium bowl, combine 400g skinless, boneless chicken breast (cut into 5mm-thick pieces) with 2 tbsp beaten egg whites, 2 tsp cornflour, 2 tsp rice wine and ¼ tsp salt. Stir until dissolved. Add 2 tsp vegetable oil and chill for 30 minutes. Boil 750ml water and 1 tbsp oil. Reduce to a simmer. Add chicken, stir and cook until opaque (1 minute). Drain and reserve.
B. Rig an Assembly Line
Once the heat is on, stir-fry happens fast. Cook smart by prepping these ingredients before firing up the wok:
1/ Sauce With a kick In a small bowl, mix together ⅓ cup chicken stock, 2 tsp soy sauce, ¼ tsp crushed red chilli flakes, 2 tsp rice wine and ¼ tsp cornflour.
2/ Aromatics To Flavour The Oil
• 1 tbsp chopped ginger
• 2 tsp minced garlic
• 1½ cup thinly sliced red onion
3/ Produce For Extra Flavour And Texture
• 1 medium green pepper, cut into strips
• 1 mango, peeled and cut into 5mm slices
C. Crank the Heat!
Flick water into the wok. If it vaporises in 1 or 2 seconds, it’s go time. Pour in 1 tbsp oil and tilt the wok to coat. Add the ginger, garlic and onion; stir-fry until fragrant (10 seconds). Add the pepper and cook until tender (1 minute). Toss in the chicken and season with salt. Stir the sauce, swirl it into the wok and cook until the chicken is done and the sauce thickens (1 minute). Stir in the mango. Serve atop brown rice.
Master the move: Stir-frying
“‘Stir-frying’ is a misleading term,” says Grace Young, chef and author of The Breath of a Wok: Unlocking the Spirit of Chinese Wok Cooking Through Recipes and Lore. You actually want to use more of a digging and tossing motion, she says. Push a thin, slotted metal spoon or spatula beneath the ingredients and flip them over. This way all the ingredients touch the hottest part of the wok and achieve uniform doneness.