Whenever I cook an Asian-inspired meal, such as a stir-fry, lettuce wrap, or this salmon, I wonder why I don’t use Asian flavors more often in my kitchen. There are so many recipe possibilities to try, and they usually turn out flavorful and much more healthful than what you might order at a restaurant.
This stir-fry with sweet and sour sauce was delicious. The chicken was tender, the vegetables crisp, and the sauce sweet and tangy. Served with brown rice, it was a satisfying meal, and the leftovers were great for lunch the next day. As I’ve found with most stir-fry recipes, the ingredients do take some time to prep but once you finish chopping and mixing all of the components the actual cooking time is minimal.
Sweet and Sour Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry
Makes 4 servings
For the chicken:
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil (I used olive oil)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons Chinese rice cooking wine, dry sherry, or dry white wine (in a pinch you can just use water)
- 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2), trimmed and sliced thin against the grain (slice each chicken breast lengthwise into thin slices, and then cut the long slices in half so that all pieces are approximately the same size)
For the stir-fry:
- 3 scallions, sliced thin
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 small bunch broccoli (about 1 pound), cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
For the sweet and sour sauce:
- 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 6 tablespoons orange juice
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- For the chicken: Combine the sesame oil, cornstarch, flour, soy sauce, and wine in a bowl, stir in the chicken, and marinate for at least 10 minutes or up to 1 hour.
- For the stir-fry: Combine the scallions, garlic, ginger, and 1 teaspoon of the canola oil in a bowl.
- To make the sweet and sour sauce, whisk all ingredients together in a bowl and set aside until ready to use.
- Heat 1 teaspoon more canola oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until just smoking. (My skillet is not nonstick, so I added a little more oil.) Add the chicken, break up any clumps, and cook until lightly browned on all sides but not fully cooked, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a clean bowl, cover, and set aside.
- Add the remaining teaspoon canola oil to the skillet and return to high heat until shimmering. Stir in the broccoli. Add the water, cover, and steam until the broccoli is bright green and begins to soften, about 2 minutes.
- Uncover and allow the water to evaporate, 30 to 60 seconds. Stir in the carrots and cook until the vegetables are crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Clear the center of the skillet, add the garlic mixture, and cook, mashing the mixture into the pan, until fragrant, 15 to 30 seconds. Stir it into the vegetables.
- Return the chicken, with any accumulated juice, to the skillet. Whisk the sauce to recombine, then add to the skillet. Simmer, tossing constantly, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened, 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Serve with brown rice.
Recipe adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook