Green Vegetables stir-fried with Chicken and Garlic

Green Vegetables stir-fried with Chicken and Garlic

This Chinese manner of quickly cooking leafy green vegetables until just crisp-tender, and seasoning with chicken, shredded pork or peeled shrimp, is widely popular in Southeast Asia, including in Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia. Virtually any of the leafy Asian greens or broccoli are delicious and easily prepared this way. Oyster sauce makes the dish richer. These are typically small dishes to accompany more complicated ones. They would be served with unsalted white rice.

The recipe serves six.
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thigh or breast
1 pound green leafy vegetable (baby Shanghai bok choy, nappa, or Chinese mustard -- yu choy sum)
3 large cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons canola, sunflower or other oil (not olive)
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus to taste
2 tablespoons oyster sauce (from Asian food store)
1/4 cup water

Trim excess fat off chicken. Cut it into angular chunks about an inch long and half an inch thick. Set aside.

Trim off roots and the very base of the stems from the vegetable. Rinse leaves well in water to cover to remove any sand. Let drain, and cut into 2-inch pieces.

Mince garlic.

Heat a wok or large frying pan to medium hot. Add oil and while stirring fry garlic a few seconds, until fragrant but not beginning to turn golden. Immediately add the chicken plus 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir and fry until raw color changes.

Add vegetable plus an additional 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir-fry briefly, then add 1/4 cup of water. Stir and fry until vegetable is just becoming crisp-tender and the color brightens. The cooking time will depend on the tenderness of the vegetable, some cooking very quickly. Add oyster sauce. Add a little more water if mixture is dry. Stir and fry very briefly to just heat. Remove pan from heat.

Taste a bit of the sauce and a piece of vegetable. It should taste very slightly salty (because more salt will be absorbed by the vegetable, and it will be served with unsalted rice). Sprinkle with a little salt if needed, and stir it in.

Serve on a platter, mounding it up slightly in the middle. Accompany with white unsalted rice.

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