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Kicchiri Kitchen: Orange Chicken Stir-Fry

This month was going to be an interesting post about using your rice cooker for various things that probably break the warranty, as demonstrated by the illustrious Roger Ebert in his book The Pot and How to Use It. Unfortunately, my quiche-making efforts were thwarted, so here’s one of my old standby recipes from the vault.

Stir-fry is one of the most basic techniques in Asian cooking; in Japanese, it’s most common as 野菜炒め/yasai-itame, but restaurants usually use pork belly to give it both grease and savor. To do it properly, you need a stainless steel wok or griddle heated to within two degrees of hell, but a normal frying pan over high or medium-high heat will suffice. You’ll also want a thin spatula or a pair of long cooking chopsticks with which to stir.

Orange Chicken Stir Fry

1-2 tbsp olive or grapeseed oil

1 onion, chopped roughly

3-4 medium-sized shiitake mushrooms, sliced

1/2 head broccoli, cut into chunks.

1 chicken breast, cut into small bite-sized chunks

1 tbsp flour

1 cup / 200 ml orange juice

Fresh ginger and garlic, grated

1 tsp soy sauce

  1. Steam the broccoli in your frying pan for 4-5 minutes over medium heat. Just dump it in, add a splash of water, and add more water if it dries up. If you have a lid, so much the better. Stir-frying is a quick and dirty process, so you really want to have hard vegetables like broccoli cooked through beforehand. Remove the broccoli to a separate plate.
  2. Mix the orange juice, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and flour in a cup until the flour is dissolved. Set this aside. Add some red pepper to taste if you’re feeling adventurous.
  3. Add the oil, onion, and mushrooms, and toss to coat. Cook these over medium heat for a few minutes to sweat their flavor into the oil.
  4. Crank up the heat to high, wait 30 seconds, add the chicken, and start stirring. Once the chicken is cooked through, which should only take 5-7 minutes, add the orange juice and continue stirring.
  5. Move the chicken to the edge of the wok so that the orange juice can thicken in the center. Once the sauce is thickened, add the broccoli, turn off the heat, and stir everything together.
  6. Serve over rice.

Serves 2.

Modifications: Swap out the broccoli for any other seasonal vegetables, or even nonseasonal ones like moyashi. Swap the chicken for pork belly, or for vegetarians, more mushrooms of varying types, but add a little more olive oil if you do that. Swap the orange juice for white wine, or go for a soy / mirin mixture, or use Yakiniku sauce (たれ). Whatever you want, folks, it’s just guidelines.

Caveat: Do not stir-fry tofu.

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