A simple chicken stir fry with snow peas and bell peppers and flavored with a mixture of fresh ginger, garlic, sambal oelek, and soy sauce. This easy dinner recipe comes together in less than 30 minutes. Serve on top of steamed jasmine rice or coconut rice, if you want to up the flavor of this dish.
1¼lbsboneless skinless chicken breastssliced crosswise into thin strips
4scallions, green and white parts separated thinly sliced on a bias
1lb (16 oz)snow peas, trimmedsliced in half on a bias
1red bell pepperseeded and sliced into thin strips
dried red pepper flakesoptional
kosher saltto taste
1limecut into wedges
fresh cilantro, roughly choppedfor serving
In a small bowl, whisk together the dark soy sauce, sambal oelek, water, and cornstarch.
Heat a large skillet (or wok) over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the chicken and stir fry until the pieces have separated and are lightly browned and nearly cooked, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a large plate.
Wipe out the pan and heat the remaining tablespoon of sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add the ginger and sauté for a minute, or until softened slightly, stirring continuously. Add the garlic and white bottoms of the scallions, and sauté for an additional 30 seconds or so, or until fragrant. Add the snow peas and bell pepper. Sauté until they are just beginning to soften, roughly 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the chicken back into the pan with the soy sauce-sambal oelek mixture and cook, stirringly continuously, until the sauce has thickened a bit and lightly coats the chicken. Continue cooking just until the chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle on the remaining sliced scallions. Season to taste with a pinch of red pepper flakes (optional), fresh lime juice, and salt as needed.
Serve on top of rice with lime wedges and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.
Tips for Success:
Dark Soy Sauce is richer in flavor than regular soy sauce (ie. commonly referred to as 'light' soy sauce in Asian cooking - not to be confused with low-sodium soy sauce!). Dark soy sauce can be purchased online or found in most Asian grocery stores. I recommend Pearl River Bridge brand. If you cannot find or don't wish to purchase it, feel free to substitute with your average store-bought soy sauce, adjusting the amount as necessary to suit your taste.
Sambal Oelek (ground chili paste) can be found in the Asian aisle of most super markets. Huy Fong Foods is a good everyday brand. If you are sensitive to spicy foods, feel free to reduce the quantity slightly. If you love spicy foods, increase as desired.
Fresh herbs, such as cilantro, can take your average stir fry to another level. While I've listed cilantro in this recipe, Thai basil leaves and/or fresh torn mint leaves would be great as well.