Sunday, June 27, 2010

Five-Spice Chicken with Garlic and Spring Onions

I must admit, after three weeks of holiday in Food Paradise, I am in no mood to cook!

We went back to Singapore for a three-week holiday. There was so much to eat, and such easy access to food, that I was hardly hungry! Reality sunk in when I finally returned to the woods. The first few meals were take-out, or fast-food. I was really busy with unpacking, washing, and cleaning the house. A trip to the supermarket was necessary. But what should I buy? What should I cook? Thinking about it gave me a headache, not to mention having to cope with jetlag.

We brought back to the woods, from Singapore, lots of books ... both textbooks and cookbooks. A quick browse through the stack of cookbooks, and I decided on this dish for our dinner ... Five-spice Chicken with Garlic and Spring Onions.

I am not a fan of spring onions. I will not buy them when I'm at the supermarket. So why this dish? Our kind neighbour came by and brought us a huge bunch of spring onions, and chives! Just the right ingredient for the dish. To my surprise, the dish turned out to our liking =)

Adapted from Homestyle Chinese Cooking
(Periplus Mini Cookbooks)

Serves 4
Preparation Time : 20 mins
Cooking Time : 6 mins

350g (12 oz) Chicken Breast, cubed (I used Chicken Thigh Fillets)
3 tbsp Sesame Oil
5-6 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Spring Onions, cut into sections

2 tbsp Rice Wine
1 tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tsp Sesame Oil
1 tsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp 5-spice Powder
1 tsp Cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tbsp water

  • Place the chicken in a bowl with the Marinade, stirring to coat the chicken well. Set aside for 15- 20 minutes.
  • Drain the Marinade, reserving all the liquid.
  • Heat the sesame oil over high heat, and when hot, add the garlic and chicken.
  • Stir fry for 3 to 4 minutes, then add the reserved Marinade and spring onions, and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Transfer to a serving dish.

From the cookbook ... You can also add 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen green peas after stir-frying the chicken for a minute or two. A sprinkling of minced fresh coriander leaves on the finished dish goes well with these flavors.

My coriander plant died when I returned from Singapore, so I skipped this ingredient for the dish. Since my boys were not fans of green peas, I replaced the peas with cauliflower. I microwaved the cauliflower to soften them.

Just top your bowl of warm rice with a big spoonful of chicken and cauliflower and viola, you are ready to eat!

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