Here is a perfect way to celebrate fresh asparagus, and to discover the flexibility of a Chinese recipe. You can adjust the ratio of chicken to vegetables, increasing or decreasing one or the other to suit your mood and taste.

Ingredients

2 teaspoons dry sherry
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
1 pound chicken breasts, skinned, boned, and cut to bite-size pieces
3 1/2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 pound asparagus
2 tablespoons fermented/preserved black beans, drained, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium onion, cut in wedges
2 tablespoons water

Cooking sauce:

1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup chicken broth or water

Procedure

* In a medium bowl, combine cornstarch, soy sauce, sherry, and 1 teaspoon water. Add in chicken and stir to coat, add in 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and marinate for 15 minutes.

* Prepare cooking sauce: by combining all cooking sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside. Wash asparagus and cut off tough ends; cut in 1 inch slanting slices.

* In a hot wok or pan, add 2 tablespoons cooking oil. When oil begins to heat, add black beans and garlic; stir once. Add in chicken and stir-fry until chicken is opaque, about 3 minutes. Remove chicken from pan.

* Add the remaining cooking oil to pan. Put in asparagus and onion and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add 2 tablespoons water, Cover, and cook until crisp tender for about 2 minutes. Return chicken to pan. Stirring prepared cooking sauce and cook until the sauce thickens.

Transfer in a serving bowl or platter. Serve hot and enjoy!

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