When I started cooking last year, I kept trying to make Chinese food and it didn’t come out right. It was delicious, don’t get me wrong, but it didn’t taste like my grandma’s cooking. I used all the ingredients you can think of: soy sauce, sesame oil, chili oil, nothing did it for me.
I finally called my mom one day and asked her what I was doing wrong. She ran through the list with me and one ingredient made me pause.
What? That’s honestly the last ingredient I would think of. I never used corn starch before and just the word ‘starch’ sounded unappealing to me. However, Mom always knows best so I headed to the store to try again. This time, it was magical. It was like this processed corn powder made the world of a difference, and I’m here to share it with you.
**While I don’t condone the ‘health benefits’ of corn starch, using a little bit in your recipe is not going to kill you and I’m sure every Chinese restaurant you ever visited put a heaping of the starch into your kung pao.
Chinese Chicken and Bok Choy
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
- 1 1/2 Lb Chicken Breast
- 2.5 Lb Bok Choy (baby or regular are both good)
- 1 Tbs Soy Sauce
- 1/2 Tbs Sesame Seed Oil
- 1/2 Tbs Chili Oil (optional)
- 1/2 Tbs Corn Starch
- 1 Tsp Sugar
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 2 Tbs Cooking Oil (I used Grapeseed)
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- White Rice
1. Cut the raw chicken breast into inch wide pieces. Marinate the meat with soy sauce, sesame seed oil, chili oil, corn starch and sugar. Make sure every piece absorbed the flavors and set aside for 15-20 minutes to marinate.
2. Make white (or brown, but white taste so much better) rice in a rice cooker or on the stove. I used 1-1/2 cup of rice for three people.
3. Wash the bok choy and cut the bottom stems off leaving around 1-2 inches of the white stock. Cut each leaf vertically in half.
4. Dice a clove of garlic and pour 1 tbs of cooking oil into a wok and let it heat up on medium heat. Place the chicken into the wok and let it cook through. Occasionally stir the chicken around like an Asian chef.
5. When the chickens done cooking, put aside for a second and pour more cooking oil and dice another clove of garlic. Make sure to leave the marinade left from the chicken in the wok, it will give the bok choy some flavor.
6. Put the bok choy in the wok and let it cook on medium. Sprinkle <1 tsp of salt to taste. Cover it and let it cook for a few minutes. Lift up the cover occasionally to stir.
7. Cook until bok choy disappears in front of your eyes. They take about 7-10 minutes to cook.
8. Serve on top of rice and you just made yourself authentic Chinese food!
If you’re vegetarian, you can use the marinade on tempeh, tofu or even mushrooms! It’s really tasty in itself, the chicken doesn’t have anything to do with it. Promise!
Let me know if you have any questions, I guarantee you won’t regret it!
Do you have any cooking tips for different culture’s food? What was on your plate last night?