I love stir-fries for two reasons: 1) lots of veggies, and 2) lots of flavors. I can’t seem to successfully make a really AWESOME stir-fry unless I have a recipe to go with it. Throwing veggies in? Not a problem. The sauce? Well…still working on my own concoction.
When I saw this recipe in my Jan ’13 issue of Cooking Light, I was intrigued by the usage of lemongrass (which I have in my cupboard, dried) and green beans in the veggies list. I decided to make this for dinner one evening after work, and it was definitely a hit.
Lemongrass Chicken Stir-Fry – adapted from Cooking Light
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp chicken stock
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp sambal oelek
- 2 tbsp canola oil (divided)
- 2 tsp dried lemongrass
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 8-oz green beans, trimmed
- 1 lb boneless&skinless chicken thighs, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup unsalted cashews
- 1 Thai chile, thinly sliced (I had a whole cayenne pepper frozen in my freezer from summer, so I used that).
- Combine brown sugar, stock, fish sauce, soy sauce, and sambal oelek in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Heat a large work or skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp of the oil & swirl to coat the pan.
- Add lemongrass & garlic; stir-fry for 30 seconds. Turn heat up to high. Add bell pepper, shallots, & green beans to the pan & stir fry for two minutes. Remove all vegetables from pan with a slotted spoon & set aside in a bowl.
- Add remaining oil to pan & swirl to coat. Add chicken and cook until browned (2-3 minutes).
- Add cashews & chile & cook for about two minutes. Then, add the vegetables back in and the sauce mixture.
- Bring to a boil & cook until the sauce thickens. Serve immediately with rice or noodles.
When I was younger, I was not a huge fan of dark-meat chicken, especially chicken thighs. The more I cook, the more I have noticed that they have a very rich flavor and are especially great with Asian cuisine. I do my best to cut off as much fat as possible, but am definitely not as wary about using them as I used to be.
I served our stir-fry with some ready-to-serve udon noodles that I found at my grocery store. Since they were pre-cooked, I threw them into the wok when I added the vegetables back in. They were absolutely fantastic & I highly recommend you try them. I think I like them better than the dried rice noodles I normally buy.
The only thing I did not enjoy about this dish was – believe it or not – the green beans! I would have much rather preferred carrots or zucchini in the stir-fry. They tasted okay, but it just didn’t seem ‘right’ to have them in there. One part of this dish that I suggest you don’t leave out is the cashews – that is, of course, unless you or someone in your home has a nut allergy. They added a really good texture to the dish and I was surprised at how much I enjoy them. I am looking forward to making this dish in the summer, when more vegetables are in season. This stir-fry is definitely in my arsenal for dishes to repeat!
As far as the spiciness is concerned – I personally needed more punch. If you like, you can add more sambal oelek for some more heat. Or, of course, sriracha…
…speaking of which – have any of you out there tried those new Sriracha chips from Lays? YUM!