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Stir Fry Anyone???

One of the easiest go to meals in my house is Chinese food. I know, I know, most people see making homemade Chinese as intimidating and difficult; but honestly when you have a shellfish allergy you pretty much have no choice. My options were to learn to make it myself or give up one of my favorite cuisines. Taking the Chinese food away from a New Yorker is like taking away chocolate. It won't kill you, but it definitely won't make you happy. So when I realized I could no longer eat commercially prepared Chinese food I set out to learn how to make it myself. That being said, there are a few fundamentals you need to know about Chinese food. The first thing is don't be afraid of the ingredients. The basic flavors in Chinese cuisine is ginger, garlic, green onion, sugar and vinegar. marinating meats in any combination of these things is going to give you some pretty tasty results. The second thing is if you don't have a fish allergy, don't be afraid to try something new. Chinese food is hard to mess up, be bold and courageous, but don't drown the food in heavy sauces. Here is a weeknight recipe that keeps my family coming back for more, it's great for a healthy lunch too.

Easy Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry

3 large chicken breast trimmed and thinly sliced
2 tbsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. minced ginger
1/4 cup green onions washed and sliced
1/8 cup soy sauce - low sodium is preferred
a dash of sesame oil
2 tbsp. of canola oil
1 heaping tbsp. hosin sauce
a good pinch of red pepper flakes

Keep in mind I never measure when I cook so these are a guestimate as to how much I normally use. Again Chinese food is hard to mess up so if you like more garlic add more, if you like hot peppers slice a few fresh ones into your marinade.

***** Now for the secret Chinese restaurants don't want you to know*****

To get that authentic flavor and texture to your meat, you need to silken it.
Once you have added the ingredients to a large bowl, place your chicken in the marinade and sprinkle  1 tsp of baking soda onto the meat and mix thoroughly.
Allow the meat to marinade for at least 15 minutes and up to 24 hours keeping in mind that the longer meat sits the saltier it will get.

When you're ready to cook choose a wok or a sauté pan large enough to allow room between the pieces of meat when cooking. You want the meat to cook/ fry at a high temperature, not to boil in it's own juices. Coat the bottom of the pan with a tbsp. of canola oil and heat on med high. When the oil shimmers, not burning though, its ready to add the meat.

Cook meat until no longer pink and juices evaporate.

Once the meat is completely cooked, add vegetables of your liking and hit it with a dash more of canola oil if it seems a little dry.

Sauté for a few more moments until vegetables are al dente and not too soft. This would be the point that you can add mushrooms or water chestnuts if you like. Finish with a hit of freshly grated ginger and a dash of lemon juice to brighten everything up.

Serve over white or even better, brown rice and enjoy!

This recipe also works well with sliced skirt steak or even a cheap cut of beef. the silkening process tenderizes the toughest cuts of meat and makes it taste authentic and delicious!

Blessings and love,

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