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Chicken and Snow Peas

Chicken and Snow Peas

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Serves 2 to 4, depending on serving size.
By Dennis W. Viau.

Chinese Cooking is mostly about the sauce. There is a difference between genuine, original Chinese cuisine (which I find rather boring) and fusion Chinese food. Fusion Chinese cooking, as the name implies, is a fusion of two different styles. Chinese-American food is flavored for the Western palette and uses American ingredients.

I have several Chinese food cookbooks, but they don’t replicate the flavors I am accustomed to when eating in Chinese restaurants here in Southern California. More than once I brought a little jar into the restaurant and after eating my meal I poured the sauce into the jar, to take home and experiment. The sauces I know are not simply something out of a bottle, like hoisin sauce or oyster sauce. Those bottles sauces are ingredients to be combined into a better sauce.

Ingredients:

4 ounces (113g) snow peas or sugar snap peas, trimmed
½ carrot, julienned
8 ounces (227g) chicken dark meat, cubed (2 chicken thighs)
1 tablespoon cooking oil (corn or peanut oil)
½ teaspoon garlic powder (or 1 clove fresh; crushed or minced)
¼ teaspoon ground ginger (or ½ teaspoon fresh)
1½ tablespoons soy sauce
½ teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon
2 to 3 teaspoons cornstarch (depending on whether you want the sauce thin or thick)

Directions:

Heat about ½ cup water in a wok or skillet to boiling. Add snow peas and carrot and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover the pan and cook 3 minutes. (Snow peas are smaller than sugar snap peas and will cook more quickly.) Remove from the pan and set aside. Drain the pan and carefully dry with paper towel (it’s hot).

Heat the oil in the pan until hot. Add chicken and cook quickly over high heat until thoroughly cooked. Do not overcook or brown. Remove pan from heat.

Add the remaining ingredients, except the corn starch. Add the cooked snow peas and carrots. Mix the cornstarch with ½ cup cold water until smooth and add to the pan. Heat until liquid thickens while stirring to coat all the chicken and vegetables. Remove from the heat.

Either spoon chicken and snow peas over cooked rice or serve with rice on the side.