First, coat the bite sized chicken with cornstarch and egg white. This keeps the chicken moist and tender, and gives it a nice sheen. Then, the chicken is quickly pan-fried before the actual stir-frying happens with the sauce and vegetables.
The sauce is light yet rich in flavor. I used good quality chicken broth as a sauce base, but water is fine too. The sauce is flavored with a little bit of oyster sauce. You can use soy sauce instead if you don’t have oyster sauce.
You can also substitute the bok choy with broccoli, asparagus, kale, or other green leafy vegetables if you like. If you use one of these alternate vegetables which takes longer to cook, blanch them in salted boiling water before stir-frying. Be sure to drain the vegetables well before using in the stir-fry, so they won’t dilute the sauce.
The stir-frying process goes very quickly, so prepare all of your ingredients before you begin.
1 chicken breast (about 320 grams)
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 egg white
300 grams baby bok choy (or regular bok choy cut into small pieces)
80 grams water chestnut, drained - optional
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil for frying, divided
2 plump garlic cloves
1 inch chunk ginger
1 tablespoon rice wine (or mirin)
1/2 cup chicken broth or water
1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce (or soy sauce with 1/4 teaspoon sugar)
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed in 2 tablespoons water (starch slurry)
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Cut the chicken into thin bite size pieces against the grain.
Season the chicken with salt (about 1/4 teaspoon) and pepper, and then mix well with the cornstarch and egg white until the chicken is well coated. Let it sit while you prepare the other ingredients.
Separate the leaves by cutting off the stem of each bok choy. Rinse them a couple of times, and drain well.
Thinly slice the garlic, and julienne the ginger.
Heat a large nonstick skillet or wok over high heat. Add a tablespoon of oil. Add the chicken pieces in one layer and cook until they are no longer pink, about a minute each side. The chicken does not need to be cooked through at this point. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
Reheat the skillet over high heat. Add a tablespoon of the oil. Stir in the garlic and ginger, and cook just enough to infuse the oil with flavor. Add the rice wine, and cook for a minute. Pour in the chicken broth (or water), add the oyster sauce (or soy sauce and sugar), and boil for a couple of minutes.
Return the chicken to the skillet, and add the bok choy. Stir-fry everything together, for one or two minutes, until the bok choy is wilted. Drizzle the starch slurry over and quickly stir everything together until the sauce is well incorporated. Add the sesame oil, and give it a quick stir.
Serve hot with or over steamed rice.
For more, visit koreanbapsang.com.
By Ro Hyo-sun