Stir-fries are one of the most popular and recognizable Asian dishes around. The hallmarks of this healthy dish are crisp-tender vegetables and a light coating of savory sauce made from easy-to-find ingredients. First, quickly stir-fry some sweet red bell pepper and snow peas. Next stir-fry the chicken in its marinade, cooking until the chicken is browned and the marinade has thickened. Add the vegetables back to the pan, stir to coat everything in the sauce, and serve this fast, fresh, vegetable-packed meal in about 30 minutes.
What to buy: Oyster sauce is a thick brown sauce made from oysters. Quality varies among brands; we like Lee Kum Kee. Vegetarian oyster sauce, made from mushrooms, can be substituted. Oyster sauce is available in the Asian aisle of most grocery stores.
Shaoxing is a Chinese rice wine that can be found in Asian markets and in the Asian section of some high-end grocery stores. If you can’t find it, you can substitute dry sake or fino (dry) sherry.
Click below to watch the CHOW Test Kitchen’s Lisa Lavery make this simple chicken stir-fry in an episode of our Easiest Way video series.
2 tablespoonsoyster sauce
2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
2 tablespoonssoy sauce
1/2 teaspoonkosher salt
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thighs, or a mixture of both, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick pieces
Place the oyster sauce, Shaoxing or sherry, soy sauce, cornstarch, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Add the chicken, toss to thoroughly coat with the marinade, and let sit, uncovered and at room temperature, for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the remaining ingredients.
Core and remove the seeds from the pepper and cut it into 1/4-inch slices; set aside. Rinse and dry the snow peas and set them aside. Finely chop the garlic and place it in a large bowl. Trim the ends of the scallions, cut them into 1/4-inch pieces, and add to the bowl with the garlic; set aside.
When the chicken is ready, heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or large frying pan (do not use nonstick) over high heat until a bead of water dances when dropped in the pan, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Drizzle 1 teaspoon of the oil around the perimeter of the wok or pan and add the sliced bell pepper. Using a metal spatula, stir-fry until crisp-tender and charred in spots, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to the large bowl with the garlic and scallions.
Drizzle 1 teaspoon of the oil around the perimeter of the wok or pan and add the snow peas. Stir-fry until crisp-tender, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to the large bowl with the peppers, garlic, and scallions.
Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of oil around the perimeter of the wok or pan. Add the chicken along with the marinade, and arrange the chicken in an even layer. Let it sear undisturbed until golden brown on the bottom, about 1 to 2 minutes, then stir-fry until golden brown all over and cooked through, about 2 minutes more.
Add the garlic, scallions, peppers, and snow peas. Stir-fry until the marinade has thickened, is glossy, and coats the chicken and vegetables, about 1 to 2 minutes more. Serve immediately over steamed rice.