Spicy Three Pepper Chicken Stir Fry

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My first job when I was 16 was being a dishwasher at a local family-run Chinese Szechuan and Cantonese restaurant. Not only were they a lovely family to work for, but they definitely owned and ran the best Chinese restaurant in the city of Windsor. Whether you wanted spicy Chinese vegetable dishes or greasy hangover food – they made it best. While working there I managed to pick up a few restaurant secrets to stir fries, and I couldn’t be more thankful! You’ll see some of that knowledge in the directions.

A lot of different food blogs have their own version of Three pepper chicken – and it’s so understandable. It’s definitely a stir fry where the flavours can vary from one household to the next. It usually holds a numbing flavour of Szechuan Peppercorn, but I usually omit it because I enjoy the flavour of the peppers more for this dish.

I also like to have colour in my stir-fry, so I add in an orange bell pepper which also adds in a little sweetness.The heat in this dish really only comes from the Long Hot Green Pepper and the Thai Chili (both of which are a staple in my weekly grocery list). You can usually get these at your generic grocery store and they hold a really great heat which is very different compared to the jalapeno pepper or habanero (I wouldn’t substitute with those).

This is also a dish where it can be converted to be vegetarian by substituting the chicken with tofu and the oyster sauce with a vegetarian mushroom “oyster” sauce!This stir fry is ultimately very very agile, you can move the flavours around to suit your needs, but I will warn you, if you follow my instructions directly – this IS a spicy dish!

I encourage you to eat with white rice.Here’s everything you need!

INGREDIENTS & COSTS

Ingredients – for the marinated Chicken

1 Chicken breast ($2.33)
1 Tsp Corn Starch ($0.01)
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda ($0.01)
1/2 Tsp Dark Soya Sauce ($0.005)
1 Tsp Oyster Sauce ($0.01)
1/2 Tsp Sesame Oil ($0.035)
1/2 Tbs of Rice Vinegar ($0.06)

Ingredients – for the Stir Fry

1 Long Hot Green Pepper ($0.34)
1/2 Bell Pepper (could be either Red or Orange) ($0.52)
1/3 Zucchini ($0.31)
1 Cloves of Garlic ($0.02)
1 Scallion ($0.09)
1 Tsp Ginger ($0.01)
1 Red Hot Thai Chili Pepper (Bird Eye Pepper) ($0.05)
1 1/2 Tbs Canola Oil ($0.075)

Ingredients – Finishing sauce

1 Tbs water
1/2 Tsp Dark Soya Sauce ($0.005)
1/2 Tsp Oyster Sauce ($0.01)
1/2 Tsp Sugar ($0.002)
1/2 Tsp Chili oil (optional)

Takes 25 min
serves 2.

Total Cost = $3.89!*

Compared to the $12-$16 at restaurants!

*Depending the cost of the ingredients in your area, the cost may be more or less. I live in a fairly inflated part of town, so chances are your cost will be less.

Need the proof? Head down to the bottom of this page!


DIRECTIONS

First dice up the peppers, green onions, and zucchini, then mince the ginger, garlic, and Thai chili.

three-pepper-chicken-ingredients

Dice up your chicken next. Add in the soy sauce, sesame oil, corn starch, rice vinegar, oyster sauce, and baking soda. If you’re confused about the baking soda, this is something I picked up while working at a Chinese restaurant. Baking soda is a fantastic meat tenderizer and gives you that restaurant-meat-consistency.

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Mix it all together and let it sit in the fridge for about 10 minutes. While you wait you can make your finishing sauce by combining soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, and water in a small bowl.

three-pepper-chicken-mixed-meat

Pour the canola oil in a wok and set it on the stove at medium-high heat. Once it starts to slightly bubble, toss in your ginger. The second the ginger gets golden, add in the chicken. The chicken will get caramelized due to the sugar content in the oyster sauce, which will give it a nice crispy outer shell.

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After stirring for about 3 minutes and waiting for the chicken to cook evenly through, toss in the zucchini and bell pepper. Saute for about 1 minute.

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Add in the long hot green pepper.

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As soon as the spice of the long hot green peppers become fragrant (and I promise it will within 45 seconds), add in the finishing sauce, garlic, Thai chili, and green onions.

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Stir quickly for about 30 seconds and you’ll notice that the stir fry has taken on a whole new aroma of garlic and sweet peppers.

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Take it off the heat and onto a separate plate. Serve immediately with rice!

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Delicious stir fry for two in under 25 minutes!

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Enjoy with write or an accompanying stir fry like the Spicy & Sour Shredded Potato Stir Fry!  Any comments or feedback on the recipe is 100% appreciated! 🙂


INGREDIENT COSTS

I’m referring to a Loblaws (a generic grocery chain in Canada) weekly flyer and their website, and a local Chinese grocery store

Pack of 4 Chicken Breasts – $9.33
355 ml Seasoned Rice Vinegar ($3.29) – $0.93/100ml
500 ml Rooster Superior Dark Soy Sauce ($1.99) – $0.40/100ml
430 ml Rooster Oyster Sauce ($2.49) – $0.58/100ml
4 kg of Labtic Granulated Sugar ($5.69) – $0.14/100g
946 ml No Name Brand Canola Oil ($4.19) – $0.44/100ml
250 g Arm & Hammer Baking Soda ($0.99) – $0.40/g
1 Orange Bell Pepper ($1.02)
1 Zucchini ($0.94)
Garlic – $0.88/100g
Ginger – $0.43/100g
1 bunch of green onions ($0.79)
Green Long Hot Green Peppers – ($0.34) – $4.39/kg
75 g Red Hot Thai Chili Peppers ($3.99)

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Spicy & Sour Shredded Potato Stir Fry

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My family and I immigrated to Canada when I was 6 years old. Up until that point I grew up in the Northwestern region of China where a beautiful blend of Chinese and Middle Eastern flavours came together at the end of the silk road. The food I grew up with is still what influences my tastes today. Asian-Fusion is definitely my favourite type of cuisine (if that’s even really considered a type of cuisine).

One of my favourite stir fries I used to eat in the restaurants in China was an incredibly easy and flavourful dish which incorporated shredded white potatoes to have a spicy and sour taste with a hint of Szechuan peppercorn. It’s usually served as a second stir fry to accompany a protein based stir fry at restaurants, but even by itself it’s pretty delicious!

There are many different ways to make this dish as it’s one of the most common dishes in that region on China. Some people cook it with only rice wine vinegar, some add in MSG, and some versions are very red after adding in chili oils & pastes. This is just my version using simple ingredients the majority of people have access to and have the dish mirror the original the best that I can remember!

Here’s everything you need

Ingredients

  • 2 Medium-sized White Potatoes ($1.30)
  • 1 Long Hot Green Pepper ($0.34)
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic ($0.04)
  • 1 Scallion ($0.09)
  • 1 1/2 Tbs Rice Vinegar or Black Chinese Vinegar ($0.27)
  • 1 Tsp Light Soya Sauce ($0.02)
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Salt ($0.03)
  • 1 1/2 Tbs Canola Oil ($0.075)
  • 1/4 cup water or Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 Tsp Szechuan Peppercorn (optional)
  • Takes 20 min,
    serves 2.

    Total Cost = $2.16!*

    Compared to the $7-9 at restaurants!

    *Depending the cost of the ingredients in your area, the cost may be more or less. I live in a fairly inflated part of town, so chances are your cost will be less.

    Need the proof? Head down to the bottom of this page!


    DIRECTIONS

    The first thing you’ll want to do is peel & julienne the white potatoes. I find that the best way to julienne the potato is to cut it in half along the longer side and make thin slices.

    Shredded-potatos-toudou-si.jpg

    Shredded-potato-stirfry.jpg

    Once it’s sliced, take the slices and stack them up then cut small slivers so you have thin long strips of potato. After you’ve julienne the potatoes, put them in a large bowl and rinse them about 3 times (enough to get all the starch out). This allows the “potato-y” taste of the starch to not overpower your stir fry. After you’ve rinsed the pulp out, fill the bowl with water (there shouldn’t be any bubbles or dewy water – it should be clear!) and let the potatoes sit while you cut up the rest of your veggies. This allows the potato to stiffen.

    shredded-potato

    Next, mince the garlic & ginger. Julienne the long hot green peppers, and cut the green onions into slivers.

    shredded-potato-ingredients

    Take a wok and place it on the stove at medium-high heat. Pour in the oil and let it heat. Once  warm, add in the ginger, half your garlic and half the green onions. This is when I add in the Szechuan peppercorn, it allows the numbing flavours of the peppercorn get infused with the oil. Add in 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and mix.

    Stir-Fry.jpg

    As soon as the ginger starts to get golden and it starts to get aromatic in your kitchen, drain the potatoes and toss them in! After about 3 minutes, add in the rice vinegar or Chinese black vinegar.

    shredded-potato-cooking

    Stir for about 5 more minutes and add in your long hot green peppers and the rest of your garlic – save the green onions for last! Stir for about a minute and add in the water or chicken stock, this will allow the potatoes to cook a bit faster. Now add in the green onions, 1 Tsp of salt, and the 1/2 teaspoon of soy sauce.

    shredded-potato-cooking-spicy

    Stir for about 2-3 minutes and your stir fry is done! Try biting a sliver of potato to see if the texture is to your liking, but it definitely shouldn’t be soft or soggy – it’s supposed to have a slight crunch!

    Shredded-potatoes-tou-du-si.jpg

    And in under 20 minutes and $2.25 you have a yummy spicy potato stir fry!

     

    I hope you enjoy it! Any comments or feedback on the recipe is 100% appreciated! 🙂

    *This recipe can be gluten free if you swap the soy sauce to a GF soy sauce!


    INGREDIENT COSTS

    I’m referring to a Loblaws (a generic grocery chain in Canada) weekly flyer and their website, and a local Chinese grocery store

    2 Medium Sized White Potatoes – Loose – ($1.30) – $11.40/kg
    355 ml Seasoned Rice Vinegar ($4.59) – $1.29/100ml
    500 ml Rooster Superior Light Soy Sauce ($1.99) – $0.40/100ml
    Garlic – $0.88/100g
    Ginger – $0.43/100g
    946 ml No Name Brand Canola Oil ($4.19) – $0.44/100ml
    1kg Windsor Table Salt ($1.69) – $0.17/100g
    1 bunch of green onions ($0.79)
    Green Long Hot Green Peppers – ($0.34) – $4.39/kg

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    All Purpose Thai Peanut Sauce

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    I was never too keen on peanut sauces in the past, then I started getting into Thai and Vietnamese food while in University so evidently my peanut sauce intake grew exponentially. I had tried to make multiple batches of peanut sauces from recipes I saw online and they constantly turned out.. well.. bland.  They never had that extra kick of acidity the ones in the restaurants had.

    The thing with the majority of Asian sauces is that they usually contain a lot of ingredients that may be hard to come by (not everyone is able to get palm sugar and tamarind paste at their local grocery store!) So I tried to make this sauce to have the ingredients that are a bit more easy to access without looking to hard! To do this I decided to play around with the flavours and ask some lovely local Thai restaurant owners what the sauce actually consists of.

    It seemed the main missing ingredients so many peanut sauce recipes were rice vinegar, coconut milk, and Thai red pepper curry paste. I’m not a huge fan of coconut milk, so I decided to omit it and add water instead (you can absolutely use coconut milk). Once I added in the other ingredients(as well as a hint of sriracha because obviously), my peanut sauce took on a whole new flavour and mirrored those in my favourite restaurants.

    Use this sauce for spring rolls, summer rolls, stir fries, meat satay, noodle bowels, or just about anything! Once you start making your own, it’ll be almost be painful to eat the prepared and preserved bottles you can purchase from the grocery store. 1 cup of the sauce can be used for 2 – 3 dishes or noodle bowls (depending on how saucy you like your meals). Adding a little extra water if its a bit thick won’t alter the taste too much.


    INGREDIENTS for 1 CUP OF PEANUT SAUCE & COSTS
    (Prep time 5-10 minutes)

    1/2 cup of All Natural unsalted creamy Peanut Butter ($0.59)
    1 1/2 Tsp of Red Curry Paste ($0.13)
    1 1/2 Tbs of Rice Vinegar ($0.28)
    1 Tsp Soy Sauce ($0.02)
    1/2 cup of water (or coconut milk if you want a sweeter taste) + 1/4 cup for preference – Free (I hope!)
    1 Tbs of Honey (or 1 1/2 Tbs of brown sugar if you want a vegan recipe) – ($0.21)
    1 Tsp or clove of garlic (minced) – ($0.02)
    1 Tsp of ginger (minced) – ($0.01)
    1 Tbs of Canola Oil – ($0.05)
    1 1/2 Tsp of Lime juice or juice of a quarter of Lime ($0.05)
    Sriracha to taste if you like it to be spicy! (Optional)
    Crushed peanuts (Optional)

    Total Cost = $1.36*

    Compare that to the bland, preservative filled $5.00 peanut sauces you find in grocery stores!
    *Depending the cost of the ingredients in your area, the cost may be more or less. I live in a fairly inflated part of town, so chances are your cost will be less.

    Need the proof? Head down to the bottom of this page!


    DIRECTIONS

    Finely mince the ginger and the garlic (as fine as you can!) Pour the oil in a sauce pan or small pot and place it on the stove at medium-low heat. Throw in the minced garlic and ginger and wait for it to get aromatic. Once you begin to smell it cooking, toss in the red pepper curry paste and mix. Make sure the bottom of the pan doesn’t catch (no one wants burnt sauce). peanut_sauce_red_pepper_curry

    Once the curry paste is well mixed in with the garlic and ginger, add in the soy sauce, rice vinegar, and honey. Continue to stir! It should look something like this.

    curry_vinegar_honey_peanut_sauce

    Once it starts to bubble, its time to throw in that peanut butter!

    peanut_sauce_curry_paste_spicy

    Stir stir stir! Now add in the half cup of water and stir some more! Within a minute, your sauce is almost ready and should look something like this!

    asian_peanut_sauce3

    Now for the final touches, squeeze in the lime juice and add in some sriracha if you want it to have some heat! (I highly recommend you do) Once it bubbles a little bit, you’ll notice the sauce get thicker. If you want it to be a but more runny, I advise you add in another 1/4 cup of water and let it simmer for 30 seconds before taking it off the heat.

    And voila! Within 5 minutes, you have your very own homemade all purpose peanut sauce for 3 servings, and all under $1.50! You can store this sauce in an air-tight container or jar for up to 1 1/2 weeks in your fridge!

    asian_peanut_sauce_2

    I hope you enjoy this protein packed, super simple, sauce! I’m happy to take any feedback (good or bad) or questions!


    INGREDIENT COSTS

    I’m referring to a Loblaws (a generic grocery chain in Canada) weekly flyer and their website.

    750 g President’s Choice Just Peanuts Smooth Peanut Butter ($3.99)  – $0.53/100g
    400 g Cock Brand Red Curry Paste ($2.49) – $0.62/100g
    355 ml Seasoned Rice Vinegar ($4.59) – $1.29/100ml
    500 ml Rooster Superior Dark Soy Sauce ($1.99) – $0.40/100ml
    500 g Farm Boy™ Pure Ontario Honey ($4.99) – $0.99/100g
    Garlic – $0.88/100g
    Ginger – $0.43/100g
    946 ml No Name Brand Canola Oil ($4.19) – $0.44/100ml
    125 ml Realime Single Strength Lime Juice ($0.99) – $0.79/100ml