- 10 ounces boneless, skinless organic chicken thighs, sliced into strips
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch ground white pepper
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons rapeseed oil, divided
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 (1-inch) knob fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 red chile, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine
- 3 shiitake mushrooms, washed and sliced
- 2 ounces Chinese leaf, washed and shredded
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 3/4 cup hot vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water
- 7 ounces cooked egg noodles coated in 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 ounces bean sprouts, washed
- 2 spring onions, trimmed and sliced on the bias, plus more to serve
This is a Beijing-meets-Canton-style chop suey. "Chop suey" in Cantonese is "cap sui," which means pieces of mixed vegetables. This easy and delicious dish uses leftover ingredients and is quicker to make than ordering takeout. Whenever I eat Chinese leaf, it reminds me of the Shandong Province, with their obsession with leafy cabbage vegetable — a symbol of peasant food. Oyster sauce was created in Guangdong and is a secret umami weapon I cannot live without in my cupboard. The oyster sauce makes the chicken super moreish and works so well with the Chinese leaf, which lends a delicious, sweet bite once softened — a perfect pairing! The wok juices are perfect tossed with egg noodles or drizzled over Jasmine rice.
Technique tip: Cornstarch helps to bind all the flavors to the chicken and seals in juices as it cooks.
Swap option: Use whatever protein you like. For my vegan friends, you can use firm tofu instead of the chicken and it would be equally delicious.
For the chicken:
In a bowl, add the chicken and marinade with salt, ground white pepper, oyster sauce and cornstarch.
For the stir fry:
Heat a wok over high heat until smoking and add 1 tablespoon of rapeseed oil. Add the garlic, ginger and chile, and stir-fry for a few seconds, then add the chicken. Wok-fry the chicken for 2 minutes until it starts to caramelize and starts to turn opaque. Season with Shaoxing rice wine and deglaze the wok. Cook for another 2 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Spoon out the chicken.
Add another tablespoon of rapeseed oil, the shiitake mushrooms and Chinese leaf, and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add water to help create some steam to cook the leaves.
For the sauce:
Pour hot stock, soy sauce and sesame oil into the wok, and bring to a boil. Add the cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce.
Add the chicken back into the wok. Toss in the egg noodles, bean sprouts and spring onions.
Spoon out onto a serving plate and garnish with more spring onions. Serve immediately.