Monday, 7 September 2009

Five-Spice Chicken Stir-Fry

Five-Spice Chicken Stir-Fry

2 pcs chicken breast
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
2 whole star anise
a little salt

Cut the chicken into bite size pieces. Trim and discard any excess fat.

In a bowl, combine the oil, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sugar, turmeric, five-spice powder and salt. Stir well to blend. Add the chicken pieces and turn several times to coat them evenly. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Heat a little oil in a pan, add in the marinated chicken and star anise. Add a little water.

Once the liquid is reduced, you may add in vegetables of your choice. Cook for another minute or two. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and serve hot.

Note: I’m using artichokes and baby corns. You may also use shiitake mushrooms, pakchoy, broccoli or any available vegetable that is in season.

How to make your own 5-spice powder

You will need:
2 tsp Szechuan peppercorns
8 star anise
½ tsp ground cloves
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp fennel seeds

In a dry skillet, roast Szechuan peppercorns by shaking the pan over low to medium heat until the aroma of the peppercorns is released (about three minutes).
Grind the roasted peppercorns and star anise in a blender or pepper mill.
Strain the blended seasonings.
Mix in the rest of the other spices.
Grind the seasonings until very fine.
Store in an airtight container.

Use five-spice powder sparingly, as it can be quite pungent.
If desired, you can substitute black peppercorns for the Szechuan peppercorn, and ground anise for the star anise (use 4 teaspoons of ground anise).