Yesterday while riffling aimlessly through the bookshelf, I chanced upon a pile of cookbooks and thought to myself ‘Hey! Why don’t I try something new for lunch tomorrow?’ The first cookbook in the pile turned out to be full of Asian recipes, and while flipping through it, yet another novel idea presented itself.
I walked over to Huz and told him to pick a dish from the book and I would cook it for him.
Rather sportily (or so I thought to myself), instead of shooing me off with a ‘Pick one yourself, woman!’, he went through the pages in an interested manner (after donning his reading glasses, which lent an air of seriousness to the endeavour) and within minutes decided on the recipe on page 38-39 —> ‘Chicken and Almonds’
(He loves anything with nuts)
He astonished me even further (though I was careful not to show it, lest he change his mind) by offering to go grocery shopping in the morning to get all the necessary ingredients! (14 years of married life can still present wonders that amaze)
So this is what we needed.
I started off by first mixing 1 tbsp of soy sauce with 1 tbsp cornflour and pouring it over 300g chicken breast fillets, sliced diagonally across into strips, and leaving it to marinate.
Next, I prepared all the other things.
Grated a 2cm piece of fresh ginger….. chopped 1 onion roughly…. thinly sliced 1 celery stalk, diagonally……
The recipe called for 50 g of green beans but I used more because I wanted more green in my lunch. Sliced them vertically in half, and then cut canned bamboo shoots into half a cup of cubes….(umm….perhaps I used a bit more)
Time to fire up the ol’ wok with 2 tbsp oil (you can tell from the picture that I use my wok a lot :P). When it was nice and hot, I stir-fried the chicken for about 2 minutes, then removed it from the heat and set it aside, keeping it covered….
I added a little more oil to the wok, re-heated it and stir-fried the ginger, onion and celery for about 4 minutes.
Then I put in the green beans and bamboo shoots and cooked for another minute.
The recipe calls for 2 tbsp Chinese rice wine or medium sherry, but I skipped this (since I didn’t have any) and poured in a quarter cup of chicken stock, 1 tsp of sesame oil, and 2 tbsp of water (I also squeezed in half a lemon, just for fun), covered it and steamed for 30 seconds.
Next, I mixed together 2 tsp of extra cornflour with 1 tbsp of water and stirred it into the sauce, bringing it to the boil.
Then it was time to return the chicken to the pan and add 125 g (or a heaped handful) of blanched, roasted almonds, tossing it all well to combine and allowing it to just heat through and….voila!!
It was ready to be served with steamed white rice (which I somehow managed to make simultaneously). 🙂
Huz liked it. I enjoyed it too. And so did Amu, when she came back from sports practice at 4 in the afternoon.
It’s 6:30 now and I’m wondering….what should we have for dinner? 😛