A Simple Chinese Meal

Steamed Chicken with Ginger and Spring Onion accompanied by Stir-Fried Broccoli

Here is a very straightforward meal for everyday eating that is always a big favourite in our house. It can be prepared quickly for a family meal, though these two dishes would also be excellent when combined with others as part of a larger, more formal Chinese banquet.

The two finished dishes

The two finished dishes

Chicken with Ginger and Spring Onion

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 5 cm ginger (grated)
  • A bunch of spring onions (around 6), finely sliced
  • A few coriander sprigs
  • Half teaspoon ginger powder
  • One and a half tablespoons sunflower oil

Put around 300ml water into a pan (the water should reach just half the depth of the chicken.)

The water should be half the chicken depth

The water should be half the chicken depth

Bring the water to the boil and add the chicken. Simmer on a low heat for 3 or 4 minutes then turn the meat over and continue to simmer until the meat is cooked, probably around another 5 minutes. It is very important to cook the chicken on a very low heat. Otherwise the meat will be dry.

Let the meat has cool slightly, then slice neatly.

Slice the meat into neat bite-size pieces

Slice the meat into neat bite-size pieces

Heat the oil in a pan until it is very hot, add the ginger powder then the grated ginger and stir for 20 seconds. Then add the spring onion and cook for just another 10 seconds or so before turning off the heat.

Transfer the ginger and spring onion sauce to a bowl, and then add salt and a little juice from the steamed chicken.

Serve the sliced chicken with a generous portion of the sauce spooned on top. This dish can be served at room temperature.

Serve the chicken with a generous covering of sauce

Serve the chicken with a generous covering of sauce

Stir-fried Broccoli

  • 500g broccoli / one head
  • 1 small carrot
  • 2cm piece ginger
  • 2 tablespoons of sherry or Chinese rice wine
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
Cut up the broccoli and slice the carrots

Cut up the broccoli and slice the carrots

Separate the broccoli into small florets and thinly slice the stalk. Slice the carrot diagonally (for a decorative effect you can cut each slice into a leaf shape.)

Carrots can be cut in decorative leaf shapes

Carrots can be cut in decorative leaf shapes

Crush the ginger and chop finely.

Crush then chop the ginger

Crush then chop the ginger

While it is possible to put the uncooked broccoli directly into the wok, many people may find they get better results by lightly steaming the broccoli before stir frying. Restaurants often use this method.  Place the broccoli in a pan and add just 3 or 4 tablespoons of water and a pinch of salt. Put the lid on the pan and steam for around 3 minutes. Make sure that the pan does not dry up. Drain the vegetables well. This short steaming should leave the broccoli looking a nice bright green.

Heat the oil in a wok or deep frying pan, add the ginger and carrot then fry for a minute or two. Then add the broccoli and stir fry for another 2 minutes or so.  Next add the sherry or rice wine. Cook until the vegetables are tender. If the pan seems a bit too dry during cooking then add a dash of water.

Fry the ginger and carrot before adding the steamed broccoli

Fry the ginger and carrot before adding the steamed broccoli

Make the broccoli the last dish you cook and serve immediately. Serve with steamed rice and you have a wonderful Chinese meal!

Time your cooking so that the broccoli is served immediately

Time your cooking so that the broccoli is served immediately

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