Not sure why, but a stir-fry never comes to mind when I’m thinking of what to serve guests. Some of our grown children (and a significant other) were coming for Sunday supper and one of them adheres to a plant-based diet. This time stir-fry did pop in my head because I knew we could easily whip up a bunch of vegetables, put some aside for the non-meat eater, then add chicken to the remainder.
Of course, what’s a dinner party without a few appetizers to get you going? Here we took a major shortcut and purchased pre-made dumplings and sushi, both veggie and fish. But The Mr. did make a slightly-spicy Japanese Gyoza Dipping Sauce from scratch (recipe follows).
Both the pork bun dumplings and the green veggie dumplings were pan-fried for a crisp exterior.
We had a mix of three varieties of sushi that included vegan, tuna and shrimp rolls; one wrapped in brown rice.
Pour Gyoza dipping sauce into small individual little bowls.
When you have cooked all of the veggies and they are keeping warm in a covered bowl, then it’s time to stir-fry the chicken in the wok. At this point, select a fry pan big enough to accommodate enough vegetables for those eating plant-based and put it on a burner over medium heat. Once the chicken is cooked through, divide the veggies between the wok and hot fry pan. Divide the sauce accordingly, stir and let thicken for a minute or two.
There were even some leftovers for our guests to take home for lunch the next day…
Chicken AND Vegetarian Stir-Fry
For the Sauce: (Yields 1 cup)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, chopped fine
- 2 tsp. sesame oil
- 4 Tbsp. rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth or water
- 2 Tbsp. sriracha
- 4 Tbsp. sugar
- 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
For the Stir-Fry:
- 3 Tbsp. peanut oil, divided
- 2 1/4 lbs. boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1″ pieces
- 1 bunch asparagus, cut on diagonal into 1 1/2″ lengths
- 3 bell peppers (red, yellow, orange), seeded and cut into 1″ cubes
- 2 bunches scallions, whites and light green cut on diagonal into 1″ lengths; dark greens finely sliced for garnish
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped for garnish
- Make rice per package directions.
- Combine all ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl or Tupperware and mix well, set aside.
- Heat a flat-bottomed wok on high heat; when very hot add 1 tablespoon peanut oil and swirl in pan.
- Add asparagus and scallion lengths to wok. Stir-fry for 2 minutes until slightly charred on outside. Place into a large bowl and cover with tinfoil.
- Swirl another tablespoon of oil into wok, then add the bell peppers. Stir-fry continuously for 2-3 minutes until some are lightly browned. Move to same bowl with asparagus and recover.
- Add final tablespoon of oil to wok, then put chicken pieces in one layer without disturbing for one minute (more time if needed) to get browned.
- Divide the cooked veggies back into the wok with the chicken and the remainder into another hot fry pan (quantity depends how many are eating vegetarian).
- Add the pre-made sauce to both the veggie and meat stir-fries, mix and let thicken slightly—about a minute and serve over steamed rice.
- Garnish with chopped basil and/or scallion greens.
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Whisk together the rice vinegar, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, green onions, and sesame oil in a bowl; allow to sit 15 minutes before serving. Store in refrigerator up to 1 week.