Get Your Stir Fry On!

Get Your Stir Fry On!

The Thai-style sauce in this recipe brings heat to the dish with a tangy, salty, slightly sour finish. It’s a flavorful complement to the earthy vegetables and tender, lean chicken.

I used thigh meat, but you can substitute chicken breast and make the stir-fry even leaner. To lessen the heat in the sauce, simply omit one of the chiles or reduce the amount of sambal oelek.

Both sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste) and nam pla (fish sauce) can be found in general Asian markets or in the international section of many supermarkets.

Serves 4


For the Sauce


2 Thai chiles, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp nam pla (fish sauce)
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp sambal oelek
1 tbsp water
1 tsp cornstarch

For the Stir-Fry


6 oz green beans, trimmed and snapped in half
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into thin, 1-inch strips
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tbsp peanut oil, divided
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
10 baby-cut carrots (or 2 very small carrots, peeled), cut crosswise into thin rounds
2/3 cup chopped red or green bell pepper
4 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
2 cups steamed white rice


For the Sauce


Combine the first 9 ingredients (through sambal oelek) in a bowl, stirring well to dissolve the sugar. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes.
Combine the water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Set aside. Re-stir the cornstarch mixture and combine with the sauce just before using.

For the Stir-Fry


Blanch the green beans in boiling water 2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.
Place the chicken in a bowl and sprinkle with cornstarch. Stir to coat well.
Heat a wok over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of peanut oil, swirling to coat. Add the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Stir-fry until browned and just cooked through, 7-8 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a bowl.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of peanut oil to the wok, swirling to coat. Add the carrots and stir-fry 3 minutes. Add the blanched green beans, bell pepper, and white parts of the scallions and stir-fry 2 minutes.
Return the chicken to the wok. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the reserved sauce and add to the wok. Stir-fry until the sauce thickens slightly, 2-3 minutes.

To serve, divide the rice among 4 shallow bowls. Divide the chicken mixture on top and garnish with the green parts of the scallions.

For more recipes and cooking tips from Pamela Steed Hill, check out The Briny Lemon.

By Pamela Steed Hill

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