Lightened-Up Mongolian Chicken


This is one thirty-minute meal that does not spare a thing. It can be vegetarian if you prefer (tofu or cauliflower instead of chicken), and leaves plenty of other room for creativity. It is a simple dish served best over rice, and gives those less familiar with cooking Asian cuisine at home a good introduction to Mongolian-style food. If I were you, I would start with the rice—but it’s easy to forget about while you put the rest of the dish together, so beware!

The chicken should sit in the marinade for at least fifteen minutes. If you have a little more time, you might get the marinade done earlier in the day and really let the flavor soak in. You will need rice wine, soy sauce, minced garlic, grated ginger, brown sugar, and cornstarch—don’t forget, two boneless skinless chicken breasts. That’s for the marinade. There’s a sauce as well: hoisin sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, black pepper, water, chili paste, and garlic if you’d like. While red bell pepper, snap peas, and green onion would be typical here, there is lots of room for creativity and improvisation.

Get the sauce mixed and set it aside. Cut the chicken breasts into strips, and get them in the marinade minus the cornstarch. That will be added right before the meat is cooked. When you add the cornstarch, mix it very well to coat the chicken, but let any excess drip off before cooking. Once the chicken is cooked, add the sauce and vegetables. When the veggies are cooked but still crisp, you are good to go! Garnish with green onions and serve over rice.

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