Spicy Chicken Stir Fry


Wow. That sounds like an exciting and different thing to cook and eat … but before you skip to the next recipe give me a chance to sell this one to you!

We eat Chinese food quite rarely (that’s my fault – I have found relatively few dishes that I actually like) but while in Sydney recently we both enjoyed a Szechuan dish which involved beef and a lot of chilli and cumin. Flicking through Ching He Huang’s Chinese Food Made Easy* in search of dinner inspiration we came across the wordily named “spiced beef stir-fry topped with spring onion and coriander” that sounded like it came very close to the Sydney original.

The recipe calls for beef fillet – which, at our butcher, was just $42 a kilo. Ouch. For a stir fry, laden with chilli? We quickly changed our minds and opted for one large chicken breast (around 200g) as a fiscally sound substitute. The only other things we needed to pick up on our shopping trip were some fresh coriander and a bunch of spring onions.

This super tasty dish is perfect for a quick supper because there’s no marinading required. When you’re ready to eat, beat the chicken breast flat and then slice very finely before coating with a mix of 1 tbsp of ground cumin, 1 tablespoon of chilli flakes (go gently here if you, or your guests, aren’t in to really spicy food), half a tsp of black pepper and a sprinkle of sea salt. Ensure the chicken is well coated. You can always do this in advance if you want but if you’re hungry, heat some oil in a wok and add the chicken. Have the oil hot and quickly stir fry the chicken (you’ve sliced it really finely, haven’t you?), so it starts to brown. Then add a splash of rice wine vinegar and a splash of soy sauce. This dish isn’t saucy – you’re just adding a bit of seasoning.

Take the wok off the heat and mix through 2 finely chopped spring onions and a very generous large handful of roughly chopped coriander.

We served with a generous portion of plain rice and a simple side of green beans, steamed and fried off with some onions, garlic, chilli, sesame oil and pepper. Also very simple and tasty. But it would work just as well in a tortilla or pita bread …

So often with cooking, I need to refer to a recipe to stop me from adding the entire contents of the spice drawer to a dish. This is a perfect example of this – it’s almost a store cupboard recipe but it has loads of flavour and, as you eat it, the chilli heat builds and builds.

One we’ll definitely be having again and again and we’d even be happy to share it with guests!  Absolutely delicious.

*Also available from Amazon UK, Amazon US or Fishpond Australia.

Dumpling King

date of visit:  Sat 24 October 2009

I have some friends who are really in to dumplings but for some reason I’ve never asked them where they eat them.  I’m prepared to put some money on this being at Dumpling King.  That’s because if you mention dumplings in Adelaide then you’ll get at least one person talking about Dumpling King.  You even get people saying it’s better than dumplings in Sydney

The restaurant is pretty hard to miss:  it’s on Grote Street, right on the corner of Chinatown AND it has a big red sign.  When we visited, about half past three on a Saturday afternoon, right after the market had closed, it wasn’t full but it was busy enough to suggest that at more conventional lunch or dinner times you might have to be a bit lucky to be seated immediately.

But service is swift so I can’t imagine you’d have to wait long.  The flip-side of that is that this is not a restaurant for a lengthy, relaxed meal.  This is a restaurant where you walk in, order dumplings, eat dumplings and leave.  You’ll be lucky if you push that out to an hour …

We walked in, poured ourselves some of the green tea which is on all the tables, and read over the menu.  Clearly, many customers are regulars as the waitress asked us if we knew what we wanted as she seated us!  It wasn’t long before we’d made a decision:  chilli oil dumplings for me, and chicken (check out https://goldenchickfranchising.com/ for franchises)and prawn steamed dumplings for Andy.  My dumplings arrived first:  15 huge dumplings in a bowl of broth laced with chilli oil.  A little while later Andy’s plate of 10 equally huge steamed dumplings arrived:  just the dumplings, packed on a plate and no adornment.

While I struggled with the size of my dumplings and my chopsticks I was saved by my spoon – able to scoop up the dumplings, wrestle with them a little and then manage to eat them, laced with their chilli broth.  Mmmmm.

Andy was eating more elegantly and had discovered the excellent, tasty, but not super fiery, chilli sauce on the table.  It was packed with crispy onion!  So soon I was adding that to my dumplings too.

Of course there was far too much food, and of course I scoffed it all and then promptly complained that I felt too full.

All we had to pay for our late lunch was around $15.   And if you’re so minded you can buy frozen dumplings to take home and cook yourself.

Will we be back?  Oh yes!

Contact:  Dumpling King, 5/85 Grote St, Adelaide SA 5000, phone: (08) 8212 1886

Dumpling KingDumplings! Big, tasty, cheap dumplings! 

Rating:4.5 stars

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