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The piquant Sichuan Sauce (which doubles easily) works well with almost any stir-fry but particularly enhances dishes with meat, fish and poultry. When stir-frying chicken, always spread the pieces in the wok and let them cook undisturbed for 1 minute before stirring. This allows the chicken to sear and prevents sticking. To smash the ginger, use the side of a cleaver or chef's knife.

Grace Young
Source: EatingWell Magazine, February/March 2005

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Ingredients

Sichuan Sauce
Chicken

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare Sichuan sauce: Whisk broth, tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch and crushed red pepper to taste in a small bowl.

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  • To prepare chicken: Combine chicken, rice wine (or sherry), soy sauce, cornstarch and garlic in a medium bowl; mix thoroughly.

  • Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or large skillet over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl oil into the pan, add ginger and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Carefully add the chicken mixture, spreading it out. Cook until the chicken begins to brown, about 1 minute. Using a spatula, stir-fry for 30 seconds. Spread the chicken out again and cook for 30 seconds. Continue stir-frying until the chicken is lightly browned on all sides, 1 to 2 minutes. Add snap peas and stir-fry for 1 minute. Stir the Sichuan Sauce, swirl it into the pan and stir-fry until the chicken is just cooked through and the sauce is slightly thickened and glossy, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer to a platter (discard the ginger) and sprinkle with peanuts and scallions. Serve immediately.

Tips

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare Sichuan Sauce (Step 1); cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Notes: Chinkiang is a dark, slightly sweet vinegar with a smoky flavor. It is available in many Asian specialty markets. If unavailable, balsamic vinegar is an acceptable substitute.

Shao Hsing (or Shaoxing) is a seasoned rice wine. It is available in most Asian specialty markets and some larger supermarkets in the Asian section. An acceptable substitute is dry sherry, sold with other fortified wines in your wine or liquor store. (We prefer it to the “cooking sherry” sold in many supermarkets, which can be surprisingly high in sodium.)

People with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity should use soy sauces that are labeled "gluten-free," as soy sauce may contain wheat or other gluten-containing sweeteners and flavors.

Nutrition Facts

265 calories; protein 27.6g; carbohydrates 11.8g; dietary fiber 2.6g; sugars 5.1g; fat 11.4g; saturated fat 1.8g; cholesterol 62.7mg; vitamin a iu 1146.4IU; vitamin c 1.9mg; folate 13.9mcg; calcium 50.3mg; iron 1.1mg; magnesium 60.1mg; potassium 412.1mg; sodium 176.6mg; thiamin 0.2mg; added sugar 1g.
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