We’re continuing the Chinese revisionist recipes. One of my mother’s and my favorite Chinese dishes is Moo Goo Guy Pan – a mixture of chicken and vegetables in a light sauce. Usually made bok choy, water chestnuts and mushrooms along with snow peas, this dish is a satisfying meal that covers all the nutritional bases. Other than cutting up all the vegetables and chicken, it goes together quite easily. I actually cut up everything the night before I wanted to make this, storing the vegetables in a container in the refrigerator and the chicken in a gallon food storage bag with the corn (or tapioca) starch. It was then very simple to prepare the next day.
Vegetables (feel free to substitute other vegetables your family likes, asparagus would work nicely):
1/2 medium onion, sliced
6 ounces sliced mushrooms, any variety will work
4-6 ounces snow peas with the strings removed
4-5 baby or 1 large bok choy
8 ounces sliced water chestnuts (the canned kind works fine)
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in either a 12 inch high sided skillet or a wok over medium high heat. Add the prepared vegetables and cook, stirring for 2-3 minutes until slightly softened. Remove them from the heat and set aside in a separate bowl.
2 medium sized chicken breasts thinly sliced (works best if the breasts are partially frozen)
2 tablespoons corn or tapioca starch
Toss the chicken slices in the starch and let sit for at least 30 minutes. Heat another tablespoon of olive oil, over medium heat, in the same skillet and add the sliced chicken. Brown on one side for 2-3 minutes and then flip and brown on the other sides. If they stick, you’re turning them too soon. And don’t worry, making the sauce in the pan will release those brown sticky pieces from the bottom of the pan. Total, this should only take about 5 minutes if you’ve sliced them thin enough.
While the chicken cooks, prepare the sauce:
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 to 1 tablespoon sesame oil (depending on your taste, this is a very strong flavor)
1-2 tablespoons fish sauce (again depending on your taste, very salty flavor)
1 1/2 tablespoons corn or tapioca starch
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Whisk to combine before adding to the cooked chicken in the skillet. Stir constantly until sauce thickens, scraping the bits off the bottom of the pan. Stir in the reserved vegetables. Cover and let sit for 2-3 minutes which will reheat the vegetables. Serve with slivered scallion greens and rice. Makes 4 servings.