Hoisin sauce is not commonly
used in stir-frying. The cook who makes my favorite take-out
stir-fry uses it because its unique flavor fits the Shanghai
taste for dishes that are a touch sweet. It also adds body, so
the sauce does not require the amount of cornstarch typically
It may seem tedious, but do
take time to cut all the ingredients into small pieces that are
even in size. This ensures that the ingredients cook quickly
but evenly. If you can find them (most likely at Chinese markets),
fresh water chestnuts have more crunch than the canned version.
Shanghai Walnut Chicken - Makes 4 servings.
2 Tbsp. Hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp. reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. rice vinegar
1/4 cup fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp. peanut or canola oil, divided
3/4 lb. chicken cutlets, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 green bell pepper, cut in 1/2" dice
1 red bell pepper, cut in 1/2" dice
1 green chile pepper, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 can (8 oz.) diced or sliced water chestnuts, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
In a small bowl, combine the
hoisin sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, broth and cornstarch. Mix in
the sesame oil. Set the seasoning sauce aside.
Set a wok or large frying pan
over high heat. Drizzle in 2 teaspoons of the canola oil, swirling
to coat the cooking surface. Stir-fry the chicken until it is
white. Turn it out onto a plate.
Add the remaining oil to the
pan. Stir-fry the green, red, and chile peppers, and the garlic,
for 2 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan. Add the water chestnuts
and walnuts. Restir the seasoning sauce and add. Stir-fry until
the chicken is cooked through. Serve immediately, along with
cooked rice, preferably brown.
Per serving: 247 calories, 10
g. total fat (1 g. saturated fat), 17 g. carbohydrate, 22 g.
protein, 5 g. dietary fiber, 378 mg. sodium.