My boyfriend’s mum, Dallas is an excellent cook and a real master of ad-libbing in the kitchen, which is a skill that I’m hoping to learn from her. I typically follow recipes, since that’s how I taught myself to cook over the past few years, but I think it’s high time that I cut loose from recipes and learn to have a bit more fun in the kitchen.
Dallas took a simple Vietnamese beef recipe and turned it into a chicken stir fry, throwing in whatever ingredients that she had on hand. I’m learning from her that it’s ridiculous to get so wrapped up in a recipe that you have to include every single ingredient, which can cause a lot of unnecessary stress in the kitchen – especially when you have to run to the store in the middle of making the dish!
I absolutely loved this simple stirfry because it leaves a lot of room for creativity. You’ll notice that several of the ingredients are marked as ‘optional’ on the list below and I highly encourage you to branch out and experiment with some of your favorites to personalize the dish!
Vietnamese Chicken adapted from International Cooking Series: Vietnamese Food
- 1 lb (or 500g) boneless chicken thighs (breast meat will dry out)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp lemon pepper
- 1 cup sliced spring onions (green parts only)
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 can (500g) bamboo shoots, drained & sliced
- 1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp chopped ginger
- 1 cup sugar snap peas (optional)
- 1 cup snow peas (optional)
- 1/2 can baby corn (optional)
- Rice noodles
Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or heavy bottomed fry pan over high heat. Add the chicken thighs, drop the heat to Med-High, and cook until browned on all sides. Remove chicken from the pan.
Add green onions, garlic, ginger, and bamboo shoots. Saute until tender.
Add the fish sauce and sesame seeds and toss to coat.
Add the chicken back in to the pan along with the peas and baby corn (or other vegetables of your choosing). Cook until heated through.
Soak the rice noodles in hot water that has just been boiled.
Serve the stir fry over the rice noodles.