One of my family’s favourite Chinese restaurants in Markham, ON, has a stir fry dish where the chicken and peppers are cut into very small pieces. I think this method enhances the flavour of the dry sauce. This is my recreation of that chicken and pepper dish. It is simple, colourful, and flavourful, and is best enjoyed with a hot bowl of white rice.
On a side note, my family always refers to that Chinese restaurant as “sketchy place”, because it’s such a dirty hole in the wall, but the food is unique, delicious and relatively low in price. The best food often comes from the sketchiest establishments. Someone will ask, “Where are we going for dinner tonight?” The reply will literally be, “Sketchy place.” We go there quite often and the family that runs the restaurant knows us well.
Stir Fried Chicken and Peppers with Black Beans Recipe
serves 4 alongside other dishes
3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into small pieces (smaller than bite sized)
1/4 red bell pepper, diced finely
1/4 green bell pepper, diced finely
1/2 small onion, diced finely
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp fermented black beans
1 tsp shaoxing rice wine
1/2 tbsp corn starch
pinch granulated white sugar
dash of ground white pepper (to taste)
Make a black bean paste by hydrating the black beans with 2 to 3 tsp of hot water in a small bowl. Allow it to sit for a few minutes and then mash it roughly with a fork. In a medium sized bowl, marinate the chicken with the black bean paste, garlic, soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, white pepper, and corn starch for at least 1 hour.
Heat a wok over high heat. When the wok is very hot, add the oil and swirl it around to coat the bottom half of the wok. The oil will get very hot very quickly. Working quickly spread the chicken out over the bottom of the wok and allow it to sear for about 5 seconds without disturbing it. Be careful not to get splattered by the oil. Then stir the chicken constantly until it is almost cooked through, about 1 to 1 1/2 more minutes. Add the peppers and onion and continue to stir until the onions are translucent and the peppers are tender but still crisp, about 1 to 2 more minutes. Dish out and serve immediately with rice.