Prep 15 mins
Cook 15 mins
Based on a recipe from "The Joy of Chinese Cooking" by Lo Mei Hing and Sun Tzi Hsi. Written in Japan in 1981. Translated and printed in Milan, Italy in 1983. One of the few dishes I make more than once a year.
- 1 boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- cornstarch, as needed
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 slice gingerroot (small slice)
- 1 dash sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 pinch pepper
- 1 tablespoon rice wine
- 1 English cucumber
- Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise, then cut diagonally in 1/4-inch slices.
- Combine the soy sauce, sugar, salt and pepper as a sauce.
- Set aside.
- Cut the chicken into thin diagonal slices at a 45° angle.
- Dip the chicken slices into the egg, then into the cornstarch; rest slices on wax paper.
- Heat the oil over medium-low heat.
- Gently fry the chicken in single layer batches.
- Remove and drain on paper towels or brown paper bag.
- Add more oil if necessary.
- Fry ginger until it gives off its aroma.
- Add cucumber and stir-fry for a minute or two.
- Add rice wine.
- When most of the wine has evaporated, raise the heat to high, add the chicken and sauce.
- Stir-fry quickly over high heat.
- Remove from heat and sprinkle on a few drops of sesame oil.
- Serve with steamed rice.
Mere minutes before this was finished, I was nearly convinced it wouldn't happen. The fried chicken was dry, the cucumbers sat there looking ready for salad, and the sauce seemed to have nothing to do with either. Together, though, they worked! I had never cooked cucumbers before, but they were good. They had a texture like softer zucchini or smoother onion, and picked up some of the flavors of the sauce and wine. I used sake, which made it taste like a Japanese rendition of Chinese food, but then, that's what it is. Thanks for something tasty and a bit different (though less so than it might sound at first).