Okay, first of all, let’s not mistake this Chicken with Garlic Sauce dish with what’s on your Chinese takeout menu. This is about 99 times better. Trust me on this.
Secondly, winter bamboo is in season. You can now find them in your local Asian market. They are somewhat expensive (prices range from $3 – $6 per pound), as they are imported from China, but it’s SO worth it. Especially for people who’ve never had them before. You need to try it. Live a little, I say.
If you can’t find fresh bamboo, the canned bamboo shoots in water will do just fine.
Thirdly, this chicken and garlic sauce dish is authentic, yet super easy to make. After just some minor chopping, you’re minutes away from a restaurant quality dish. In China, this dish is almost always made with shredded pork. It’s kind of our take on鱼香肉丝 (yu xiang rou si). But today, we will be making it with chicken breast. Chicken is a little more widely used here in the US, and it’s equally delicious.
The dish isn’t quite as spicy as it looks, though you can certainly leave out the dried chilies and the chili oil (for a chili oil recipe, check out our Lanzhou Beef Noodle Soup recipe). If you’re curious about the rice in the photo, it’s a mixture of white rice and millet, which is a little healthier and tastes great.
When we visited Chengdu in China’s Sichuan Province two years ago, besides visiting the pandas, we tried many famous native Sichuan dishes. I remember we had this dish in a fancy hotel restaurant, so you could say we’ve tasted it in it’s place of origin. I am very proud of this recipe; we hope you enjoy our Chengdu experience and a taste of China through this dish.
We recommend that you also try another one of our popular Sichuan or Szechuan dish, Chinese Eggplant with Garlic Sauce!
Chicken with Garlic Sauce: Recipe Instructions
Marinate the sliced chicken with salt, cornstarch, and oil. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. For more information and preparing chicken for stir fries, see Bill’s post on Chicken velveting 101.
Add the prepared sauce, and give everything a stir. Bring to a boil.
Chicken with Garlic Sauce
For the chicken:
- 10 oz. chicken breast (280g; thinly sliced)
- A pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon oil
For the sauce:
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 12 dried red chilies
- 1 teaspoon ginger (minced)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 small winter bamboo shoot (outer husk peeled, thinly sliced, and then julienned)
- 1 cup reconstituted dried wood-ear mushrooms (julienned)
- 1/2 red bell pepper (thinly sliced)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons chili oil (optional)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch (mixed into a slurry with 2 tablespoons water)
- 1 scallion (sliced on an angle)
- Marinate the sliced chicken with salt, cornstarch, and oil. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Before you start cooking, mix together the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok over medium heat. Add the dried chilies, ginger, and garlic, and cook for a minute. Turn up the heat to high and immediately add the chicken. Stir-fry until the chicken is opaque.
- Add the bamboo shots, mushrooms, and bell pepper. Cook for another 2 minutes. Add the prepared sauce, and give everything a stir. Bring to a boil. Add salt to taste, chili oil (if using), and the cornstarch slurry. Stir-fry for 30 seconds, allowing the sauce to thicken. Add the scallions, give everything a final toss, and serve with rice.