Joy of Wok Cookery

Stir-fry Chicken, Pork, Eggplant, and Napa Cabbage (2) Wok cookery is some of the best there is: it’s fun and it’s easy.  Typically it’s Asian food that you’ll cook and what I love in particular is how it’s all cooked, quickly, in one vessel.  So when I wrote my latest book ONE-POT WONDERS the wok got heavy use.  For the ultimately fun guide to wok cookery check out my friend Grace Young’s STIR-FRYING TO THE SKY’S EDGE.  When I wrote my book I just fooled around quite a bit, but I stuck to Asian for the most part when using my wok because it made sense.  The book does not exclusively use woks as its title should be, more accurately, but more awkwardly, one-vessel wonders.  You get the idea: whoever washes the pots, there’s only one to wash.

Here’s a delicious—and easy—chicken stir-fry substantial enough to serve on its own, but if time and more-than-one-pot inclination allows, a bowl of steamed rice is a nice accompaniment. Everything cooks quickly however, so it’s important that all the elements are previously prepared and cut or sliced to specification.

Stir-fry Chicken, Pork, Eggplant, and Napa Cabbage

10 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut in thin slices

1/2 pound boneless pork loin, cut into thin slices

1/4 cup soy sauce

3 teaspoons corn starch

1 large egg white

1/4 cup vegetable or peanut oil

5 slices (about 1 x 1/4 inch thick) fresh ginger

1 long Japanese eggplant (about 10 ounces), cut in quarters widthwise, and then into sixths lengthwise

10 ounces common (white) mushrooms, sliced

1/2 pound Napa cabbage, cut into thin strips

4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

6 fresh green Thai chiles, cut in half lengthwise, seeded

1/2 cup chicken broth

Cold water as needed

1. Sprinkle the chicken and pork with 3 tablespoons soy sauce, toss, and let stand 30 minutes, turning occasionally. Drain the meat, reserving the soy sauce. Blend the soy sauce with 1 teaspoon of the corn starch and the egg white and beat until frothy. Add the chicken and pork to the egg white mixture and toss gently.

2. In a wok, heat 2 tablespoons oil over high heat. Add the chicken, pork, and ginger and cook, tossing, until they turn color, about 2 minutes. Remove from the wok and set aside.

3. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the wok and let it heat up. Add the eggplant, Napa mushrooms, cabbage, garlic, and chiles and cook, stir-frying, for 3 minutes. Return the chicken, pork and remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce to the wok and cook only long enough to reheat. Stir in the broth and cook, covered, for 2 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, blend the remaining 2 teaspoons corn starch and 2 tablespoons cold water into a paste, then stir into the wok to thicken. Cook 1 minute, tossing. Serve hot.

Makes 4 servings

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