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Chicken Stir-Fry with Ginger & Mushrooms (Thai Food)

Chicken Stir-Fry with Ginger & Mushrooms Recipe (Gai Pad King) - This is a great dish to introduce kids to Thai food because the flavours are a bit more mellow, and I always found the crunch of the black fungus so much fun to eat. Contrary to many people’s impressions, ginger is not used often in Thai cuisine. This spicy herb has been integrated into a handful of Thai dishes through the influence of Chinese cuisine, making this a great example of a Chinese-style stir-fry.

Serves: 3–4
Cooking Time: 10 minutes + at least 20 minutes to marinate chicken
Do-ahead Tips: Soak the mushrooms in advance. Marinate the chicken a day in advance.
Gai = Chicken; Pad = Stir-fry; King = Ginger
Chicken Stir-Fry with Ginger & Mushrooms (Thai Food)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Chicken thighs or breasts, boneless, skinless, ½-inch thick slices
  • 2 Tbsp Soy sauce
  • ¾ oz Dried black fungus (see note)
  • ¼–½ cup Unsalted chicken stock or water
  • 1½ Tbsp Oyster sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Fermented soybean paste (tao jiew) or ½ Tbsp miso paste
  • 1 tsp Black soy sauce
  • ½ tsp Toasted sesame oil (optional)
  • 1½ tsp Sugar, granulated
  • ¼ tsp White pepper, ground
  • 2 Tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 4–5 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 3-inch section Ginger, peeled and finely julienned
  • ¼ Medium onion, julienned
  • 1 Spur chili or ½ small red bell pepper, julienned
  • 2–3 Green onions, 2-inch pieces, halve white part horizontally
  • For serving Jasmine rice

How to make Chicken Stir-Fry with Ginger & Mushrooms

  1. Marinate the chicken in 1 Tbsp of the soy sauce for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Soak the black fungus in hot water for 8–10 minutes (it will expand to 3–4 times its original size). Drain and cut it into bite-sized pieces, discarding the core, if any.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1 Tbsp of soy sauce, 3 Tbsp of the chicken stock, oyster sauce, fermented soybean paste, black soy sauce, sesame oil (if using), sugar, and white pepper; stir to mix well.
  4. Heat the oil in a wok or sauté pan over high heat until hot. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic starts to brown. Add the marinated chicken and toss just until the chicken pieces no longer stick together, about 30 seconds. Add the sauce mixture and ginger, then keep stirring until the chicken is 80% done.
  5. Add the black fungus, onion, and spur chili; stir until the chicken is done, adjusting the amount of sauce you want with some or all of the remaining stock. Remove from the heat and stir in the green onions. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve with jasmine rice.

Note: Black fungus, also known as cloud ear fungus, is a type of mushroom that often comes dried (top right of picture) and needs to be rehydrated before use. You can also use 4 oz of another type of fresh mushrooms.
STIR-FRIES AND WATER
Achieving an ideal amount of sauce in a stir-fry requires some on-the-fly judgment. On a high-BTU stove, you will likely lose more water from the high heat input, and therefore need to add more stock than someone with a gentler burner. Likewise, if your pan is small and crowded, you will trap more steam, have a lower pan temperature, and consequently need less added liquid. So it’s important that you pay attention to the amount of sauce in the pan and adjust accordingly. Also, if you purposefully add more water to get extra sauce, you may need to increase the amount of seasoning to compensate for the dilution.

THE BREAKDOWN
The Style Chinese
The Aromatics Ginger, garlic, green onions
The Nuggets Chicken, onion, black fungus, spur chili
The Sauce Soy sauce, oyster sauce, tao jiew, black soy sauce, sugar, white pepper, sesame oil, chicken stock
Flavour Profile Salty with a hint of sweetness.