This is based on a recipe from the Hairy Bikers’ diet book. It’s quick, delicious, cheap, and less than 200 calories a portion — definitely worth saving for posterity. If on a diet, serve with plain boiled rice or Chinese noodles.
Note, no rice wine here so I used Noilly Prat. You could use not-too-dry white wine, or sherry.
2 skinless chicken breasts
1 egg white
2 tsp cornflour
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 spring onions, sliced
50 ml chicken stock (stock powder is OK)
Juice of 1 lemon
pinch of caster sugar
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp rice wine (or white wine/sherry/vermouth)
2 garlic cloves
pinch of dried chili flakes
1/2 tsp cornflour
sesame oil (optional)
salt and pepper
“Velvet” the chicken: in a small bowl whisk together the egg white and cornflour till smooth. Slice the chicken into thin strips, add to the bowl and mix thoroughly to coat. Set aside in the fridge for 10-20 minutes.
Combine the liquid ingredients for the sauce and add finely chopped garlic and chili flakes.
In a wok (or a non-stick frying pan if you’re on a diet) heat the oil till smoking. Add the chicken and cook, tossing occasionally, till browned on the outside and cooked through. This will only take two or three minutes. Remove from the pan and keep warm. Return the pan to a lower heat and pour in the sauce; season with salt and pepper. Simmer for a minute. Mix the cornflour with a small amount of water, add to the pan, and continue to cook till it thickens slightly. Return the chicken to the pan and heat through. If you have any sesame oil, add a few drops. Then turn off the heat and let the chicken sit in the sauce for a couple of minutes to absorb the flavour. Serve with rice or noodles, and garnish with the sliced spring onions.