Playing Velvet Chicken

“The hallmark of this simple sweet and spicy stir-fry—velvety tender chicken—is achieved by boiling the marinated meat in oil.”

Active Time: 45 Mins
Total Time: 2 Hrs 45 Mins
 

Ingredients
  • 2 egg, large whites
  • 2 tablespoons toban djan
  • 1 teaspoon salt, kosher
  • 4 tablespoons rice wine, or sake, divided
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • Peanut oil, for frying
  • 2 tablespoons black bean sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, light
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 cup scallions, minced
  • 3 tablespoons ginger, peeled fresh, finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3 red, small dried hot chiles
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 1/2-inch pieces
  • * Toban djan is a fermented chile-bean sauce and can be found at Asian markets or at unitednoodles.com.
Preparation

* Toban djan is a fermented chile-bean sauce and can be found at Asian markets or at unitednoodles.com

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with the toban djan, salt, 2 tablespoons of the rice wine and 1 tablespoon of the cornstarch. Add the chicken and toss well, then cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

In a large saucepan, heat 1 inch of peanut oil to 375°F. Using a large slotted spoon, very carefully add one-third of the chicken to the hot oil and fry, stirring, until nearly cooked through and browned in spots, 1-2 minutes. Using the slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain. Repeat two more times with the remaining chicken. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the frying oil.

In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons of rice wine with the black bean sauce, sugar, soy sauce and the remaining 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.

In a wok or large skillet, heat the reserved 2 tablespoons of frying oil. Add the scallions, ginger, garlic and dried chiles, and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the chicken and asparagus and stir-fry until the asparagus is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add the black bean sauce mixture and stir-fry for 1 minute. Transfer to a platter and serve.

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