Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Chicken and jalapeno & bell pepper stir fry

When it comes to Chinese cuisine, you just can't miss Sichuan cuisine. Sichuan is a southwestern province of China, and my hometown is its capital city.

Unlike US, full of national chain restaurants with standardized recipes everywhere you go, in China, almost each province has its regional style, because it's a much less mobile country. Even when something local is good, it doesn't spread fast. This has changed slowly in the past couple of decades simply because people tend to travel more. However, cuisine style is still a regional thing, so the homemade food of a Shanghai family is definitely different from that of a Sichuan family. People in Shanghai like sweet taste, and basically add sugar to everything they cook, including what is supposed to be savory, and we just think it's so wrong. Roughly speaking, there are eight popular cuisine styles, named after the provinces they come from. Sichuan cuisine, is with no doubt the most spread and popular cuisine. I didn't realize how popular it was outside Sichuan until I went to Beijing for college. As the China's capital, it's home of every and each kind of Chinese cuisine. When I saw Sichuan style restaurants everywhere in Beijing, I felt kind of intimacy of home.

Sichuan cuisine is characterized by its hot and spicy taste. Chili pepper and Sichuan pepper are constant ingredients in many well known dishes. You may find chili pepper in other regional cuisines like Hunan cuisine, but Sichuan pepper is what tells it apart from anything else, or what I call the spirit of Sichuan cuisine!

This purplish red spice is the outer pod of some kind of fruit growing on the tree. Added to dishes as a whole or grounded, it creates a distinctive numb feeling on the tongue along with an exciting taste. Look at that little red pod, opening its mouth, so ready to give your tongue a bite! For people who never have it before, it might be intimidating, but for someone like me who grew up eating it, it's a must-have spice that never goes out of stock at home.

A lot of people got sick these days because of the change of season. Maybe some heat from jalapeno pepper and this Sichuan pepper would prevent you from the cold. Why not give it a try?

This chicken and jalapeno & bell peppers stir fry is developed from my mom's chicken and green chili pepper stir fry-干煸鸡. I still remember that after the last final exam of each semester, my mom would cook this dish as a reward of my hard-working. So it symbolizes relief and happiness to me.

2 lb chicken thigh (chicken breast though leaner, is less flavorful or tender)
5 jalapeno peppers
half red bell pepper
half yellow bell pepper 
a teaspoon whole Sichuan pepper
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp cooking oil
2 tbsp sugar or 1 package of Splenda
1 green onion
soy sauce & salt to taste
1. Dice the chicken into 1.5cm^2 cubes. Add 2tsp salt and 2tbsp cooking rice wine to marinate the chicken for 15 minutes. 
2. Mince garlic and ginger. Chop the green onion to half an inch long. Slice the peppers to strips.
3. Heat the cooking pot or wok on high heat and add oil.
4. When it’s smoking, add garlic and ginger into the pot. Stir quickly to avoid burning. Then add Sichuan pepper and keep stirring.
5. Add chicken cubes and keep stirring until all the watery liquid evaporates and the chicken gets lightly crunchy and burnt on the outside.It takes 15 minutes or  so, depending on your specific stove. 
6. Add peppers to keep stirring until the pepper gets soft. 
7. Add sugar, soy sauce and salt to taste. Turn off the heat and sprinkle green onion to serve.


jia said...

they look so nice and delicious! love it! your photograph stills are awesome, too! by the way, I am JL from 5031, CAU. haha

Yue Edwards said...

I know that's you when I saw Jia. Welcome to my blog. Thank you for the compliment!

Prerna said...

Wow, what a gorgeous space you have here! I'm so glad you found my blog and that led me to your beautiful space.
Keep up the good work and stay in touch!

Lisa said...

Yum. I love spicy dishes. Your stir fry looks amazing.

misslyndaj said...

I tried this recipe and reviewed it here:

Happy Eating!

samia hussain said...

nice post