Do you have a “when all else fails” dinner? For me, that dinner is chicken stir-fry. We almost always have chicken in the freezer and it’s a great way to use up any surplus of veggies we might have in the fridge. We always have several sauces in the fridge like Hoisin or sesame that make for great marinades in a pinch. Stir-fry is also a great option because you can make a lot at once and have leftovers for lunch!
Let’s get to it!
One thing I like about this stir fry is that it works well with both chicken breast and pork tenderloin. Because they are both lean “white” meats, the process is pretty similar. I might add a heartier sauce for the pork or some citrus to stand up to the flavor. The first order of business is marinating the meat if you have time. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t get to it, but it adds an extra later of flavor, without too much work. As I said we usually have hoisin in the fridge so I’ll use that or another similar sauce like a Korean BBQ or maybe teriyaki sauce. If you’d rather make your own sauce, mix together equal parts soy sauce, honey, and sesame oil for an easy marinade. Now cut up your meat into bite-sized chunks and put it in a freezer bag or container with a lid. Pour the marinade over and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
If we have fresh yakisoba noodles, I like to serve this stir-fry over those. If you’ve never had yakisoba noodles, they are a Japanese wheat flour noodle with some chew and stand up great to stir-fry. When I say “fresh”, I am referring to the noodles you can find that are already cooked. You’ll find them in the refrigerated noodle section of your local Asian market. They used to be available at my local Costco also! if you’re already a fan of yakisoba noodles, you might enjoy my Asian Meatballs over Yakisoba Noodles or Yakisoba Noodle Salad. Noodles are also fun to eat for kids, which is a nice bonus. 😉 If we don’t have noodles, I use long-grain or brown rice. If you’re using rice, get that cooking first.
Now heat the sesame oil in a large pan over medium heat. Take your chunks of meat out of the marinade and put it in the hot oil. Hold on to the rest of the marinade for later. If you didn’t have time to marinate, have no fear! You’ll just use 1 cup of your desired sauce later.
Once the meat starts to slightly brown, add your onion and mushrooms.
Cook those until they start to soften and then add the carrots.
Stir that occasionally and cook another 5 minutes. Now add your broccoli and cook a couple of minutes. If you wanted to use bell peppers, you could add those at this point. Other veggies tasty in the stir-fry are sugar snap peas, baby corn, water chestnuts, or bok choy, or fresh spinach. All of these could be added at this point in the recipe.
Now it’s time to add your frozen peas and the remaining marinade.
Cook another 5 minutes. You want to make sure that marinade has been cooked since the meat has been sitting in it.
Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary. If it needs more salt, add a dash of soy sauce
Serve over your rice or noodles with a sprinkle of sesame seeds or green onion for garnish.
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, or pork tenderloin
- 1 cup hoisin sauce (or marinade)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 cups thickly sliced cremini mushrooms
- large onion cut into half-inch half-moons, or 2 leeks cut into half-inch coins
- 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into coins
- 1 crown of broccoli, cut into florets
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Soy sauce to taste
- Chopped green onion or sesame seeds for garnish
- Cut meat into bite-sized chunks.
- Put in a freezer bag or container with a lid with marinade. Refrigerate 30 minutes 2 hours.
- If using rice, start that cooking.
- Heat sesame oil in a large pan over medium heat.
- Remove meat from marinade and put in the hot oil. Reserve remaining marinade
- Add onion and mushrooms once meat slightly turns color. Cook those until they start to soften and add carrots.
- Stir occasionally and cook another 5 minutes.
- Add broccoli and any other fresh veggies (see note in post) and cook a couple of minutes.
- Add frozen peas and remaining marinade. Cook another 5 minutes.
- Taste for seasoning.
- Serve over rice or noodles with a sprinkle of sesame seeds or green onion for garnish.