A LOT goes into Chicken Stir-Fry from the Hairy Dieters, 20 ingredients in fact, yet surprisingly this comes in at just 196 calories per portion. That’s because it’s full of the good stuff (vegetables) and other stuff which helps to bulk the meal out (water chestnuts and beansprouts) but doesn’t necessarily add a lot of flavour.
The addition of the soy sauce, rice wine, chicken stock, curry powder and sesame oil did up the ante somewhat for my critical tastebuds, but it still didn’t run my local takeaway close in terms of flavour. However to add perspective, if you want a healthy, filling weeknight dinner for under 200 calories then this is one to try.
Recipe: Chicken Stir-Fry
Calories: 196 calories per portion
Book: Hairy Dieters – Good Eating
Prep time: Approx 25 mins plus 20 minutes chilling
Cooking time: Approx 6-8 minutes
Ingredients: 2 chicken breasts (cut into thin strips), 1 egg white, 2 tsp cornflour, 1 tbsp vegetable oil, 300g tenderstem broccoli (halved lengthways), 1 large red pepper (deseeded and cut into strips), 100g mushrooms (wiped clean and cut in half), 2 garlic cloves (finely sliced), 15g chunk of fresh root ginger (peeled and finely chopped), 2 red chillies (finely diced and deseeded if you want), 4 spring onions (sliced into rounds), 225g can of water chestnuts (drained), 150g bean sprouts, 2 tbsp light soy sauce, 2 tbsp rice wine (mirin), 4 tbsp chicken stock or water, 1 tsp curry powder, ½ tsp sesame oil, flaked sea salt, ground black pepper.
Cost per portion: Approx £1.95
Method: Put the chicken strips in a bowl. Whisk together the egg white and cornflour, making the paste as smooth as possible. Pour this over the chicken and mix thoroughly so the chicken is completely coated. Chill for 20 minutes in the fridge.
Heat the oil in a wok. Fry the chicken strips for one minute, until well browned and almost cooked through. Remove them from the wok, leaving behind as much oil as possible. Add the broccoli, red pepper and mushrooms and cook them over a high heat for 2 minutes, then add the garlic, ginger, chillies and sliced spring onions. Stir-fry for a further minute, then add the water chestnuts and bean sprouts.
Put the chicken back in the wok. Mix the soy sauce with the rice wine, chicken stock or water and curry powder in a bowl. Pour this mixture over the contents of the wok, season with salt and black pepper, then cook, stirring constantly for another 2 minutes.
Check that the chicken is cooked through, with no pinkness remaining, and cook for slightly longer if necessary. Just before serving, drizzle a little sesame oil on top.