14 May 2011

Sweet chilli chicken stir fry - better than the stuff from a bottle!

Having slipped one stir fry past our son, I thought it might be worth a go to see if another might work.

It took a fair amount of encouragement for the vegetables in his meal to go, but a good 80% of them eventually got eaten.

Now I know of the young teenager's caution at everything green, added to the young male's predictable caution at anything vegetable, however, I have to admit that I just don't understand it.

To me, vegetables are the most glorious ingredients, which should be looked at with almost as much enjoyment and anticipation as a nice piece of beef, or a plate of sausages.  After all, there are just so many of them!  If you were to take me to a greengrocer's shop and ask me to name what of his produce I didn't like, I doubt I could name anything.  Yes, garlic has an uncomfortable effect upon me (makes me itch!) when eaten either raw or in quantity, and yes, I used to be allergic to all forms of onion (before I became pregnant - fine afterwards!).  These are just vegetables that I have a sensitivity to, rather than being actively disliked by me.

However, hubby doesn't like potatoes, peas, broad beans, green beans, most forms of cabbage - including brussels sprouts, any type of cauliflower, marrow - and the list goes on.  It seems to be a texture thing, as well as an odour thing, with him.  If something is of a squishy texture (i.e. overcooked cauliflower, or marrow) or smells of the compost heap (i.e. overcooked cauliflower, or cabbage), then he can't face it.  To give him his due, some of these things he will eat, but without enjoying the experience.

Son & heir seems to also be going down the texture route - as in his dislike of mushrooms and courgettes.  However, he also dislikes anything dark i.e. aubergine.  Interestingly, he won't eat anything remotely caramelised such as the chicken in this stir-fry dish, declaring it "burned".  It makes me wonder whether the "burned" thing subconsciously applies to the aubergine skin, too.  He won't eat a fried or baked tomato, but will happily eat a raw tomato.  He hates sliced onions being apparent in his food, but if you cook them until they disintegrate and are hardly visible, then that's okay.  I could go on.

Hubby reckons that females are the waste disposal units of the human race.  He reckons that a female will eat something that a male will think twice about (stop giggling at the back!) because of procreation.  He figures that females are hard-wired to be in top baby-carrying condition i.e. carrying lots of fat, so as to keep baby well fed until birth and even after, if you take breast-feeding into account - and I think he may have a point.

As someone who has her likes and dislikes - but none of the dislikes would actually prevent me from eating anything - I find it unfathomable that the chaps can be so picky.  Everything out there is just so exciting!  I look at an ingredient, be it a pepper or a pea, and immediately I'm considering what it would go with, what it's flavour is likely to be and how I could present it.  I guess that's what marks me out as a Foodie!



3 skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into thin slices
1 red chilli, chopped
1 garlic clove, grated
2 tbsp runny honey
1 tbsp olive oil
half a pack of egg noodles
1 tsp sesame oil
vegetable oil
vegetables for stir-frying (buy a pre-prepared pack, or select your favourites which should be sliced finely)
1 tbsp Mirrin (or rice wine)
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp Oyster sauce
juice of half a lemon.

Method :

1.  Place the chicken, plus the chilli, garlic, honey and oil into a plastic bag and massage to make sure the chicken is covered.  Leave to marinade for as long as you've got.

2.  Heat a frying pan until quite hot, then tip the chicken and marinade into it.  Try not to let it poach by keeping the temperature up.  Turn the chicken regularly, until you achieve a golden to dark brown colour and they become glazed.

3.  In the meantime, place the noodles into a large bowl and cover with boiling water.  Cover the bowl and leave until softened.

4.  In the additional meantime, heat a wok or deep frying pan until roasting hot.  Then add the vegetable oil, swiftly followed by the stir fry vegetables.  Add the mirrin, soy sauce and oyster sauce and stir fry until the vegetables are wilted and softened.

5.  Next, drain the noodles & add the sesame oil, giving a light stir to ensure each noodle is covered.  Add them to the vegetable pan and toss the stir fry vegetables through them, coating them in the oyster sauce mixture.  Spoon out onto warmed plates to form a bed and nestle the chicken pieces into bed.  Serve!



  1. I was'nt giggling at the back.....I was...LOL.....
    At the very front ere......! :0).
    I must confess, as an eater of 'everything' edible......I have yet to understand, why people dislike certain foods. But, your right of course, tastes, textures and so on, come into it....!
    Oh! and a Mother, who says...."Willie, you will eat it, or l'll nail yer foot to the floor". (In Italian of course). God, l used to run round in circles....!
    Lovely post, though Jenny..Stir Fry....mmmM!
    Two Greedy Italians, brought back lovely memories this week.....The lemons....Wow....!
    And, the ladies making pasta. As a child, l used to make tagliatelle with Mama, and hang it over the cloths horse to dry. And, yes, for some pastas, even use a spoke out of a bicycle wheel to role it....! I suppose that's why l only had a uni-cycle....! :). LOL.
    Ah! happy days....! :).

  2. Oh your post did make me smile! my husband did not eat any veg when i first knew him. Been together 15 years and he will now eat anything. To his mums shock he will tuck into a salad and enjoy it! x

  3. You know, Willie, I think there's a lot in what you say about being "trained" to eat anything and everything. It was the same way in my house when I was growing up. We couldn't afford for anyone to be picky, you ate it because there wasn't anything else coming your way. Mind you, I do think that having a Mum who is great at cooking, certainly helped! I don't remember much that wasn't to my liking. I can remember being served Cottage Pie, peas and carrots - and being allowed to carefully make a landscape out of mine. The peas were a field, the mince was a field lying fallow, the carrots were the farm buildings and the mash - well I can't quite remember how that fitted in, but I know I found some use for it! It always seemed to be a shame to eat it after that, but I tucked it all away! LOL

    Gosh, Sarah, well done your hubby! He must have had an open mind about veggies - or had it opened by your great cooking!

  4. Yes, of course, your absolutely right.
    As an only child, l grew up very close to my Mum.
    I learned to cook, sew, knit and even do hair.
    Which came in handy later on, my daughter and her friends went through a phase of wanting plaits and beads in their hair. So most mornings, before 8 o'clock, l'd have 4-5, 8-10yr olds, wanting their hair done....! :).
    But, then, my daughter, also an only child, l raised differently. The food was there to be tried, and of course, she would help in it's preparation. Even when l skinned and gutted rabbits, hares, pheasants etc. She was always at my side.
    You where lucky....Cottage pie, and making a landscape....Wow....If l'd done that, my Mum,
    my Mum, my Mum......! Would have..........
    You fill in the rest....! :(
    I was NOT to play with food. But, then with my daughter....Mash....Oh! let's build Corfe Castle...Great fun. :0).
    Sign of the times l suppose.....Still, l turned out o.k. As with my daughter....!
    But, l always say...."I'm The Best There Is, The Best There Was, And The Best There Ever Will Be"...." :). So there....! :).

  5. Well, I have to confess to things being the other way around for me. Until I met the other half I only ate basic junk food and ready meals. The only vegetable I'd eat was potato. He's the one who gave me a food education!

    My sweet chilli chicken involves nothing more than chicken and whatever bottle of chilli sauce is in the cupboard. Thing is...with the exception of the oyster sauce, I've got all these ingredients in the cupboard anyway!

  6. Just think how your choices have expanded since you've started eating vegetables. You'd never have come across the lovely thing that is the Sausage Casserole, otherwise! lol


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