Chicken and Plum Stir-Fry

November  3, 2013
4 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

My friend Sarah has a very prolific plum tree. She sent me home with several pounds of plums, the last of which ended up in this unusual and delicious stir-fry. Some of the plums dissolve into the sauce, some stay whole, and some of the skins come loose and become lovely puckery nuggets in the sauce. This one really needs to be served with rice, to soak up the deep purple sweet-and-savory sauce.

This stir-fry uses a Chinese technique called velveting--marinating the meat in egg white and cornstarch, then quickly poaching it. It's a little more work, but it makes for incredibly moist, tender meat. If you've ever wondered how Chinese restaurants get their stir-fried meat so juicy and soft, this is how. Cut the veggies while the meat marinates, and the stir-fry will come together in a snap. —ieatthepeach

What You'll Need
  • For velveting the chicken:
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine, dry sherry, or unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1 tablespoon peanut, vegetable, or canola oil
  • Water for poaching
  • For the stir-fry:
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine, dry sherry, or unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon minced or finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bird's eye chili, thinly sliced OR 1/2 tsp crushed red chile flakes
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 small green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 medium plums, pitted and cut into large wedges
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine egg white, cornstarch, wine or vinegar, and soy sauce, and whisk until smooth. Add chicken and toss to coat. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, while you prep the other ingredients. (This step can be done a day ahead.)
  2. While the chicken marinates, combine hoisin sauce, wine or vinegar, soy sauce, and brown sugar in a small bowl. Whisk to combine, and set aside.
  3. Bring a pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp oil and reduce the heat to low, so that the water is at a bare simmer. Add chicken and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Drain the chicken thoroughly, and set aside.
  4. Place a large skillet or wok (not nonstick) over the highest heat the pan can handle. Heat until the pan is very hot–a drop of water flicked on the surface should sizzle and evaporate within a second or two. Swirl 1 tbsp oil into the hot pan, then add ginger, garlic, and chile, and stir-fry for about 10 seconds. Add bell peppers and stir-fry for 3 minutes, or until the peppers are just barely tender. Add chicken and plums and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add sauce mixture and stir-fry for 1 minute more, or until the chicken is cooked through and everything is coated with sauce. Spoon over rice and serve immediately.

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