Day 6 of our lockdown in Bavaria. The streets are still quiet here in the inner city, though there are signs of life out there. I headed to the supermarket this morning, and unlike last week, I had the whole place nearly to myself. Shelves fully stocked, no queues, no panic buying, just orderly and quiet with people keeping their distance. Surreal actually, because my local Aldi tends to look like it’s just been looted whenever you go ordinarily!
Alongside all the fresh fruit and veggies was a big pile of fresh pak choi, that most delicious member of the cabbage family. Sometimes known as bok choy, this green leafy is one of my favourite ingredients to cook with. With a flavour somewhere between spinach and cabbage, with maybe a hint of fennel, it pairs perfectly with Asian inspired dishes. I love to steam it very quickly and serve it with rice and a nice saucy main like today’s recipe: Honey and Ginger Chicken.
This is such a quick recipe and is an absolute banger. Lots of punchy flavours, extremely quick and easy and super satisfying. No heavy, gluggy sauce here, rather the perfect balance of tart, sweet, spicy and salty. The whole thing comes together so quickly, I find it’s best to cook the rice, prepare the ingredients and get the table set before the chicken even looks at the pan because it’s all over and done in just a few minutes.
I hope you’re all taking care of yourselves out there. Make sure you’re eating well, getting lots of sleep, enjoying the sunshine if you can, and avoiding too much of the doom and gloom in the news. Speaking of which, I’ll be back tomorrow with a really fun dessert – something to keep you entertained over the weekend. x J
Honey and Ginger Chicken
for the sauce:
- 2 Tbsp white vinegar or lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 red chilli, diced
- 3 cm ginger, peeled and grated
- 1-2 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 200 g long grain rice
- 2 pak choi, quartered lengthways
- 400 g chicken breast
- 2 Tbsp plain flour
- 50 g butter
- sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1 spring onion, finely sliced
- sesame seeds
- Whisk together all ingredients for the sauce and set aside. Bring the rice, 450ml water, ½ tsp sea salt and 1 tsp of the butter to the boil, then cover tightly, turn the heat down to the minimum and cook for 10-15 minutes until all the water has evaporated and the rice is cooked through. Remove from the heat and allow to stand 5 minutes. Steam the quartered pak choi for 5 minutes until a fork easily pierces the thickest part of the base, then set aside until ready to serve.
- Meanwhile, cut the chicken breasts into thin, bite-sized pieces. Season well with pepper and a little salt, then dust with the flour. When the rice has cooked, melt the butter over medium heat in a large frying pan or wok. Cook the chicken for 4-5 minutes, turning once. The chicken will be lightly golden brown.
- Pour the sauce into the pan and allow to bubble for 1 minute, then stir through the chicken so it is well coated. Cook for a further 4 minutes until the sauce has thickened and reduced.
- Divide the rice, pak choi and chicken between two warmed plates, scatter over the spring onion and sesame seeds and serve hot.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I don’t eat chicken! Can I still make this recipe?
This is a great sauce and goes beautifully with loads of things. For full vegetarian you could try it with tofu, or it would be lovely with prawns.
I can’t find any pak choi! Are there alternatives?
I love pak choi and it is bang in season here in Europe at the moment. If you’ve scoured your local Asian grocer and still can’t find it, you can substitute with any other green veggies suitable for steaming. Broccoli, green beans, zucchini, and so on.
Help, I’ve run out of honey! What can I substitute?
Any sweetener will do here, golden syrup, brown sugar, maple syrup – though I’d reduce the amount to 1 and a half tablespoons.
This meal says it serves 2, can I make it for more people?
Definitely! If I am eating this as a standalone meal, I serve 200g of chicken breast per person. If you are bulking it out with lots more vegetables or salad, or perhaps adding nuts, you can reduce the chicken to 150g per person, though I promise it will all get eaten up! To double the recipe cook the chicken in two batches and reduce the sauce for a minute or two before adding all the chicken back into the pan. You’ll need to double the amount of sauce too.
Looking for more Asian recipes? Why not try: