Sometimes I’m inspired to “skinny-fy” a dish after a visit to one of my favorite restaurants, or when thumbing through my hundreds of cookbooks.
And, occasionally, I’m inspired by book club.
This week, as I finished Lisa See’s moving and illuminating, “Shanghai Girls,” I craved the smells and flavors of L.A.’s Chinatown.
But, since I’m in Maine this summer, and there’s no Chinatown here, I headed for the kitchen, instead.
(I am, apparently, very suggestible. Which explains why, in years past, book club could be a problem. I gained 5 pounds the week I read “Like Water for Chocolate.”)
But by remembering The Skinny Truth of “Eat More Things That Grow and Fewer Things That Walk,” and using my new skinny cooking techniques, the dish inspired by Shanghai Girls turned out to be one the tastiest, easiest and skinniest Chinese dishes I’ve ever made!
Fresh shiitake mushrooms are the key to its amazing flavor and texture. And, like all mushrooms, they do a little magic for your body, as well as your taste buds. Yes, they are a little more expensive than regular mushrooms, but still cheaper than the meat that you’re replacing in this recipe. Don’t skip them!
SHANGHAI GIRLS SKINNY SHIITAKE CHICKEN
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 t corn starch
2 T soy sauce
1 T rice wine vinegar
2-4 T fresh ginger, minced (It’s a matter of taste, here. Use 4 T if you love ginger.)
6 green onions, chopped
1/2 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced in half
2 cups broccolini, chopped
4 c bok choy, roughly chopped
Cut the chicken into skinny strips.
Mix the broth, corn starch, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar in a small bowl and let the chicken rest in the sauce while you chop and measure the rest of the ingredients. (You want everything ready before you start cooking because it all moves very fast.)
Using your hands, lift the chicken strips out of the sauce mixture and drop in the hot pan.
Pour in the rest of the sauce and cook on medium high heat another 3 minutes.
Toss in the mushrooms, broccoli and bok choy and stir fry for another 6 to 8 minutes.
Though the colors of the ingredients are much prettier the day you make it, it’s just as delicious the next day….