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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!


1 1/2 cups thinly sliced boneless, skinless chicken thighs

3/4 c chicken broth

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.)

Heat a non-stick wok or large frying pan sprayed with cooking oil over medium heat for 20 seconds, toss in the ginger and green onions and cook for 1 minute.

Using your hands, lift the chicken strips out of the sauce mixture and drop in the hot pan.

Stir for just a couple of minutes until the chicken starts to turn opaque.

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.

The vegetables should be bright and tender and the sauce will have thickened.

Serve over any Magic Rice or alongside Pork and Shrimp Magic Fried Rice.

Though the colors of the ingredients are much prettier the day you make it, it’s just as delicious the next day….


About Lisa McRee

After 25 years as a local and network anchor, Lisa was just another American mother struggling, and failing, to lose weight. Finally, she cracked the code, and lost 30 pounds, quickly and for good, by doing what she loves: reporting, cooking and eating! The Skinny is the inside story on how she did it, and how you can, too!
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