You’ve probably noticed (in my play-by-play photos) that I used my Baccarat 28-cm Hard Anodised Stir Fry pan a lot. It’s a pity that it doesn’t come with a lid. But I’ve managed to find a $10 multi-fit glass lid from Woolworths that worked like a charm.
Besides a non-stick stir fry pan, I have a carbon-steel wok (which I seasoned myself) that makes my stir fry tastes a-ma-zing! It heats up over my gas stove in no time, and you can literally see the smoke oozing out. That’s what you want when you make stir frys, a lot heat because the breath of wok is what make a stir fry taste like Chinese restaurant style (to some extent). However, it is said you have to treat a seasoned wok as if like a baby. Obviously this is an exaggeration as looking after a baby requires more work!
But in the context of maintaining your pots and pans, it requires a little more TLC than just wash-and-tuck-it-away. To keep a “non-stick” surface of a carbon-steel wok, you have to oil the surface of the wok, heat it up so that the “pores” are open to absorb the oil. Cool it and repeat these steps for a couple of time for the purpose of maintenance. At the end of the process, your wok should look black and shining, like the “Mad Men” hair overdosed with Brylcreem. That’s a well-seasons wok, you see.
To give my well-used Baccarat pan a rest, I decided to take my carbon-steel wok out for a spin again. I was in the mood of trying of a new stir fry recipe with a little tweaking of my own. I often make stir frys with the usual Asian sauces such as oyster sauce, kecap manis and soy sauce. Well, this stir fry has none of these. This recipe is friendly to people who don’t own too many sauces because the “sauce” in the recipe consists of just honey and lime juice. For the seasonings department, all you need is an all-purpose curry powder you already have in your pantry.
A balance of spicy and savoury coupled with something tangy, fresh and sweet to balance to heat… has the recipe spoken to you yet?
Honey, Lime & Curry Chicken Stir Fry
4 Servings with rice
What you’ll need:-
- 500g (1 pound) chicken breasts, chunky diced
- 1 tsp + a pinch of salt (1 tsp to marinate the chicken, a pinch to stir fry the veggies)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Juice from 1 lime (about 2 tbsps) – please note juice from half a lime to marinate the chicken; the remaining is for the sauce
- 1 tbsp curry powder, adjust to taste (I used Clive of India – Hot Madras Curry Powder and I prefer it to be a little spicy)
- Vegetable oil
- 200g (0.4 pound) snow peas, “deveined” and cut across into half
- 1 red capsicum (red bell pepper), deseeded & sliced
- 4 short stalks of celery, sliced diagonally
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 spring onion (scallion), sliced diagonally
Marinate the chicken: Combine chicken, juice from half a lime, 1 tsp of salt, 1 tbsp curry powder (adjust to taste) and black pepper in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
Then prep the vegetables: snow peas, capsicum, celery and spring onion.
Make the sauce: Mix together 1 tbsp of honey and juice from the remaining half a lime in a small bowl.
Heat a wok (or a pan) over high heat with some oil. When the oil is hot, add the chicken pieces and cook until golden brown on the outside and well done on the inside (please drain the marinate before you cook them to minimise oil splatter). Depending on the size of your pan, you will need to do this in batches. I did it over 3 batches. Once the chicken pieces are done, set them aside on a plate. Clean the pan to remove any charred bits.
Put the same pan back and add some cooking oil. When the oil is hot, add all the vegetables except for the spring onion (scallion) with a pinch of salt. Cooking the vegetables until slightly tender. Then toss in the chicken pieces together with the juices on the plate and honey-lime mixture. Do a taste test to see if additional salt is required. Just before finish cooking, add in the spring onion and more black pepper (optional) and toss with the ingredients for a few seconds. Serve immediately with rice.
Note – to make 4 servings of rice, you need to cook 2 cups of uncooked rice.