Chicken and Jiu Cai Stir-Fry (Flowering Chives)

I am back! Second trimester is here and I am feeling more alive. I have really missed blogging but no matter how much I wanted to blog I just had no energy these last few months. I didn’t have too bad of a time morning sickness wise but for weeks all I wanted to eat was avocado toast (you really can’t get the Californian out of me) and as much as I think avocado toast is the best thing ever spreading fresh avocados on toast isn’t really a recipe so not really blog worthy. But while I haven’t had energy to blog I have been compiling an amazing list of recipes that I want to share with you.

Today’s recipe has me so excited I almost feel like I am shaking. Now why on earth would a recipe excite me this much, well let me explain. I have probably mentioned before that I grew up in Hong Kong and we spend about 8 months in Nanning, China. While we were there we were introduced to some incredible local dishes and ingredients that outside of that area we never saw again, including a vegetable that looked like the vines of a pumpkin. One of our favourite dishes included a long thin green with a slight flowered head, we were told they were garlic greens. I have served for what feels like forever for this ingredient. No Chinese restaurant that I went to seemed to have ever heard of it and as time went by I started to forget about it. But the other day we went to our favourite Chinese supermarket and there in the veggies were jui cai, or flowering chives. I got so excited I tried to explain to Chris how amazing this find was but he said I was so excited I wasn’t really making any sense.

I am not even positive if these are the exact vegetable that we had but boy does it look, smell and taste like it so surely it must be, right? I cook Chinese meals all the time, some of them are dishes I remember for Hong Kong or inspired by China and sometimes they are inspired from dishes I had in the US or here. But this is the first time I made something that smelled so much like Nanning for a second I could actually close my eyes and see images of it in my head. This dish blew my mind because it was the closest authentic taste of the food from that area of China that I have had since I left 14 years ago.

Chicken and Jiu Cai Stir-Fry

100g (3.5 oz) Jiu Cai (flowering chives), chopped into 1 1/2-inch lengths
500g (1 lb) chicken pieces, diced
80mL (1/3 c.) water
1 garlic clove, minced
For marinade:
2 Tbsp rice wine
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 Tbsp cornstarch
Adapted from Pig Pig’s Corner


Combine all the marinade ingredients and then marinade the chicken for at least 30 minutes.

Heat a small amount of oil in your wok and stir-fry the chicken for 2 minutes.

Add the water and allow the chicken to simmer until completely cooked.

Set the chicken aside for a minute and wipe the wok clean. Add more oil over high heat and add the jiu cai and the garlic and cook for a minute. (Don’t be tempted to cook for any longer as you want them to still have a bite)

Add the chicken back to the wok, turn off the heat and toss well. Serve with rice.

Chicken and Jiu Cai Stir-Fry (Flowering Chives)
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 100g (3.5 oz) Jiu Cai (flowering chives), chopped into 1½-inch lengths
  • 500g (1 lb) chicken pieces, diced
  • 80mL (1/3 c.) water
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • For marinade:
  • 2 Tbsp rice wine
  • 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp white pepper
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
Instructions
  1. Combine all the marinade ingredients and then marinade the chicken for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Heat a small amount of oil in your wok and stir-fry the chicken for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the water and allow the chicken to simmer until completely cooked.
  4. Set the chicken aside for a minute and wipe the wok clean. Add more oil over high heat and add the jiu cai and the garlic and cook for a minute. (Don't be tempted to cook for any longer as you want them to still have a bite)
  5. Add the chicken back to the wok, turn off the heat and toss well. Serve with rice.

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One Response to Chicken and Jiu Cai Stir-Fry (Flowering Chives)

  1. So glad to hear you’re feeling better! This recipe sounds amazing. I’m on the search for flowering chives now!

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