Thursday dinner: Chicken and edamame stir-fry

Standard issue in the suburban Syracuse home during the 1980s was the Sunbeam electric wok. Yes you, the suburban housewife, can bring the tastes of the Orient to your kitchen. In our suburban house this usually meant chicken and broccoli for dinner in my house, a dish that always sounded good in theory but not as much in practice.

You see, my mother discovered tapioca starch at a local grocery store. A thickener used in some Asian dishes, tapioca is much more effective at thickening than corn starch — a fact my mother did not account for. The end result were endless chunks of what my sister and I would call starch snot — a stringy, thick clumps of translucent gel that were flavorless but had all the appearance of thick clear mucus. Yum!

So, when my father moved to Watertown, the Sunbeam wok was bequeathed to me. This 20-year-old fire hazard served me well for about six or seven years until it finally burned out last fall. I didn’t use it for anything particularly inventive…usually stirfrys or teryakis.

Mukiyame is shelled edamame.

I miss it on nights like tonight when laziness meets dinner. The wok heated pretty evenly and would cook chicken in pretty quick order. I could buy another one, but the cheapskate in me hates to part with money for something I use three or four times a year. My fear is that the wok would go to the back hall and hang out in kitchen toy purgatory with my breadmaker and espresso machine. (Side note: On what planet did anyone decide that a home espresso machine was a good idea? I can go to any Starbucks in the county, order and pay for a drink, and be home in less time than it takes me to grind, tamp, brew and clean up from a homemade shot. Oh, add another step…find all of the various parts that have to be attached in order to use it…a virtual impossibility.)

 

This is a pretty easy stirfry to put together on a weeknight. From prep to plate, it’s 20 minutes tops. Not exactly of course. I started cooking during the last commercial of the 4 p.m. episode of “Beverly Hills 90210” and finished by the first break of the 5 p.m. episode. They’re in college now and I lost interest in 90210 when they left West Beverly, but anything is better than “Jim Rome Is Burning.” Digressing, this is all about lean protein especially when served with brown rice.

***

Simmer until the soybeans have tenderized.

Chicken and Edamame Stir-Fry

 

  • Two boneless skinless chicken breasts (approximately six ounces each)
  • Six ounces mukiyame (shelled edamame), fresh or frozen
  • Three garlic cloves, minced
  • 1tb stir-fry sauce
  • Vegetable oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Ground pepper
  • 1-2 tspSesame seeds (optional)

Thinly slice the chicken breasts lengthwise using a sharp knife. Then, cut the slices in thirds to create bite-sized pieces. Add to a mixing bowl and toss with ground pepper, the stir-fry sauce and about 2-3 tablespoons of soy sauce (I prefer Kikkomans’ low-sodium version). Set aside and let set for 5-10 minutes.

You don't need it totally browned before adding the mukiyame.

In a large skillet or wok, heat your oil until fragrant and just before smoking. Add the chicken, and using a heavy wooden spoon, stir and to ensure even cooking. Allow chicken to cook through, about 7-8 minutes. Add garlic and sesame seeds and toss together. Add edamame to pan, as well as 1-2 teaspoons of soy sauce. Cook until mukiyame is tender — 3-4 minutes fresh or 5-6 minutes frozen.

 

Remove from heat and serve hot with rice.

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