If you’ve ever craved Chinese takeout, you’ll swoon for this colorful stir-fry that’s similar to a Szechuan or Kung Pao chicken dish. The only thing missing is the freaky additives and preservatives.
This tasty entrée is spicy, tangy, sweet, and satisfying – and best of all, you don’t have to feel guilty for indulging!
Better-than-Takeout Sweet & Spicy Stir-fry
Prep time: 15 minutes (not including marinate time)
Cook time: 15 minutes
Serves 3-4 as an entrée or 6 as a side (but really, who needs anything else alongside this dish?)
1 pound chicken breast – * This recipe calls for chicken, but we also eat tofu on occasion, and this is typically how I prepare it. If you’ve never tried tofu or are a bit hesitant about the how-to’s, you can’t go wrong with this recipe. Just follow the simple tofu prep instructions at the bottom of the page. (Tofu is not a Paleo food.)
1 cup teriyaki marinade/sauce (Paleo option: coconut aminos teriyaki sauce)
3 T. unrefined toasted sesame oil, divided
1 ½ t. red chili flakes
3 t. fresh ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
¾ cup chopped unsalted peanuts (Paleo option: substitute almonds or omit nuts)
3-5 multi-colored bell peppers, diced
6 scallions, cut into half-inch slices
Note: sometimes I add a few cups of bite-sized broccoli pieces or a handful of mushrooms to this dish. I can’t fathom a veggie that wouldn’t be delish in this sauce, so clear out the produce drawer – just make sure dense veggies like carrots are thinly sliced for faster cook time.
½ cup raw honey
¼ cup rice vinegar
2 ½ t. pure arrowroot starch
3 t. gluten-free tamari (Paleo option: coconut aminos)
1/4-1/2 t. cayenne pepper (stick to the low end or skip it altogether if you’re heat-sensitive)
1) Do-ahead: Cube chicken and marinate in teriyaki sauce for at least 4 hours.
2) Heat 1 1/2 T. toasted sesame oil in wok or skillet. Add chicken (marinade drained and discarded) and stir-fry over medium-high heat until no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes.
3) While chicken is cooking, whisk together sauce ingredients.
4) When chicken is cooked through, remove from wok and set aside.
5) Add remaining 1 and ½ T. oil to hot wok, followed by chilies, ginger, garlic, and nuts. Stir continually until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
6) Add bell peppers and scallions. Return chicken to wok. (If you’re using tofu, toss it in now.) Cook and stir until veggies are crisp-tender.
7) Add sauce to wok. Stir until thickened, about 3 minutes.
Serve over rice, rice noodles, or save on carbs with shirataki noodles or Paleo-friendly cauliflower rice.
*Tofu prep instructions:
1) Remove tofu from package. Slice into cubes and drain on paper towels for 30 minutes to an hour.
2) Transfer into a dish or zipper bag and marinate in teriyaki sauce for at least 4 hours.
3) Drain sauce and transfer tofu to a cookie sheet. Pop into a 425 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, stirring once or twice to crisp up the sides. Add to wok in step 6.
I discovered this dish when a version of it was prepared for me by my dear friend Kerry. I’ve turned up the capsaicin heat a bit and tweaked ingredients to suit my fancy and the tastes of my family — because the art of cooking should be fluid and free, wouldn’t you say?
Try it my way, then have some fun making it your own.