More then 40,000 Chinese restaurants have popped up across the United States. That’s more then the number of McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger Kings combined. Even my hometown with a population barely pushing 2,000 has a Chinese takeout. In the 19th century Cantonese cooks modified their traditional foods to suit a more western palate and created one of the most popular cuisines in America.
Skillfully adapting recipes to local ingredients led to the creation of dishes like General Tso’s Chicken, and the ever popular Orange Chicken. You would never find dishes like this in China. Here we treat the vegetables in our Chinese food like garnish, and we salivate over battered Orange Chicken that is deep fried before its stir fried and gets almost half of its calories from fat. In this MaryMeals version the sweetness comes through with not much more then fresh orange juice, soy sauce, and a quick stir fry in a hot wok.
Fresh Orange Chicken with Sugar Snap Peas
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp veg oil
- 1 lb cubed chicken
- 2 thinly sliced green onions
- 8 oz of sugar snap peas
- zest and juice from 4 oranges
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
Heat oil in wok or other large frying pan over high heat. Add onion, red pepper, and garlic. Stir fry 30 seconds. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to the wok.
While the chicken is working mix together juice, zest, soy sauce, and cornstarch in a small bowl. Continue to stir fry the meat another 5 minutes. Add snap peas and sauce mixture and continue frying until peas are tender but still have crunch and the sauce has thickened. Approx 4 minutes.
Toss with green onions and serve over steamed rice.