Growing up, I was not a fan of Chinese food. Mostly because I had never truly tasted real Chinese food. My Mom bought that stuff in the can … yeah, me, no likey. In all fairness to my Mom, the canned stuff was the only kind of Chinese food available in our small town at that time. But once I had real Chinese food, I fell instantly in love. Of course, my first bite of Chinese food was Sweet and Sour Chicken, which you can rightly argue about its authenticity, but it’s still way closer than anything I’d had previously.
Chinese food isn’t always super healthy, but stir-frys, when done right, can be a great make-at-home option. They offer a lot of versatility since you can throw whatever veggies or protein you have on hand and make a good stir-fry.
However, there are few tricks when it comes to making a good stir-fry. You cannot prep ingredients as you go. Everything must be chopped, measured and ready to go before you begin sautéing, because stir-frys cook quickly. I don’t have a wok but a large skillet works fine. You must also cook at a fairly high heat. I don’t crank it all the way but cook at a higher temp than I normally do. Your goal is to cook everything through but your veggies should still have a crispness or crunch to them.
Asparagus is on sale regularly this time of the year, which brings a smile to my face. Whenever I see it, I know Spring is here. I also added red pepper because it really pops against the green of the asparagus and I also really love red pepper. I chose to add some water chestnuts because I wanted a little extra crunch too. Again, use your favorite veggies that you think will balance with the lemony, ginger, garlic sauce.
This makes a great, fast weeknight meal and you can even prep your veggies and protein in advance, so you’ll basically just tossing everything together. It also reheats nicely too.
Spicy Asparagus Chicken Stir-Fry
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
- 1 bunch asparagus cut into 2 inch pieces (woody ends discarded)
- 1 red bell pepper cut into large chunks
- 1 small can sliced water chestnuts
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce adjust to taste
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar adjust to taste
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 inch piece of ginger skin removed and grated
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Lemon zest
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Heat oil over medium high heat. Add asparagus, red pepper and water chestnuts and sauté for 3 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove veggie mixture and set aside.
- Add additional canola oil if pan is dry and increase to high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Cook until browned and cooked through. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- Add chicken broth and soy sauce to skillet. Boil for 1 minute. In a small bowl combine cornstarch and water. Add cornstarch mixture to chicken broth, along with the lemon juice, brown sugar and siracha sauce. Cook for another minute or slightly thickened. Taste and adjust with additional siracha sauce and/or brown sugar to suit your taste preferences.
- Return chicken and veggies back to the skillet. Stir to coat with sauce. Top with lemon zest and serve over rice.
Another Asparagus Recommendation for You
I love this creamy asparagus soup. It’s my Mom’s recipe and it is delicious. It’s light but there is also a little heat there, thanks to the red pepper flakes. It makes a great lunch and reheats beautifully.