I can’t seem to get enough of chili garlic sauce. And I’m not even fond of spicy dishes. No, correction — I am not fond of overly spicy dishes. And that’s what makes the chili garlic sauce perfect for me so long as I use it for cooking rather than for dipping as was the case in this chili garlic chicken tofu stir fry.
Made with chicken strips, firm tofu and kangkong (swamp spinach), this stir fry was so unbelievable simple, so amazingly easy to cook and so utterly tasty that I had to stop myself from having a third helping. I ate so much for lunch I couldn’t eat a proper dinner at 7.00 p.m. And we had baked mac for dinner! Imagine me only have a small portion of baked mac.
Kankong is ubiquitous in Southeast Asia but may not be so easy to find elsewhere. If you can’t find it, use spinach.
About the chili garlic sauce… we use Lee Kum Kee at home.
Chili Garlic Chicken Tofu Stir Fry
- Cut the chicken into strips. Pour in about a tablespoonful of whatever liquid seasoning you're using and mix well. Set aside.
- Wash the kangkong well, drain, then cut into three to four segments. Keep the segments in separate bunches -- the toughest portion of the stalks is one bunch, the part next to it is another bunch, and so on, with the leafy tips consisting of the last bunch. You'll be adding them to the wok one after the other to ensure even cooking. See, if you add them all at the same time, the leaves will be overcooked by the time the stalks are cooked through. Makes sense? it should.
- Heat the cooking oil in a wok. I really recommend non-stick pans so that you won't need to use so much oil for frying the tofu. You'll need more than 1/4 cup of oil if you're not using a non-stick pan.
- While heating the oil, cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes. Add them to the hot oil and cook over high heat until lightly browned, stirring often. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a plate.
- Pour off the oil from the wok. You'll only need a trace to complete this dish. Replace the wok on the stove and add the seasoned chicken strips. Cook until the meat changes color then add the chili garlic sauce. Continue cooking until the chicken acquires a nice reddish color then throw in the minced garlic and chopped onions. Stir fry for about 10 seconds then start adding the kangkong.
- Remember, the thickest part of the kangkong stalks first. Add the rest with 1 minute intervals. After adding the leaves, stir fry for a minute then turn off the heat.
- (If you're using spinach, just add them all at the same time).
- Add more liquid seasoning, a tablespoonful at a time, tasting between additions, to get just the right amount of saltiness that will blend well with the chili garlic sauce.
- Serve the chili garlic chicken tofu stir fry at once with hot rice.