The chicken in this dish tastes fantastic in the five spice sauce. When it comes to cooking this dish, it’s very flexible for using any Chinese vegetables you like. It’s quite versatile, suitable for going with steamed rice or porridge. You can cook the chicken in five spice sauce in a day in advance, cool it in the refrigerator, then reheat it and cook some fresh vegetables as you need it. The flavours will intensify overnight.
- 250 gm chicken thigh (or chicken breast)
- 300 gm baby bok choy
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 Asian shallots, sliced (available at Asian stores)
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
- Spring onion, for garnish
- red chili, sliced
- salt, to taste (optional)
- 1/2 tsp five spice powder
- 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1/2 Tbsp light soy sauce
- 20 gm raw sugar in pieces, chopped
- white pepper, to taste
- 3 Tbsp water
- Slice chicken crossways into thin 4cm (1 1/2inch) lengths. Prepare seasoning. Use teaspoon to mash and mix chopped raw sugar well.
- Rinse baby bok choy and drain well. Wipe dry with kitchen papers. Cut into 4cm (1 1/2inch) sections. Separate leaves and stalks, set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok (or frypan) over high heat. Add chicken pieces in small batches and cook until browned. Drain and set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a saucepan. Add the garlic and shallots, then sauté for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the seasoning and stir well. Add the chicken and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 15 minutes, or until the chicken is tender. Add the stalks of baby bok choy, cook until they begin to be softened. Then add the leaves. When the leaves of bok choy are cooked, it’s done. Season with salt if necessary. To serve, place baby bok choy on a plate, sit the chicken pieces on top and spoon on the sauce. Garnish with sliced spring onion and chili.
- The taste of fish sauce is salty and varies from brands to brands. You have to adjust the amount according to your preference.
- While cooking the baby bok choy (picture shown above), some water will release. You might not like it dilute your sauce, thus wipe them really dry before cooking.
- You can replace the baby bok choy with Chinese broccoli if you like its crisp texture.