Saturday, June 28, 2008

Chicken with red dates and goji

I created this dish a few years ago. I used the red dates (to sweeten) and Chinese wolfberries or goji, firstly to add colour to the dish and secondly to reap the benefits of these tiny berries. Read here if you are keen to know how wolfberries benefit your body. Other than in soups, some people use them in desserts. The primary benefit as most of us know, is that it is good for the eyesight and lots of parents like to give this to their kids. I don't cook it very much, unfortunately, but I should make it a habit to incorporate it into the soups that I prepare.

For this chicken dish, I was trying to use up the celery in the fridge and some organic dried shittake. Thanks to the Wonderpets, my dear little one has no problems eating celery, once they are soft enough. Carrot is a favourite with her so I put that in. Plus it adds to the overall sweetness of the dish. And so do onions. I'm one for 'sweet' savoury food. My cousin says it's a Peranakan trait as she likes sweet savoury food too. I totally agree with her. My maternal grandma, who is Peranakan, when she used to cook, would season her chicken wings with that little bit of sugar as well. I do miss her cooking but she stopped cooking after my grandpa passed away, about 6-7yrs ago. It is really sad. I never really got to learn from her. I miss so much her chap chye, curry chicken, ayam buah keluak, prawn fritters, fried chicken wings and sambal belachan. My sis and I looked forward to each Chinese New Year when we would indulge in all the lovely food she presented before us. Her steamboat is to-die-for, using the stock from abalone and whatever ingredients she added to it. I never learned that too.

The food I cook is influenced more by my paternal grandma, who was Hokkien, as we grew up under her care.

Back to my dish, I do not have exact measurements so I will just list down what I used as a guide.

Ingredients -

2 chicken breasts, sliced into small pieces
3 sticks of celery, but at an angle into 1-1/2 inch pieces
1 stick of carrot, sliced thinly
half an onions, cut up
2 inch piece of ginger
1 clove garlic
red dates
2 tsp goji - more or less is up to you

Seasoning for chicken -

oyster sauce
white pepper
dash of shao xing wine
sesame oil
cornstarch to thicken sauce

Method -

Saute onion till translucent. Add ginger, garlic and fry till fragrant. Add chicken and stir fry. Add all remaining ingredients except for goji. Pour in a cup of water and simmer till vegetables are soft and chicken is cooked. Add goji towards the end so they do not disintegrate. Serve hot with rice.


Little Corner of Mine said...

Great idea! I have yet to put red dates and goji in my stir-fry dishes. I should have start incorporating goji in my stir-fry chicken. Not sure about red date though since we don't eat it, mainly use it for the sweetness in soup.

singairishgirl said...

lcom - Yes, C, you should. I don't know about red dates in other dishes but I like to add it to this chicken dish.

Beachlover said...

I only use dates and "kei chi" in soup ,never stir fried yet! daughter love to eat "kei chi"..maybe I will try to cook for her one day..but did you eat dates when you stir fried?.

singairishgirl said...

beachlover - Oh, I didn't eat the dates, just the gou qi. :)

Shazz said...

Yeah really miss ah ma's food at cny, the sambal belacan, the die more samlab belacan to bring back to Perth :(

singairishgirl said...

shazz - Haha, you can't bring food into Perth anyway!

sohcool said...

It looks simple and good. Will try it soon. I am sick of cooking chicken with ginger and seasame oil.

singairishgirl said...

sohcool - Yes, A, try it.

Sweet Jasmine said...

Oh, I always put red dates and kei chee in soups only. Will try it with veges net.