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The Joys Of Spring Onions

Spring Onion Sauce for Chicken (or Quorn or Tofu or…)

This is a much tweaked and somewhat simplified version of the recipe in Far Eastern Cookery. The sauce, though, is essentially as described in the original, including the unusual addition of coriander stems. The main change is that I didn’t use raw garlic in the sauce but opted to use garlic in the cooked part of the dish instead. I’ve also increased the quantities for the sauce, because I always found myself wanting more!

The Sauce Veg:
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1 inch cube fresh ginger
  • 2 spring onions
  • few stems of fresh coriander
The Sauce Liquid:
  • 3 tblsps light soy sauce
  • 3 tblsps distilled white vinegar
  • 1.5 tblsps tomato ketchup
  • 6 tblsps chicken stock or water for the veggie version
  • 3 tblsps toasted sesame oil
  • 0.5 tsp sugar
The Protein Bit:
  • 300g chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces, or use quorn pieces or cubes of tofu for the veggie version
  • 1 inch cube fresh ginger
  • 1 spring onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tblsp whole black peppercorns
  • 2 tblsps light soy sauce
The Sauce Steps:
  • Cut the celery into minute dice.
  • Cut the spring onions into very fine rounds.
  • Peel the ginger, cut into paper-thin slices, then stack the slices and cut first into thin slivers and then into minute dice.
  • Hold several coriander stems together and cut crossways into minute pieces – you need about 1 tblsp worth.
  • Combine the celery, ginger, spring onion and coriander stems in a bowl. Cover and set aside.
  • In another bowl combine the liquid sauce ingredients – soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, sesame oil and water or stock – plus the sugar and set aside.
The Rest:
  • Using a dry frying pan, toast the peppercorns for a few minutes, then crush using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and set aside (I actually use more peppercorns than the tablespoon I’ve specified here because I like things very peppery – experiment and see what works for you)
  • Heat some oil in a pan over a medium heat.
  • Finely chop the garlic, ginger and slice the spring onion. Add to the pan and stir and fry for a minute or two.
  • Add the chicken, quorn or tofu pieces. Stir and fry for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add crushed pepper and soy sauce, stir and fry for another few minutes until the pieces are cooked through
  • When ready to serve, combine the two bowls of sauce ingredients and pour over the chicken/quorn/tofu. Serve with rice.
The Portions:
  • This much feeds about 3 people
The Variations:
  • Fry some mushrooms along with the chicken/quorn/tofu
  • If you like, and have time, you can marinate the chicken (or tofu) for a couple of hours before cooking, using a mix of the ginger, spring onion, pepper and soy sauce that’s cooked with it above. This is closer to the original recipe.
  • Just make the sauce part, add crushed black pepper to taste, and enjoy with rice