Quick Pepper-Chicken Stir Fry

Quick Pepper-Chicken Stir Fry | marissabaker.wordpress.comThe garden has started supplying us with giant bowls of lettuce, more beans than we know what to do with, crunchy green cabbages, baskets full of sugar snap peas, and the first zucchini of the summer. That means two things around here — salads and stir fries.

Quick Pepper-Chicken Stir Fry | marissabaker.wordpress.com
cabbage, zucchini, and peas are all from our garden

Couple days ago I wanted to do a stir fry with chicken as a the main dish, rather than stir fry as a side, but didn’t feel like something as sweet as my Sesame Stir Fry or a recipe which required quite so much time/effort to cook the chicken as the Simple Chicken Stir Fry. So I made something up. It’s an easy recipe — just throw the chicken and marinade ingredients together, mix up some sauce, cook the chicken, add vegetables, and then pour the sauce on at the last minute. I ground some peppercorns over it to make it look pretty and so I could call it pepper chicken. Enjoy!

Quick Pepper-Chicken Stir Fry

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Chicken Marinade

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

1 Tablespoon soy sauce

1 Tablespoon rice wine

Cut up chicken into bite-sized cubes and place in a bowl. Add marinade ingredients, and stir. Let sit for 15 minutes.

Quick Pepper-Chicken Stir Fry | marissabaker.wordpress.com
chicken marinade


2 Tablespoons tapioca starch

2 Tablespoons rice wine

3 Tablespoons soy sauce

1 Tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Mix tapioca starch with rice wine in a small bow. Add other sauce ingredients and set aside.

Quick Pepper-Chicken Stir Fry | marissabaker.wordpress.com
mixed the sauce up in the same measuring cup I used for rice. Might as well only wash one dish 🙂


2 Tablespoons cooking oil

3-4 cups chopped vegetables (such as zucchini, snow peas, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, and/or cabbage)

fresh-ground black pepper corns

Heat oil in a wok or deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and stir fry until cooked through. Add chopped vegetables and stir fry until they are tender but not so soft they become mushy. Add sauce, and stir (it will thicken quickly). Removed from heat and grind peppercorns over the stir-fry. Serve with rice.

Quick Pepper-Chicken Stir Fry | marissabaker.wordpress.com
start stirring as soon as you add the sauce to avoid lumps as it thickens.


Oatmeal Cookies

Oatmeal Cookie recipe. marissabaker.wordpress.com

My younger brother just tested up from his junior black belt to adult-level black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and these are the cookies he wanted to celebrate with. This recipe makes a huge batch of cookies — between 5 and 6 dozen — so there’s more than enough to enjoy here and to send with him to Tae Kwon Do class tomorrow.

Oatmeal Cookies

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Oatmeal Cookie recipe. marissabaker.wordpress.com
cookie dough

1 1/2 cups butter, softened

1 1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 cup brown sugar

3 eggs

3 Tablespoons water

1 Tablespoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3 cups flour (half whole-wheat, half unbleached)

Oatmeal Cookie recipe. marissabaker.wordpress.com
cookies, baked and unbaked

4 1/2 cups uncooked rolled oats

Mix sugar and butter in a large bowl with a wooden spoon. Stir in eggs, one at a time. Add water and vanilla, then stir to thoroughly combine.

Stir in salt, baking powder, and soda. Mix in flour, then add oats. Dough can be refrigerated, or baked immediately. Roll dough into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350°F for 8 to 10 minutes.


Oatmeal Cookie recipe. marissabaker.wordpress.com
I usually add chocolate chips to the last one or two dozen

Simple Chicken Stir-Fry

Simple Chicken Stir-Fry marissabaker.wordpress.com

I found this easy, attractive chicken stir fry recipe on Pinterest. The original recipe, from Edible Mosaic, was for a Cabbage, Carrot, and Chicken Stir-fry that served two. I trippled the recipe for our family of 5, thinking my teenage brother would eat enough for two people. Turns out I was wrong — we had enough to feed 6 or 7 people. The left-overs were a great breakfast, though!

Cabbage, Carrot, & Chicken Stir-Fry

Simple Chicken Stir-Fry marissabaker.wordpress.com


3 tablespoons water

1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

3 large clove garlic, minced

1 to 1 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, grated

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

1/4 teaspoon pepper


Simple Chicken Stir-Fry marissabaker.wordpress.com
chicken fried in sesame oil tastes so good. I could eat it like candy

1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced cross-wise into thin strips

1/3 cup tapioca starch

2 tablespoons sesame oil

3/4 cup water

1 lb green cabbage, sliced into thin shreds

6 medium carrots, thinly sliced on a diagonal

2 green onions, thinly sliced

extra sesame seeds for garnish

slivered almonds (optional)

Whisk together marinade ingredients. Stir in the chicken and let it marinade for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the marinade, and reserve the remaining marinade for later use. Toss chicken with the tapioca starch.

Simple Chicken Stir-Fry marissabaker.wordpress.com
putting it all together

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sesame oil to a wok or large skillet over high heat. Once the oil is hot, turn heat down to medium-high. Cook chicken in small batches in a single layer until browned, about 2 minutes on each side. Add more oil about halfway through cooking the chicken.

Once all the chicken is cooked, add the cabbage, carrot, reserved marinade, and 3/4 cup water to the wok or skillet. Scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet and toss vegetables with a wooden spoon. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the veggies are crisp-tender, stirring frequently.

Turn off heat and add the chicken. Garnish with the green onion, more sesame seeds, and slivered almonds if desired. Serve over steamed rice.

Simple Chicken Stir-Fry marissabaker.wordpress.com



Chicken Fried Rice

fried rice

I have a confession to make: for many years I made chicken fried rice using a boxed dinner because I was intimidated by this dish. It seemed like it would be so simple, but when I tried one recipe I found online it was a soggy mess that tasted like licorice because of the Chinese five-spice. Just recently, I finally found another recipe to try (this one a simple side-dish), and I expanded it into this chicken fried rice. The secret to avoiding sogginess is to use rice that has been sitting in the refrigerator for a day or so, which gives it a chance to cool and dry-out a little. I still don’t feel I’ve quite mastered the art of keeping the egg on only one side of the skillet while scrambling it, but at least when we want fried rice we’re not eating dinner out of a box any more.

Chicken Fried Rice

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1 pound chicken, cut into chunks

1 teaspoons sesame oil and 1 teaspoon canola oil

3 Tablespoons sesame oil

1/2 cup peas

1 cup diced carrots

1-2 green onions, thinly sliced

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

2 eggs, lightly beaten.

4 cups cooked white or brown rice (day old or leftover rice works best)

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 Tablespoon rice wine

3/4 teaspoons ginger

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

IMG_4002Heat 1 teaspoon sesame oil and 1 teaspoon canola oil in wok or large skillet. Fry chicken in hot oil until cooked through. Remove when done.

Add 3 Tablespoons sesame oil to the wok and heat over medium heat. Add the peas, carrots, onion, and garlic. Stir-fry until tender. Push the mixture off to one side, then pour eggs on the other side of the skillet and stir-fry until scrambled.

Add rice and stir. Add soy sauce, rice wine, ginger, and pepper. Stir to blend. Continue stir-frying until thoroughly heated, then serve.

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Soy Sauce-Free Stiry Fry

Soy Sauce-Free Stiry Fry recipe at marissabaker.wordpress.comWe very nearly had a crisis last night. I was sitting down to type up this recipe so I could schedule it for this morning when I realized I couldn’t find my notes. This is one of my original recipes, so it didn’t exist anywhere except wherever it was I put it. As you can see, I finally located it in the back of a pink notebook that I’d been taking notes in for something else.

One of my favorite things to cook is Chinese food. Ever since I was old enough eat things that didn’t come out of a baby food jar, my parents have been taking me to their favorite Chinese restaurants trying to teach me to love Chinese food. I guess it worked, since I’m now known around our house as “the red-headed Chinese chef.” I keep hearing how terrible soy sauce it for you, though, and I’ve been wondering if there’s a way to decrease the amount of soy sauce in our food without sacrificing flavor.

Soy Sauce-Free Stiry Fry recipe at marissabaker.wordpress.comThis recipe is the result of that experiment. Before this, I’d cut the amount of soy sauce in some dishes by up to half (adding rice wine to make up the difference), but this is the first time I’ve tried a full stir-fry without any soy sauce. The results were encouraging. It was a nice white sauce, similar to Moo Goo Gai Pan. Be sure not to leave out the salt — without the sodium in soy sauce it’s bland until the salt is added.

Soy Sauce-Free Stir Fry Chicken

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Note: if you’re going to serve this with long-grain brown rice, start it cooking before you put the chicken in the marinade. It usually takes about 45 minutes to cook.

Soy Sauce-Free Stiry Fry recipe at marissabaker.wordpress.com
Cooking the chicken


1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/2 teaspoon fresh, grated ginger

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon rice wine

Cut the chicken into bite-sized cubes. Mix in the marinade ingredients in a bowl and add chicken. Marinate for 15 to 20 minutes.


Soy Sauce-Free Stiry Fry recipe at marissabaker.wordpress.com
Decided to try some of this bean flour I had in the cupboard instead of my usual tapioca starch. It worked pretty well

1 cup chicken broth

2 teaspoons fresh, grated ginger

2 tablespoons flour or starch

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon rice wine

1 tablespoon honey

1/4 teaspoon salt

Whisk the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside. Prepare desired vegetables. I used carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, and green onions. Other suggestions include bamboo shoots, zucchini, and button mushrooms.

Soy Sauce-Free Stiry Fry recipe at marissabaker.wordpress.com
Let the sauce bubble until tit thickens a little

Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken until cooked through (no pink). Add vegetables and stir fry until just tender (they should still be a little crunchy if you bite into one). Chicken juices should be evaporated by now. Add sauce and bring it to boil. Stir while it bubbles and thickens, about 3 minutes. Serve over rice.

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Asian Chicken Marinade

I’ve finally decided to write this recipe down (partly so I can remember how to make it, and partly so I can share it here). I like to serve it with salad and my Oriental Salad Dressing. In fact, this is what my brother requested for his birthday lunch this week.  I wonder how many other 16-year-old boys want an artisan salad for their birthday?

Asian Chicken Marinade

Asian Chicken Marinade recipe marissabaker.wordpress.com
marinade, pre-chicken

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¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon ginger powder

½ teaspoon sesame oil

2 Tablespoon soy sauce

1 Tablespoon rice wine

Asian Chicken Marinade recipe marissabaker.wordpress.com
chicken, post-cooking

Mix ingredients in gallon-size, plastic zip-lock bag. Add 1-½ pounds chicken breast tenders and seal the bag. Turn to coat chicken. Let rest in the marinade for 30 minutes. Place chicken in a 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Bake at 350°F for 20-30 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink.

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