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Chicken Stir Fry with Curry, Cumin, and Cardamom

Serves 2.

Time requirement: 20 minutes. But it is best if you can let the chicken marinade 30-60 minutes before cooking.

What you will need:

12 ounces of skinless boneless chicken thighs.

2 tablespoons light olive oil.

1 teaspoon sesame oil.

½ teaspoon yellow curry powder.

½ teaspoon ground roasted cumin.

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.

2 pinches ground cardamom.

½ medium onion, 3 ounces.

½ red or orange bell pepper.

1 tablespoon fermented black beans.

1 garlic clove put through a garlic press.

8-12 basil leaves, each leaf torn into 3-4 pieces.

1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce.

Boiled rice to accompany. There is a recipe for boiled rice in the chapter Building Blocks.


On a flat clean work surface, lay out the thighs and trim them of as much fat as you desire. Then cut them into thin narrow slices, thin so they cook quickly.

In a bowl add the olive oil, sesame oil, cumin, curry, cardamom, and black pepper. Miz them well. Add the chicken and mix it well in the seasoned oil. Set aside for 30-60 minutes.

In the meantime, slice the onion vertically (root to stem) to acquire long thin narrow strips. Remove the pith and seeds from the bell pepper and cut it into long narrow strips. Note, it is important to cut the onions and peppers thinly, so they cook quickly. Set the onion and bell pepper in a bowl, add the fermented black bean, set aside.

Prepare the garlic and basil leaves. Set aside.

Coat a 12-inch frypan with spray oil. Heat it over a high heat. When the oil is hot and begins to brown, add the chicken to the pan. Spread it out quickly sear it. When the chicken is well brown on one side, turn it with a spatula or by lifting the pan and pushing it forward and back again (repeatedly) to toss the chicken. Cook the chicken this way for 2-2½ minutes.

This works well with pork and lamb.

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