For years Chinese and Indians have had a long connection in terms of history and food. The migration of Chinese population into India somewhere during the mid 1820’s had ended up in the establishment of a huge Chinese community in many parts of India, especially Kolkata. The original Chinese immigrants set up leather factories and traditional food restaurants…and till this date these industries in India have been as prosperous as ever.
Existence of Chinese community in India has given birth to the ever popular Indo-Chinese cuisine. Although it is very different from the traditional Chinese food and has been customized according to the Indian taste buds and preference, it still remains close to one’s heart even if you are miles away from your country.
This dish, ginger chicken is one of the many indo-chinese dishes relished by me and my family. Once I was out with DD in Singapore and I remember I took her to a well-known food court to have lunch. She wanted to eat chicken however to my disappointment there was not a single Indian outlet at the food court. Out of nowhere, I just thought to order Ginger Chicken with rice from one of the stalls. I was quite confident that she wouldn’t like it. But to my extreme gratification and happiness, I found DD enjoying the dish!. That moment I decided to recreate the same dish at home, but in an Indo-Chinese way.
Typically, a plate of ginger chicken in Singapore would look like something as below:
I would say the Indo-Chinese version of ginger chicken is not very different from what is served here but there definitely are a few differences in the methods of preparation and ingredients used.
Today I was in a real hurry when I prepared ginger chicken for lunch, as I was running quite late already and had to pick up DD from school. So I could not add cubed bell peppers and spring onions. Traditionally in India people would add green bell peppers during the cooking and chopped spring onions on top for garnish. Please go ahead and add these ingredients for a better flavor and aroma.
This is a very simple and basic recipe for Ginger chicken stir fry that can be cooked on high flame in a jiffy. It is best enjoyed when served with fried rice or hakka noddles.
Boneless chicken breasts – 2 – 3 (cut into small pieces)
1 large ginger- cut into thin strips / juliennes
1 onion – cut into cubes
Soya sauce – 1-2 tsp
Tomato ketchup – 1-2 tsp
Red chilli paste – 1 tsp
Paprika – 1/2 tsp
Black pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
Vinegar – 2-3 tsp
Green chillies -2-3 chopped up fine
Salt – to taste
For the marinade –
Red Chilli paste – 2 tbsp
Ginger paste – 2 tbsp
Corn flour – 2-3 tbsp
Black pepper powder – 1 tsp
Ching’s Green chilli sauce – 1 tbsp
Ajinomoto – 1/2 tsp (optional)
Lime juice – 1 tbsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Chop up the chicken breast into small pieces. Grind 1 large piece of ginger into a fine paste using little water.
Marinade the chicken with red chilli paste, ginger paste, corn flour, black pepper powder, Ching’s Green chilli sauce, ajinomoto, lime juice and salt.
Then take some oil in a pan. Fry the chicken pieces on high flame.
P.S> You can deep fry the chicken but I prefer to shallow fry on high flame. So here I have shallow fried the chicken until cooked and a little golden brown on surface.
When shallow-frying make sure not to overcook the chicken pieces as they will tend to harden and become rubbery if cooked for very long time.
Now remove half of the oil from the pan and use the same pan for the cooking process.
Turn the flame on high.
Add onions and julienned ginger to the oil. Fry for a minute.
Put soya sauce, vinegar and chilli paste. Add 4-5 tbsp water and stir well to deglaze the pan. Then add the fried chicken pieces.
Mix everything well. Then add the tomato ketchup, paprika, black pepper powder, chopped green chillies and salt. Be careful while putting salt as soy sauce has some salt content; also we had added salt while marinading the chicken.
Mix well. Stir fry everything on high flame. Taste and check the seasoning. Turn off the flame.
Serve as a side-dish with fried rice or hakka noodles….or enjoy it just like an appetizer!!