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Khmer-Style Stir-Fried Chicken and Ginger
This is our rendition of the Khmer stir-fry known as mouan cha k’nyei (English spellings vary) in which fresh ginger figures as prominently as the chicken. Cut into matchsticks and stir-fried until it begins to brown, the ginger mellows, and its raw, sharp sting gives way to a subtle pepperiness and sweet, floral notes. A combination of fish sauce and oyster sauce lends the dish loads of umami, while a little sugar balances the saltiness with sweetness. Ginger prep is the most difficult aspect of this simple stir-fry; the easiest method is to thinly slice the peeled root crosswise into coins (cutting against the grain this way minimizes the fibrousness), then stack a few slices and cut the pile into matchsticks. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.
tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
ounces fresh ginger, peeled, thinly sliced crosswise, then cut into matchsticks (about 1 cup)
01In a 12-inch skillet over medium, combine the oil and ginger, then cook, stirring often, until the ginger has softened and is just beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the chicken, onion, scallion whites and garlic; increase to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken no longer is pink when cut into and the onion has softened, 7 to 9 minutes.
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