I am really fond of this Chinese chicken with black pepper sauce. Someone online had been seeking the recipe. I was familiar with the dish. Around that time we frequented a place in Miamisburg Ohio called Williehana Asian Buffet. Not that I am that fond of buffets, but the guy who ran the place, William Hung, a Malaysian immigrant, previously had worked down here in Cincinnati at the Benihana before opening his own place and also added a teppenyaki grill as you sometimes see here and there. We came for the fish, and from time to time sampled some of his other things on the buffet to fill out the plate.
I first had Mala chicken there and another kimchi type coleslaw that may have been Malaysian. He also had black pepper chicken on the buffet as you see it here. And I just loved it.
I was determined to recreate it. Most restaurant recipes are as simple as possible, no fancy steps or ingredients. It saves them time and money to keep it basic.
Williehana did fry the chicken pieces as I have done here, but it is not totally necessary. There will be a textural and slight flavor change (no starch) if you just stir-fry the chicken without frying, but if it is important to you to cut back on fat, please do so.
I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Chinese chicken with black pepper sauce
10 ounces boneless chicken breast or boneless chicken thigh
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1/2 cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons peanut oil
hot steamed rice
Black Pepper Sauce:
1/4 cup oyster sauce
1 teaspoon dark sweet soy sauce (if you can’t locate this add a pinch of brown sugar to your ordinary soy sauce – not perfect, but should be OK)
1 teaspoon rice wine or dry sherry [editor's note: can substitute with cooking sherry]
1-1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1. Stir together ingredients for sauce in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Chop chicken into 1/2-inch bites.
3. Place chicken in a small bowl and toss with cornstarch until thoroughly and evenly coated.
4. Heat 1/2 cup oil in a large skillet.
5. Fry chicken pieces in hot oil over med-high heat until golden and cooked through (may need to do several batches so as not to crowd the pan); drain on paper toweling.
6. Heat 2 tablespoons of peanut oil in a wok skillet and add onions when oil is hot. Cook onions until they become translucent, then add peas and carrots and cook for another minute.
7. Stir in chicken pieces and as it becomes hot, add sauce to the pan, and stir a few times to coat well.
8. Serve stir-fry with hot steamed rice.
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