Chicken Fried with Garlic and Black Pepper

, from Issue #18. September, 2015
Photography by Vanessa Wu.
Chicken Fried with Garlic and Black Pepper

Serves: 4


5 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
2 tablespoons fresh coriander root, chopped
½ teaspoon sea salt
3 single free-range or organic chicken breasts, skinless, boneless
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
½ cup chicken stock

Gai larn
2 bunches gai larn or choy sum
1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons cornflour
½ cup chicken stock

To serve
chilli sauce to serve e.g. Sriracha
hot, cooked rice


Gai larn: Pull the greens into individual stems. Blanch for 1 minute in boiling salted water, drain, refresh in cold water then drain again. Dry thoroughly on kitchen towels.

Heat a wok over high heat, add the oil and stir-fry the ginger and garlic for a few seconds. Add the greens and toss until hot. Stir a little stock into the cornflour to make a smooth paste. Combine with the remaining ingredients and tip into the wok. Stir until the sauce has thickened and the gai larn is well coated in the sauce. Tip into a serving bowl.

Chicken: Pound the garlic, peppercorns, coriander root and salt in a mortar and pestle to a thick paste. Cut the chicken into bite- sized portions.

Heat the oil in a wok and fry the paste until fragrant. Don’t let it catch and burn. Add the chicken pieces and stir until they have lost their raw, pink look. Add the sugar, fish sauce and stock and stir to combine. Cover and simmer until thoroughly cooked.

To serve: Spoon the rice into individual bowls and top with the chicken and pepper sauce. Serve with the gai larn and chilli sauce for dipping. 

Pantry Note: Gai Larn (Chinese broccoli) has dark green leaves, stout stems, and small white flowers. It is available at Asian green grocers and most supermarkets.