When I’m traveling, I usually pack my own food to eat on the plane. My default is the artichoke salad from Snack here in New York City or a banh mi sandwich from one of the Vietnamese shops in Chinatown, but sometimes when I’m heading back home, I forget to buy something to-go or I would have eaten my one packed meal by the time they’ve rescheduled my return flight for the third time that day.
If I must eat at the airport when I’m traveling and there are no Starbucks shops to be found so I can at least buy a decent cold sandwich–I really can’t tell you why I trust Starbucks’ sandwiches over any other deli’s at airports–I opt for the dirty Chinese food rather than the fast food burger. A, because if I’m going to indulge a guilty pleasure, it better involve rice to make me feel less guilty about eating it after, and B, I’ve tried the airport burger route before and I wasn’t a happy camper when I finally got on the plane.
But when I do buy bad Chinese food, I’m always thinking that I can do a better and a much cleaner version. I already have the ingredients in my pantry; all you really need are a strong arm and a really hot skillet or wok to flash-fry everything.
4 pieces chicken breasts, sliced in smaller pieces
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
rice wine vinegar
2 tbsps black bean sauce
1/4 tsp cornstarch
1 package of broccoli florets
1/4 cup cashews, roughly chopped
1. In a deep skillet, heat some oil. Add the chicken pieces and flash-fry. When some parts are starting to turn white, add the onion and garlic. Sauté to continue cooking the chicken and to soften the onions.
2. Add a splash or two of the rice wine vinegar and spoon in the black bean sauce. Stir. Add a little bit of the cornstarch at a time to thicken the sauce. Use some water or broth to get the consistency that you want.
3. Lower the heat and add the broccoli and cashews. Keep sautéeing to finish cooking the chicken and to cook the broccoli until tender.