Shanghai Walnut Chicken is a dish you could order in, but it is easy to prepare and provides a bountiful of aroma and flavor for your home. The secret is the Hoisin sauce. Well, that secret is out of the bag.

Shanghai Walnut ChickenPrep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 15 min
Ready In: 30 min

Servings: 4

2 tbsp Hoisin sauce
1 tbsp reduced sodium Soy Sauce
1 tsp Rice Vinegar
¼ cup fat-free, reduced-sodium Chicken Broth
1 tbsp Cornstarch
¼ tsp Toasted Sesame Oil
1 tbsp peanut or Canola Oil, divided
¾ lb Chicken Cutlets, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 Green Bell Pepper, cut in ½-inch dice
1 Red Bell Pepper, cut in ½-inch dice
1 Green Chili Pepper, thinly sliced
1 Garlic clove, chopped
1 can (8 oz) diced or sliced Water Chestnuts, rinsed and drained
¼ cup Walnuts, coarsely chopped


In a small bowl, combine the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, broth and cornstarch. Mix in the sesame oil. Set the seasoning sauce aside.
Set a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Drizzle in 2 teaspoons of the canola oil, swirling to coat the cooking surface. Stir-fry the chicken until it is white. Turn it out onto a plate.
Add the remaining oil to the pan. Stir-fry the green, red, and chile peppers, and the garlic, for 2 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan. Add the water chestnuts and walnuts. Re-stir the seasoning sauce and add. Stir-fry until the chicken is cooked through. Serve immediately, along with cooked rice, preferably brown.

Tips & Notes
The secret of the sauce was revealed when the cook added hoisin sauce to the usual seasoning trio of soy sauce, vinegar, and roasted sesame oil. Sometimes called Chinese ketchup or barbecue sauce by Americans, hoisin contains fermented soybeans, garlic, wheat flour and sugar, plus other flavorings. According to Bruce Cost, an expert on Asian cooking, star anise is the reason for its distinctive, rounded sweetness.
Americans know hoisin sauce as the chocolate-colored, jam-thick condiment used on the pancakes served with Peking Duck. Incorrectly, some also call it barbecue sauce, although it is only one of a blend of ingredients Chinese cooks use for flavoring roasted meats and poultry.
Hoisin sauce is not commonly used in stir-frying. Its unique flavor fits the Shanghai taste for dishes that are a touch sweet. It also adds body, so the sauce does not require the amount of cornstarch typically used.
It may seem tedious, but do take time to cut all the ingredients into small pieces that are even in size. This ensures that the ingredients cook quickly but evenly. If you can find them (most likely at Chinese markets), fresh water chestnuts have more crunch than the canned version.

Nutritional Information Per Serving
Calories: 247
Total Fat: 10g
Saturated Fat: 1g
Carbohydrate: 17g
Protein: 22g
Dietary Fiber: 5g
Sodium: 378mg

Source: AICR

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