Last week I wrote a post with a recipe for chicken vegetable stir fry where I stated that my husband, Jay, and I can never get asian cuisine together. We’ve never been able to agree on where to go and had long chalked it up as one of those cute couple things we just don’t do like jog together or watch House of Cards at the same time. So it was laughable when Jay’s mom suggested we go to her favorite Chinese restaurant for her birthday.
We obliged and couldn’t be happier that we did. The Szechuan chicken I ordered was amazing and the almond chicken Jay and his mom got looked equally good. Since then, an insatiable craving for soy sauce that had been lying dormant for so long has been awakened and I find myself splashing that umami goodness on everything from eggs to avocado toast.
With the warm up in weather, we’ve finally been able to use our grill. One of my favorite things is grilling a huge batch of vegetables with chicken and I thought this week would be a perfect time to pair my love of the grill with my new found need for Chinese cuisine.
I start by marinating everything in a soy sauce based dressing. To the marinade I add oyster sauce, rice wine vinegar, a little brown sugar, fresh grated ginger, and Chinese Five Spice. Another new obsession, I was introduced to the spice blend by my best friend, Ashton, when she was visiting from China. It’s a mixture of cinnamon, star anise, fennel, cloves and Szechuan pepper corns. The flavor is deep and complex and the mixture adds such a distinct, warm facet to this meal.
The Chinese Five Spice is definitely the star of the dish. Because it adds so much complexity, everything else is kept pretty simple so this is a great intro to cooking with Chinese flavors if you’re just getting started. If you can’t grill, this meal could definitely be cooked on the stove top, stir fry style.
Grilled Chinese Vegetables and Chicken
For the Marinade
- 1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
- 1/4 Cup Oyster Sauce
- 1/4 Cup Rice Wine Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
- 1 Tsp Fresh Grated Ginger
- 1 Tsp Chinese Five Spice
For the Grill
- 6 Thin Cut Chicken Breasts or 3 Chicken Breasts Sliced in Half
- 4 Baby Bok Choy, halved
- 2 Chinese Eggplants, halved lengthwise or 1 Regular Eggplant, quartered lengthwise
- 5 Portabella Mushrooms
Add all the ingredients for the marinade in a blender an blend until everything is combined. Place the chicken and vegetables in two separate large bowls and pour the marinade over the top. Let marinade for 15 minutes or up to 2 hours.
Preheat the grill to medium high. Grill the vegetables and chicken until the chicken is cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side. Serve with rice and enjoy!