60ml olive or any vegetable-based oil
400g Lilydale Free Range chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
3 cloves garlic, peeled, finely chopped
1/2 cup dried black fungus, covered in cool water to rehydrate, any woody bits torn off and discarded (easily found in Asian grocers)
Handful dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in freshly boiled water for 30 minutes*, sliced 3-4mm
150g enoki, shimeji or oyster mushrooms (a mix is great)
7 stalks spring onions, cut into 3cm batons
2 Tbsp tobanjiang OR chilli bean paste
1/2 tsp caster sugar
2 Tbsp Shaoxin rice wine
1/4 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp cornflour mixed with 1 Tbsp water
Few sprigs fresh coriander for garnish
Steamed rice for serving
*If you want to go the extra mile, instead of soaking in just plain boiling water, also add 1 Tbsp light soy and 2 tsp sugar to the mushrooms and water, then simmer in a small saucepan for about 5 minutes with the pot lid ajar. Keep covered for another 20 minutes or until completely rehydrated.
Combine 2 Tbsp of the oil and garlic in a medium frypan or wok over high heat. Flick a literal drop of water into the pan to check that it's hot enough – it will sizzle. Add the Lilydale Free Range chicken and stir fry until cooked through and a little browned. Transfer the chicken to plate.
Mix the seasonings together in a small bowl. Combine the remaining oil with the garlic and sauté until the garlic starts to turn golden. Add the mushrooms and stir fry until just wilted. Return the chicken to the pan then add the mushrooms, spring onions and seasoning mixture. Toss to coat everything in the sauce well. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot with steamed rice.
Poh Ling Yeow's top Lilydale free-range chicken cooking/preparation tips:
• To avoid drying out the breast, slice the chicken into smaller medallions. After you've sliced the chicken bash the breast with a rolling pin to create a thin, almost flat surface. This ensures the chicken cooks at the same rate and holds the quality free-range flavour.
• This may sound a little unusual but when you are cooking a larb, stir fry or even noodle soup mortar and pestle the chicken instead of slicing. This method ensures your quality Lilydale free-range chicken weeps the flavour that has been lingering in the bowl from when you grounded the spices. Ensure you wash it out for next time though!
• Use quality Australian made ingredients! I always use the freshest, most flavourful ingredients I can get my hands on, and it's even better when they come from your own backyard. Fresh produce that's raised and grown by our very own Australian farmers enhances the flavour of the dish and brings with it a new level of complexity. With chicken I find using free-range ingredients soaks up the flavours and makes for a better stir fry, dumpling, curry and beyond!
• Don't waste chicken skin! If you've taken the time to remove the skin, pop it between two baking sheets, season well and roast in the oven until crispy. It is outrageously tasty.
• If you've deboned a chicken or have spare chicken bones (cooked or uncooked), never let these go to waste. Pop them in a freezer bag and these will make for a tasty ingredient in your next homemade chicken stock.
• To make the ultimate chicken stir fry add the breast or thigh pieces to hot oil and stir fry over a high heat until it cooks through and is browned. Afterwards, transfer to a separate dish while you prepare the other vegetables and aromatics. Return the chicken when the vegetables are just about done, toss and serve pronto. This chicken stir-fry method ensures the chicken is cooked through, stays juicy, holds its flavour and it keeps the vegetables crisp.