Tuesday Tutor with Barefeet in the Kitchen

Chinese Stir Fry with Chicken and Bacon
Spicy Chinese Vegetable Stir Fry with Chicken

Each Tuesday I ask a friend to be my tutor for a day. I select one of their original recipes, I follow my friend's recipe instructions, I snap a multitude of pictures, I sample the results - and then I share everything I love about my friend's recipe. Learn More

I first met Mary through the Food Fetish Friday series. It was back in 2011, very early in the series, and I every day I was busy hunting for new delicious food blogs to follow. And that's when I saw it. Mary's Strawberry Vinaigrette. It was instant love at first site and I've been following Mary's creations ever since.

We also share a common love of simple homemade food. And an impatience for photography. And a love of secondhand shops (although I only recently discovered this). We now also both share a love for today's stir fry recipes. I've never been a big eater of Chinese takeout, but I LOVE this stir fry! Maybe it's the bacon, maybe it's the fresh ingredients. But this is what every stir fry should be (and rarely is).

So please give a big welcome to Mary - Welcome, Mary! And thank you so much for being my tutor!

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Mary Younkin is the author of Barefeet In The Kitchen. She has an addiction to white dishes, funky forks, used books, fresh vegetables and dark chocolate. On a perfect day, you'll find her in a used bookstore, secondhand shop or on a date with her husband. On a typical day, you'll find her in the kitchen with three boys at her feet, flour on her face and a whisk in her hand.

Featured Recipe: Spicy Chinese Vegetable Stir Fry with Chicken

More About Today's Tutor
  1. I cook and bake from scratch, as simply as possible. If a recipe requires more than an hour to make, that is fancy cooking in my world.
  2. I usually photograph our food in the moments just before it is eaten. I'm not a food stylist or expert photographer. I'm far too impatient and often too hungry to wait!
  3. I grew up with 5 brothers and 2 sisters. Our family reunions are crazy, chaotic times filled with laughter and food, lots and lots of food!
  4. I hated coffee and anything remotely coffee flavored until a couple years ago. Today, I use my stovetop espresso pot every morning and I even pack it when I travel.
  5. I love almost any food that combines, spicy, sweet, sour and/or salty. I have loved Mexican food for as long as I can remember, but Asian foods are on my menu just as often these days. I love finding new flavors and spice combinations to try!

How to Make: Spicy Chinese Vegetable Stir Fry with Chicken
For a printable recipe and complete list of ingredients and steps, see the original recipe

Egg White and Corn Starch Whisked Together
In a large bowl, whisk together 1 egg white and 1 Tablespoon corn starch.

Peeled Fresh Ginger
Peel a 2-inch section of fresh ginger root with a spoon.

Finely Sliced Fresh Ginger
Trim and finely slice the ginger root.

Ginger Whisked into Egg Whites
Whisk the ginger root pieces into the egg white mixture.

Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
Next you will prepare the chicken thighs. Look for 1 1/2 pounds of boneless and skinless chicken thighs.

Diced Chicken Thighs
Trim and dice chicken things into 1/2-inch pieces.

Diced Chicken Added to Ginger Egg Whites
Add the diced chicken to the ginger/egg white mixture and mix with your fingers to combine. Set aside.

1/2 Cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
With clean hands, measure 1/2 cup soy sauce (I used low-sodium).

Measuring Brown Sugar
Add 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar to the soy sauce.

Organic Chile Paste
Add 1 Tablespoon chile paste to the soy sauce.

Chile Paste and Brown Sugar Whisked into Soy Sauce
Whisk the soy sauce mixture together and set aside.

Diced Red and Green Bell Peppers
Seed and dice 1 red and 1 green bell pepper into 1-inch pieces. Add to a small bowl.

Fresh Green Onions
Trim 1 bunch of green onions.

Onions Cut into Pieces
Cut green onions into 1 1/2 inch sections. Add to the bowl with the diced bell peppers.

Broccoli Cut into Flowerettes
Cut a small head of broccoli into florets. Add to a separate small bowl.

Fresh Snow Peas
Next you will need 1/2 cup of snow peas (fresh or frozen).

Snow Peas Halved
Cut snow peas in half and add to the bowl with the broccoli.

Bean Sprouts
Measure 1/2 cup of fresh bean sprouts and add to the same bowl with the broccoli and snow peas.

Ingredients Ready for Cooking
You should now have 4 containers of prepped ingredients.

Heat a wok or large saute pan over high heat (just below the highest heat setting).

Smoked Nitrate-Free Bacon
Cut 8 ounces of bacon rashers into 1-inch pieces.

Sliced Bacon Added to Hot Wok
Add the bacon to the hot wok.

Bacon Cooked Until Crispy
Cook the bacon, stirring constantly, until bacon is browned and crispy.

Chicken and Ginger Added to Wok
Immediately add the diced chicken with ginger.

Chicken Cooked Until Browned
Cook the chicken and ginger for 5 minutes until it begins to brown, constantly tossing with tongs.

Bell Peppers and Onions Added to Wok
Add the diced bell peppers and green onions to the wok. Cook for 4 minutes until softened slightly, continuously tossing with tongs.

Beans, Broccoli and Sprouts Added to Wok
Add broccoli, snow peas and sprouts to the wok. Cook for 1 minute, tossing constantly.

Soy Sauce Mixtured Poured Over Stir Fry
Pour the soy sauce mixture over the stir fry and toss everything together with the tongs for 2 minutes until all the stir fry elements are coated and the sauce has thickened.

Chinese Stir Fry with Chicken and Bacon
Serve immediately.

Chinese Stir Fry with Chicken and Bacon, Serving
I enjoyed this stir fry on its own, but you could also serve over rice if desired.

Thoughts while scarfing...
  • Anyone who knows me well, knows I don't gravitate towards Asian cuisine. That's just the way it is. However, this stir fry is an exception. I would happily eat this regularly. Like once a week. Maybe three times a week. Maybe more. The point is, if you don't like Chinese takeout, give this a try.
  • You really need to prep all of your ingredients before you begin adding anything to the wok. Once the wok is hot, this stir fry happens so quick. It only required about 10 minutes of cook time - and you will need to be involved during every moment of those 10 minutes. The good news is, you can prep all of your ingredients in advance.
  • I had to try a couple of different stores to find fresh snow peas and bean sprouts. If you live near an fresh Asian market, you will probably have an easier time. And the flavor can only improve.
  • I don't like rice much, so I elected to serve the stir fry as a complete meal without rice. And besides the bacon, this is a fairly healthy meal, loaded with protein, vegetables and flavor. If you want to go even more healthful, cut back on the bacon and switch to chicken breasts. And I might even add more broccoli next time.


  1. I love your photos and your thoughts on the recipe, Mark! I didn't realize that Chinese food isn't a favorite for you, that makes it even more awesome that you liked it so much! It was an honor to be your tutor this week. Have a fabulous day!

  2. I'm so glad you enjoyed the post, Mary! It was so much fun and definitely a repeat recipe for me. The flavors were spot on and so much simpler than I had imagined to make :)

  3. Mich @ Piece of CakeMay 14, 2013 at 10:22 PM

    That's an amazing stir fry, love the different infusion of flavours.

  4. It really was delicious, Mich - I highly recommend!

  5. Great looking dish! I do love Asian, so this speaks to me. Wonderful tutor, too. Really a fun post - thanks.

  6. I'm so glad you enjoyed the tutorial and Mary's recommendation to try this stir-fry was spot on, even for someone like me ;)


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