Unlike in gluey takeout versions of stir-fry, the sauce here is perfectly balanced and light. The Chinese technique of velveting keeps the chicken succulent and tender, and prepping the stir-fry ingredients while the chicken marinates makes this dish fast—maybe even faster than delivery.
What to buy: Although hoisin means “seafood” in Cantonese, there’s actually no seafood in hoisin sauce. This thick, sweet condiment is made from sugar, soybeans, garlic, sesame seeds, chiles, and spices. Look for it in the ethnic aisle at most grocery stores or in Asian markets.
Special equipment: If you don’t have a wok, Grace Young suggests a large frying pan as a good substitute, but don’t use a nonstick pan because the high heat may damage it.
Game plan: You’ll need to make the steamed rice before you begin.
For the stir-fry: