Until I was introduced to Wok with Yan about twenty years ago, Chinese cooking was a mystery to me. Of course, I had been a fan of Chinese cuisine since childhood but my acquaintance with Chinese food had been limited to my role as a diner. Then, Wok with Yan came along and it demystified Chinese cooking for me. I learned that wonderful cooking technique called stir frying and it added a new dimension to my life as a home cook. The wok and the cleaver became my best friends in the kitchen and the experiments have not stopped to this day.
For decades, I could never cook a stir fry without the inevitable sauce thickened with starch. Then, I learned to differentiate between corn and tapioca starch and, during those times when I ran out of tapioca starch, I just couldn’t bring myself to use corn starch anymore. So, I learned to cook stir-fries without the thickened sauce. There are two steps in cooking this chicken and straw mushrooms in oyster sauce. The strips of chicken fillets are deep-fried before they are stir-fried with the rest of the ingredients.
In another pan, pour about 2 tbsps. of the oil in which the chicken was cooked. The oil near the surface wouldn’t have any bits of flour in it so use that. I wouldn’t advise that you pour off the oil from the first frying pan and use the same pan for stir-frying. The remnants of toasted flour will have stuck to the bottom and sides of the pan and unless you wash the pan clean, the bits and pieces of flour will go directly into your stir fry. If you were making a stew or a gravy, that might not be so bad. It might be a good idea. But this is a stir fry, not a stew, so it’s best to use a clean frying pan or wok for stir-frying.
So, where was I? You have a clean pan and you just added about 2 tbsps. of cooking oil. When the oil is hot, add the carrot slices and stir fry for about 30 seconds. Add the diced onion and cook for another 15 seconds. Add the drained straw mushrooms. Pour in the oyster sauce and add the sugar. Stir fry for about 10 seconds then add the cooked chicken. Toss everything around to distribute the oyster sauce evenly among the ingredients. Cook just until the mushrooms are heated through. Turn off the heat, drizzle some sesame seed oil over the stir-fried dish, toss a few times then transfer to a serving platter and serve at once.