Chicken, tofu and kangkong with chili garlic sauce

Yes, chili garlic sauce. Again. I can’t seem to get enough of the stuff. And I’m not even fond of spicy dishes. No, correction I am not fond of overly spicy dishes. And that’s what makes the chili garlic sauce perfect for me so long as I use it for cooking rather than for dipping. Yesterday’s lunch was a stir fry made with chicken strips, firm tofu and kangkong. So unbelievably simple, so amazingly easy to cook and so utterly tasty that I had to stop myself from having a third helping. I ate so much for lunch I couldn’t eat a proper dinner at 7.00 p.m. And we had baked mac for dinner! Imagine me only having a small portion of baked mac.

Cut the chicken into strips. Pour in about a tablespoonful of whatever liquid seasoning you’re using and mix well. Set aside.

Wash the kangkong well, drain, then cut into three to four segments. Keep the segments in separate bunches — the toughest portion of the stalks is one bunch, the part next to it is another bunch, and so on, with the leafy tips consisting of the last bunch. You’ll be adding them to the wok one after the other to ensure even cooking. See, if you add them all at the same time, the leaves will be overcooked by the time the stalks are cooked through.

Heat the cooking oil in a wok. I recommend non-stick pans so that you won’t need to use so much oil for frying the tofu. You’ll need more than 1/4 cup of oil if you’re not using a non-stick pan. While heating the oil, cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes. Add them to the hot oil and cook over high heat until lightly browned, stirring often. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a plate.

Pour off the oil from the wok. You’ll only need a trace to complete this dish. Replace the wok on the stove and add the seasoned chicken strips. Cook until the meat changes color then add the chili garlic sauce. Continue cooking until the chicken acquires a nice reddish color then throw in the minced garlic and chopped onions. Stir fry for about 10 seconds then start adding the kangkong. Remember, the thickest part of the stalks first. Add the rest with 1-minute intervals. After adding the leaves, stir fry for a minute then turn off the heat. Add more liquid seasoning, a tablespoonful at a time, tasting between additions, to get just the right amount of saltiness that will blend well with the chili garlic sauce.