This is one of the fall-back recipes I’ve kept from decade to decade. It worked as well in the BC days (before children) as it does now – the only difference being in how I use my free time (far more frivolously in those days) and is inspired by the fresh and quickly prepared ‘street food’ in Singapore.  It’s easy, you only need the one wok, and takes 15-20 minutes from start to finish. Just put the rice in a rice cooker before you start chopping the veg and chicken fillets and watch everything come together at the end for a steamy-hot comforting meal on a cold-weather day like today. The red and yellow peppers may be substituted for green beans, broccoli or sugar snap peas.


  • Chicken fillets, 4, sliced or cubed
  • Red and yellow peppers, 1 of each, sliced long
  • Dried red chillies, 4, leave them whole
  • Shallots, 2 large, sliced
  • Garlic, 2 cloves, chopped
  • Ginger, 1 tsp worth, grated
  • Soy sauce, 3 tbsp
  • Brown sugar, 1/2 tsp
  • Corn flour, 1 tsp, heaped
  • Coriander, ground, 1 tsp
  • Cinnamon, 1/2 tsp
  • Cashew nuts, 1/2 cup, roasted
  • Sesame oil, 1/2 tsp
  • Canola, coconut or peanut oil, 2 tbsp
  • Water or stock, as needed
  • Coriander leaves/cilantro, handful

  1. In a small bowl, combine the sesame oil, corn flour, soy sauce, brown sugar and whisk. Keep aside
  2. Heat the wok, add the oil and saute shallot and chillis, adding ginger and garlic once the shallot is softened
  3. Add cinnamon and coriander, saute till fragrant
  4. Keeping the heat up, add the chicken and some of the seasoning in that bowl in step 1
  5. Saute quickly till the chicken pieces plump up, adding a little stock or water if needed
  6. Add the peppers, stir fry till it begins to just soften, add the rest of the seasoning, drop in half the cilantro
  7. The juices will start to thicken at this stage, quickly add the cashews, the rest of the cilantro and combine
  8. Take it off the heat and serve immediately with brown rice and a salad

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