Asian Chicken/Veggie Stir Fry

Freshest ingredients!

Freshest ingredients!

This is one of our favorite dushes- fresh and tasty!

This is one of our favorite
dishes- colorful and tasty.

imageWe enjoy cooking together.

Sometimes I’m the Sous Chef; or take the lead. (Rick says I’m then the Chief Sue Chef).

For this favorite recipe I do much of the veggie prep, and Rick does the final stir frying. I make the sauce, though, as it’s one of my specialties; a low carb version with Asian flavors.  This dish, full of delicious fresh vegetables, is colorful, flavorful and very satisfying and a great addition to a low carb diet plan.

One trick with stir fry is to chop vegetables approximately the same size, and to cook in batches, starting with ingredients that take longer, such as onions, peppers and carrots. Then add those that cook more quickly, such as green onions and zucchini. Of course, be careful not to overcook as some crunch is part of the enjoyment.

Fresh Asian Veggie/Chicken Stir Fry

INGREDIENTS (serves 2-4)

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sugar peas in pods
  • 2-3 medium carrots, sliced diagonally into 1/2″ cubes (for fun, I use a variety of different colored carrots)
  • 2-3 green or spring onions, sliced diagonally in 1″ pieces including the green parts
  • 1 small red pepper and 1 small yellow pepper, sliced into 1/2 ” pieces
  • *Lemon grass, sliced diagonally in 1″ pieces
  • 1 lb. chicken breast fillet, chopped into 1″ slices
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Safflower or other high heat cooking oil
  • 1″ knob of fresh ginger for grating
  • Optional: cilantro and/or chopped peanuts for garnish
  • * 2 tsp. fish sauce (it’s salty but used sparingly gives the Asian umami flavor that we like.)
  • 1/3 cup Mirin (rice wine)
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Xylotol (low carb sweetener)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Combine all sauce ingredients and heat on medium heat until Xylotol is dissolved. Remove from heat.


1. Chop all vegetables and arrange them by cooking times.

2. Heat 1 Tbsp of oil on high heat in a wok until sizzling; add chicken pieces and stir fry until no longer pink on all sides; 3-4 minutes. Remove from the wok.

3. Add peppers, carrots and onions to the wok; stir fry for 3-5 minutes until onions are transparent. Remove from the wok.

4. Add remaining oil. Adjust heat as needed. Add mushrooms, zucchini, green onions and lemon grass to the wok. Stir fry 3-4 minutes.

5. Return all ingredients to the wok; add sauce and mix through.

6. Grate fresh ginger and mix again.

Serve in bowls with brown rice or quinoa. Garnish bowls with cilantro and/or chopped peanuts. (We serve cilantro separately as to some folks it tastes like soap!)

* Lemon grass and fish sauce are staples of Thai and Vietnamese cooking and can be found in most Asian markets; also some Whole Foods and other specialty-type groceries.



Vietnamese Bean Sprout Salad


Vietnamese Bean Sprout salad

Asian bean sprout salad with carrots in a green bowl

Vietnamese Bean Sprout Salad

The spring weather here in Santa Cruz is making me crave salads. One I made recently is this very tasty salad with flavors that remind me of the fresh, delicious, inventive foods we enjoyed on the amazing Vietnam journey we took a few years ago. This salad is made with simple ingredients; fresh bean sprouts, green onions and carrots. But it’s the dressing that gives it the sweet, tangy goodness that makes you want to lick your plate!

As I’ve used previously, the sweetness comes from Xylotol, a low carb sweetener made from hard wood. It’s easily obtainable at most grocery stores that offer organic foods, such as Whole Foods and New Leaf, a local NorCal chain.

This recipe is modified from a cookbook we got in Vietnam–“Vietnam Cooking made easy.” (Although many of the recipes really aren’t that easy- this one is!)

INGREDIENTS (serves 3-4)

Vietnamese pickled bean sprout salad

  • 1lb. fresh bean organic sprouts, rinsed (caution: be sure the bean sprouts can be safely eaten raw. Those bought in Asian markets may have a warning that they must be only eaten cooked. Don’t use those for this salad!)
  • 2-3 spring onions, rinsed and cut into 1 ” lengths
  • 1-2 small carrots, scrubbed and cut into matchsticks to yield 1 1/2 cups


  • 3/4 cup white vinegar (I use standard white vinegar and add a few Tbsp. of white wine vinegar.)
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Fish sauce (Thai is ok; it’s often easier to obtain then that made in Vietnam.)
  • 2 Tbsp. Xylotol
  • 1 cup water


  1. Rinse bean sprouts and set aside to dry for approx. 1/2 hr.
  2. Combine sprouts, carrots, green onions in salad bowl and refrigerate.
  3. In a saucepan, bring the Dressing ingredients to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 2-3 minutes to dissolve the Xylotol.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool.
  5. Dress the salad and let marinate for at least 1 hour.
  6. Drain excess liquid before serving. (You can use the dressing excess to marinate chicken or fish.)

Optional: serve with chopped cilantro.