Last week I attended an event at the new Lafayette Library where Martin Yan, of “Yan Can Cook” came to help raise money for the library. Yan Can Cook was founded in 1977 by Master Chef Martin Yan. He is a champion of Asian cuisine and culture. His cooking shows are known around the world and shown in over 50 countries. He has published twenty eight cookbooks, designs cookware, consults on tourism and owns restaurants. Martin Yan is one of the busiest people I have met.
He amazed us with his humor, talent and enthusiasm for food. His knife skills are mind-boggling with the speed and accuracy. He cut a one or two inch cucumber into 64 slices – in a word – impressive. His story telling and humor is what captured my attention. He loves to get the crowd engaged and laughing.
To start the event, he asked questions of the audience and gave away some of his signature goodies. My friend Monica and I worked as a team to answer one of the first questions correctly about the three things that are important when stir-frying. Okay – I know you want to know what they are: (1) a very hot pan (2) cut the ingredients into fairly uniform sizes to create even cooking time and (3) use vegetable oil or one with a high smoke point to cook the meat. He gave us a cutting board that was made out of rice husks. Whoever figured out how to do that was very ingenuous.
Chef Yan was very generous and brought samples of his food for everyone and there was a crowd of over one hundred plus folks. Of course, he has his products available for sale and of course being a collector of cookbooks, I purchased one. The special thing was that he was on hand to personally autograph the cookbook. I seized the moment and had Monica snap a photo with Chef Yan and myself. What a fun night!
The Mango and Macadamia Chicken is from the cookbook Martin Yan Quick & Easy that I purchased that night. I ever so slightly adapted the recipe and enjoyed it the other night. I would recommend adding chunks of onions to kick up the flavor. Enjoy.
Mango and Macadamia Chicken
2 t. cornstarch
2 t. soy sauce
¾ lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into ½ inch cubes
1/3 C. chicken broth
1 T. fresh lemon juice
2 t. rice wine
2 t. sesame oil
1 ½ t. sugar
2 t. vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ t. red chili flakes
1 t. cornstarch, dissolved in 1 T. water
2 mangos, peeled, pitted and cut into cubes
1/3 C. chopped macadamia nuts
To create the marinade, combine the cornstarch and soy sauce together in a bowl and stir well. Add the chicken and coat well with the marinade. Let sit for at least 10 minutes.
To make the sauce, add all of the ingredients together and stir well. Set aside.
Place a wok or stir fry pan on high heat until hot. Add the oil and swirl around. Add the chicken and stir until it is no longer pink in the center. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Add the sauce along with the cornstarch with water. Continue to stir and the sauce will thicken. Add the mango and stir. Transfer to a large bowl and sprinkle the macadamia nuts on top. Serve immediately.