Chicken Watercress Stir-fry

Hey guys! I know it’s been a while. My original plan was to bring you a chicken cordon bleu recipe. But after multiple failed attempts at getting the correct ingredients (seriously how hard can it be right?), and an impending deployment I had to scratch that idea. That’s why I am so excited to bring you this recipe. Recently I was browsing thru the magazine and cookbook section of the exchange and found a few gems buried under the usual one pot meal and slow cooker magazines. It’s kind of sad how excited I was over finding these magazines really. After pouring thru all three of them I settled on a stir fry recipe. OH EM GEE guys I’m so glad I did. As good as it was though, it needed a few tweaks. So I tried again and the result was a deliciously spicy weeknight dinner that can be made in a snap. Trust me, this is one recipe you don’t want to skip.

The first time making this recipe I was lucky enough to find all the fresh items on the ingredients list…a stunning feat here on Guam. The second time though I was not as lucky and needed to substitute a couple of the ingredients out. This is actually good news. Whether you keep to the original main ingredients or just use whatever is in your fridge, it still excellent.

The key to the recipe is having all your prep done before you start cooking. This meal comes together in less than 20 minutes, so you will not have time to slice and mince as you’re cooking. I got my rice cooker going first. Seriously guys, the best buy ever. Other than my kitchen-aid, I probably use my rice cooker more than anything else in the kitchen.

Slice about one pound chicken breast in 1/2” pieces. Put all the chicken in a bowl and add 2 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp sake or Shaoxing (cooking sake), and 2 tsp cornstarch. Mix well and allow to marinate while you are finishing up the other prep.

Apparently I really lucked out finding the fresh shiitake mushrooms the first time. When I went back to get more they were out with no new shipment date in sight. Fortunately, I was able to find dried shiitakes instead. However, having tried both I really recommend the fresh variety. You can also use crimni’s if you can’t find either form of shiitake’s.

Peel and mince 2 tsp fresh ginger. I found the best way to peel ginger is by scraping a spoon down the peel. I always seem to cut to deep when I use a knife.

If you are using watercress go ahead and stem 6 oz of the watercress. Just like with the mushrooms, I didn’t realize how rare it was that I found fresh watercress. I had a container of baby spinach and baby kale the second time, so I used that in place of the watercress. Honestly I’m not sure which I preferred more. I think its more of a matter of personal preference. So feel free to experiment with whatever floats your boat!

Heat 1 Tbs of sesame oil in a pan over high heat. Sauté the chicken in a single layer, cooking more than one batch if needed. Remove all the chicken to a bowl.

Return the pan to high heat and quickly sauté the minced ginger and 1.5 Tbs Chinese chile-bean sauce. Stir to combine, then add the mushrooms. Cook about 2 minutes, stirring often.

Add the chicken back to the pan along with all accumulated juices and 1/4 cup chicken stock. Cook until the chicken is completely cooked thru, about 2 minutes.

Add 6 oz of watercress or baby spinach/baby kale and 1 Tbs rice vinegar then sauté until the greens are wilted. Add more chile-bean sauce to taste. I usually add an extra teaspoon or two, but I like it spicy 🙂

Serve over rice and enjoy. This recipe makes exactly enough for two people. So if you want any leftovers for lunch, make extra 🙂

Here’s the printable 🙂

Chicken Stir Fry w. Watercress and Shiitakes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

2 servings

Chicken Stir Fry w. Watercress and Shiitakes


  • 1 lb chicken breast
  • 1 Tbs soy sauce, divided
  • 1 tsp sake or Shaoxing
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbs sesame oil
  • 1.5 Tbs Chinese chile-bean sauce
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 6 oz fresh or 1oz dried(and rehydrated) shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/4 c. chicken broth
  • 6oz fresh watercress or baby spinach
  • 1 Tbs rice vinegar


  1. Slice the chicken into 1/2" pieces. Combine with 2 tsp soy sauce, cornstarch and sake.
  2. Slice shiitake mushrooms, mince the ginger and stem the watercress.
  3. Saute the chicken in a single layer, cooking in multiple batches if nessecary.
  4. Remove all the chicken from the pan and add the Chile-Bean sauce and garlic. Stir quickly to combine then add the sliced mushrooms.
  5. Return the chicken to pan with the chicken broth and cook until done all the way through, about another 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add the watercress or spinach with the rice vinegar and saute until wilted.
  7. Add more chile-bean sauce to taste.
  8. Serve over rice.
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What did you think? Let me know in the comments 🙂

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