The chicken and vegetable stir-fry that's all things to all eaters

Here's a dish for those evenings when you want to eat something totally healthy, with a lot of greens, few calories and maximum deliciousness. Sound impossible? What if I tell you there are only about 260 calories in a generous serving? And that it's so delicious, Thierry and Wylie get excited when I whip it up? (And no, 19-year-old Wylie is not watching his weight.) They eat rice or rice noodles with it; I skip the starch. 

If you haven't yet mastered stir-fry technique, this recipe will walk you through it – and it provides a blueprint for you to improvise on later. Change up the vegetables, leaving something out, if you feel like it or can't find it, and adding cut-up asparagus (blanched like the bok choy) or a handful of baby spinach (tossed in at the last minute) or some dried shiitakes that you've reconstituted in boiling water. Or a can of sliced water chestnuts instead of the daikon. If you happen to have gai lan, you can use that instead of the broccoli (no need to peel the stems, though it may need an extra minute to cook).

You could just cut everything up and start tossing thing into a hot wok. But marinating the chicken first in oyster sauce, Shaoxing wine, soy sauce and sesame oil gives it great flavor, and blanching broccoli and bok choy keeps them bright green and makes their time in the wok a no-brainer. 

A touch of sambal oelek (Southeast Asian chile sauce, available in jars in Asian markets) adds the right gentle zing at the end; if you don't have that, you can skip – or substitute Sriricha or a finely chopped small, fresh chile, like a Thai bird chile.

Here's the technique.

Have everything cut up and prepped in advance. Start with the chicken – a couple of skinless, boneless breasts you cut into 1/2-inch slices, and let them marinate while you cut up the rest of the veg.

Next blanch the bok choy, snow peas and broccoli in water with a little baking soda, salt and a piece of smashed ginger. Refresh each in cold water and set them (separately) aside. 

Now you're ready to stir-fry. Heat oil over very high heat in a wok and stir-fry the chicken. Set it aside while you stir-fry ginger, garlic and onion, broccoli, daikon, bok choy, carrots and snow peas, then add in the chicken. Then add a little oyster sauce, sambal oelek and fish sauce, to make a light sauce. Toss it all together over the heat and it's ready to eat. 

Ready to stir-fry? Let's go!