When you are pressed for time but still need to stick to a healthy diet, your best friend is the Chinese bamboo basket. If you have never used traditional Chinese kitchen tools, then it’s time to get acquainted with these versatile baskets. First, let’s discuss this meal. To make Orange Peppercorn Steamed Chicken, you will need three important flavors: orange, soy sauce, and ginger. Using the zest of one orange, you will make a delicious glaze for your chicken and rice. The soy sauce helps balance the sweetness for a perfectly balanced meal. Ginger is a root traditionally used in Chinese cooking. It gives this chicken a sharp, fresh flavor.
Traditional Chinese steamer baskets are inexpensive and durable. They allow you to experiment with the flavors as you arrange your ingredients. Steaming involves placing food on a perforated surface, like a bamboo basket or metal steamer pot, above a small amount of simmering water. Once covered with a lid, the water evaporates, creating steam that rises to cook the food. Steam heat actually can be much hotter than boiling water, but it cooks more gently because it is less dense than water. This means more of the nutrients stay in the food rather than being boiled out. That’s why vegetables are so good in the steamer: they stay crisp and the vitamins and minerals aren’t lost in the boiled water. A Chinese steamer basket set is available for $24.99 by Joyce Chen.
Although they are designed to fit perfectly inside a wok, you can also use them over any pot in your kitchen.
What You Need
¾ cup of brown rice, uncooked
4 baby bok choys, halved lengthwise
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 ½ Tbsp chopped pink or black peppercorns
1 orange, zested and juiced
4 Tbsp chopped peeled fresh ginger
6 finely chopped green onions
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp minced garlic
Directions: Prepare the brown rice according to the directions on the package. Line a 10-inch steamer basket with the bok choy. Season chicken with peppercorns, orange zest and salt and place on top of the bok choy. Place 2 Tbsp of chopped ginger over the chicken. Place the steamer over a pot or wok containing two inches of boiling water. Steam 8-10 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in the middle.
To make the dressing, combine onions, 3Tbsp of orange juice, 2 Tbsp of remaining ginger, 3 Tbsp soy sauce, 2 Tbsp canola oil, 2 Tbsp rice vinegar, 1 Tbsp minced garlic and whisk to combine. You should add a dash of sugar for a hint of sweetness. Salt according to taste.
To serve, place chicken and bok choy over the brown rice and cover with the dressing. This recipe makes 4 servings. At just 340 calories a serving, it is the prefect healthy meal for your busy lifestyle. You can add an Asian salad on the side for additional servings. When purchasing an Asian salad at the grocery store, purchase a ginger-based Asian dressing. Once you’ve made your first bamboo basket meal, you will be dying to try more.