Now that the fruit, the favorite part of my CSA box, has been taken care of, it’s on to the green stuff. Delicate green things, like pea vine, don’t have a long shelf life. When you have multiple delicate green things at once it can put you into a bit of a panic. Pea vine can wilt in the produce drawer inside of a day if you don’t store it in a glass of water. I also had some han tsai tai which also needed to be used quickly.
A stir fry is always a good solution for this. My friend Tessa had mentioned Thai basil chicken earlier in the day. Coincidentally, I planted Thai basil in my garden two weeks ago! Chicken breasts were thawing in the fridge. I was halfway to having dinner made.
I added onion, chili pepper, and green garlic to a smoking hot wok. One of the tricks to a successful stir fry at home is to heat the wok over high heat until it starts to wisp smoke, add the oil and bring it almost to smoking. As you add ingredients, let them sit a bit to carmelize and to bring the heat of the wok back up. This is especially important for the meat. Let it sit until it starts to brown on the underside before starting to stir fry.
After I stir-fried the chicken a bit I piled on chopped pea vine and han tsai tai. They filled the wok to the top but they cook down a lot.
As the greens began to cook down I added the sauce ingredients and Thai basil and continued to stir fry a few more minutes.
I served the stir fry over chuka soba noodles, which are kind of like ramen noodles but without the seasoning packet.