gougères vanilla sugar boozy mississippi bourbon mud pie linguine with clams


copyright jennifer yu © 2004-2014 all rights reserved: no photos or content may be reproduced without prior written consent


good things all around

Recipe: thai chicken, asparagus, and baby corn

It’s so good to be back in Colorado. I say that every time I return. I feel it every time I return. Vermontshire, Verhampshire, New Hampmont, Vermont, New Hampshire – they’re wonderful and I learned so much and had a great time. But my heart truly sings when I catch sight of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado’s bluebird skies, my cuddly Kaweah girl, and most of all my sweet Jeremy. Also, the skiing in Colorado ain’t bad!


me and mah tele betties at breckenridge last week



I’m tired despite having done not a lick of exercise on this last trip. It’s partly because I find being in social situations exhausting and partly because air travel makes me cranky. Don’t mistake me for an introvert, though! I’m a good little extrovert, but it tires me out to navigate the dynamics of several very different personalities while keeping an eye open for photos and keeping my ears open to absorb the information being shared. It might also be because I stayed up until 2 am talking with this gal…

selfie with ellen at logan airport



I invited Ellen to come with me on my trip to Verhampshire for two reasons: 1) to put her in contact with a potential maple syrup supplier and 2) because I knew I wouldn’t place a pillow over her face in the middle of the night. I know myself well enough to identify who I can and won’t travel with, which is good because it has prevented many an attempted homicide. Today’s recipe is for my awesome travel buddy and friend, Ellen, because I know she loves quick and easy Thai recipes (don’t we all?!).

Back when I reproduced my favorite Thai sizzling beef dish, I managed to trigger a deep craving for other Thai dishes that I haven’t had in a while. One of the simplest and most delightful would have to be a basic chicken and vegetable stir-fry. You can use whatever vegetables you like and tinker with the sauce to taste, but it is quick, easy, and immensely satisfying.


chicken thighs, asparagus, green onions, garlic, sugar, cornstarch, baby corn, straw mushrooms, vinegar, vegetable oil, fish sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce

mix the sauce ingredients together

slice the asparagus on the diagonal

all of the meat and vegetables prepped



I suppose there is a time and a place for chicken breasts, but I am really partial to dark meat. I think the flavor and moisture retention is superior. Given my druthers, I choose dark meat. And while I’m doling out my opinions, I like fat asparagus more than skinny asparagus. Skinny asparagus may have a place somewhere, but for this stir-fry I think fat asparagus makes more sense and gives you something to sink your teeth into.

adding chicken to the hot oil and garlic

set aside the cooked chicken

add baby corn and straw mushrooms to the sautéed asparagus



I’ve forgotten how wonderful a quick and fragrant stir-fry can be. As the days get longer, I find myself less inclined to hang about the kitchen and more inclined to get out and do something active. The prep on this dish takes no more than 15 minutes and the actual cooking is done within 5 minutes. Awesome. That leaves plenty of time for taking Kaweah on walkies, hitting up the spring corn snow, or hopping down to Boulder.

mix in the cooked chicken and green onions

stir in the sauce

add the cornstarch mixture to thicken the sauce



Even though I am a self-proclaimed noodle girl, there are some dishes that just go perfectly with rice and this is one of them. I can happily dish myself a bowl of rice topped with this Thai chicken and vegetable stir-fry and call it good. Very good.

a satisfying stir fry of chicken and vegetables



Thai Chicken, Asparagus, and Baby Corn
[print recipe]

2 tbsps vegetable oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup green onions, cut into 1-inch strips
1 lb. chicken (thigh meat preferred, but breast meat is fine), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 tbsps fish sauce
1 1/2 tbsps oyster sauce
2 tsps dark soy sauce
2 tsps white vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 lb. fresh asparagus (fat asparagus is better), cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
15 oz. baby corn
15 oz. straw mushrooms
2 tsps cornstarch
1/2 cup water

Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large frying pan or wok over high heat. Stir in the garlic until fragrant (less than 30 seconds). Add the chicken to the pan and stir-fry until just cooked. Remove from pan and set aside. Combine the fish sauce, oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, white vinegar, and sugar in a small bowl or cup. Stir to dissolve the sugar and set aside. Add the second tablespoon of vegetable oil to the pan or wok over high heat. Add the asparagus and sauté until the spears become a deep green. Stir in the baby corn and mushrooms. Add the cooked chicken back into the pan with the green onions. Pour in the sauce mixture and give everything a good stir to coat everything evenly. Mix the cornstarch with the water and stir it into the pan to thicken the sauce. Serve hot. Serves 4-6.


more goodness from the use real butter archives

pad see ew thai noodles kung pao chicken thai red curry with tofu and basil thai chicken coconut soup (tom kah kai)

13 nibbles at “good things all around”

  1. Kimberly L. says:

    Of all the blogs I read on the internet [and they are MANY], I absolutely adore yours. Yours is the first one I read when I open the internet, and more often than not, the one that answer the eternal question, “What’s for dinner tonight?” Thanks for writing this VERY INSPIRING weblog.

  2. Caroline says:

    I completely agree with Kimberly..yours is one of the best blogs out there! I love your stories and your amazing pictures..I wish I had that much talent, lucky lucky girl!

  3. Monique says:

    Here, here! I remember a long time ago you sounded like you were burning out on blogging. I was so sad to think of you going away and am so happy you decided to continue on. You rock, you inspire, you entertain. Keep it going!

  4. Eileen says:

    Wow, does this sound good. I’m going to have to keep it in mind for my occasional dinners alone (that is, without our resident vegetarian).

  5. Abbe@This is How I Cook says:

    Now I know what I’ll do with that baby corn in my pantry.

  6. Kristin says:

    Looks like a winner! On the list for next week it goes..

  7. Melissa says:

    You know I love that you use chicken thighs. You and my dear friend Amy @Very Culinary (probably one of the only people besides Steve that *I* would not smother with a pillow whilst traveling together HA) are my fellow dark meat lovers. So much better for one-pot dishes and stir fries! I disagree about the asparagus though. ;)

  8. Kris says:

    I’ve always hated those little corns. But this looks like it would be delicious without them. And I agree about the fat asparagus.

  9. Katie says:

    Wow! Looks delicious! I have never thought of using asparagus in a stir-fry. I’m definitely going to try. Thanks for the idea!

  10. Kathryn Swanson says:

    This is a recipe I will use again and again Jen. We love the Asian dishes, but some have so many ingredients that I don’t always keep on hand. Hope you are well and have enjoyed the late season snows. Great photos, as usual.

  11. Rocky Mountain Woman says:

    There is a lot of asparagus showing up here but most of it is the skinny kind. I’m with you, give me a nice big fat green stalk, especially in a stir fry.

    This looks perfect for the end of winter, not yet spring blues I seem to have today…

  12. Kristin says:

    Made it tonight…delicious! Everyone said it was a keeper.

  13. jenyu says:

    Kimberly – wow, you are such a dear. Thank you for that incredibly sweet comment. Readers like you make this part of my OCD documentation of recipes such a joy. Thank you, thank you xoxo

    Caroline – I’m sure you have tons of talent! We’re all friends here – everyone supports everyone :) And thanks for your comment too. You guys are awesome <3

    Monique – I *was* burning out on it, but truth be told, I decided to just do what felt comfortable. I’m not posting as often (at least I don’t feel that I am) and I’m just doing what I want to do. I think that’s the key to keeping it fun for all involved :) xo

    Eileen – It’s super good and you can sub tofu for chicken if you don’t want meat! Although subbing for fish sauce will be tough (you could use a little more soy sauce, but it’s not the same)

    Abbe – yay!

    Kristin – :)

    Melissa – YES to the chicken thighs! *high five* Ha ha! Okay, this spring we’ll have to do some taste comparisons of fat vs. skinny asparagus. I love it all, but I do prefer the juicy sweetness of fat spears!! xoxo

    Kris – you can totally omit the baby corn. Put anything you want in it – bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, etc.

    Katie – oh, asparagus in stir-fries is wonderful wonderful!

    Kathy – I really love this one – it’s so simple and tastes fantastic with rice. We are definitely enjoying the snows! Hope you are both well :) xo

    Rocky Mountain Woman – I know, right?!?! I’ve had fresh asparagus just picked and it was fat and sweet and amazing :)

    Kristin – yay!! Rock on, lady!

leave a reply