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Stir fry dishes are among the most popular, quick, and simple recipes. Today I want to show you a variation that my family has started to call a “Polish-Asian” stir fry. It has chicken and mushrooms with traditional seasoning, served over Asian rice noodles and a soy-based sauce.
This very savoury stir-fry-ish dish came about in my home growing up. It’s excellent comfort food for a cool or cloudy day. It’s also a good sandbox for people who love to experiment with stir fry combos and sauces. Together, the rice noodles, vegetables, mushrooms and chicken are filling, succulent, and reasonably healthy (sodium content notwithstanding).
A fusion of traditions
In my kitchen I have a handy chicken seasoning made by a Polish company that exports globally. Even though I was born on the other side of the world, I am fortunate to have exposure to my family’s culture.
The seasoning has a long list of herbs, most of which are commonly available. The list includes salt, black pepper, basil, oregano, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, Satureja (known as “savory” or “cząber” in Polish), powdered garlic and ginger. If you can’t find or make such a handy mix of herbs and spices, feel free to use your own preferred seasoning blend.
Oh, and don’t get me started on Polish people and mushrooms. I seldom go a week without eating mushrooms in some way. My grandmother and my aunt would routinely go on forest walks for mushrooms and bring back enough to feed a small village. Years of foraging taught them how to identify the taste of each mushroom, and which toxic ones to leave behind.
Customize your stir fry
Personally, I don’t use frozen vegetables for this dish. So, it might not be the quickest stir fry you’ve ever done, but I promise it will be worth it. The only thing I won’t make from scratch is the sauce, so pick your favourite. I will save a scratch-made sauce recipe for another day.
If time or budget are issues for you, don’t worry. Use whatever you can, whether your vegetables are frozen or fresh. As long as you add carrots, snow peas, and mushrooms in some way you are golden for getting this savoury fusion recipe down.
Also, you can easily turn this into a vegan recipe by subbing out the chicken for tofu and frying your ingredients over vegetable or coconut oil rather than butter. However, if you’re doing meat, I recommend frying on butter as it adds a juicier texture and flavour to the dish.
Polish Fusion Stir Fry
- Cutting board and knife
- Frying pan
- 3 different pots (for more efficient cooking of snow peas, other veggies, and noodles)
- Colander (for straining noodles if you are saving any leftovers)
- 2 lbs (900 g) boneless chicken breasts (3-4 large pieces) If you want to make this a vegan dish, replace chicken with approx. 2 lbs tofu
- 1/2 lb (225 g) white mushrooms
- 1/2 lb (225 g) snow peas
- 1/2 lb (225 g) soy bean sprouts Optional: these may be hard to find fresh depending on where you live, so don't sweat it if you don't have them
- 3-4 large carrots
- 1 large green bell pepper
- 1 sweet, white onion
- 1 lb (450 g) rice noodles
Seasoning and Cooking
- 3 cups (about 700 ml) Szechuan sauce
- 1 tsp (5 ml) olive oil for boiling noodles
- 1 pinch salt for boiling noodles and snow peas
- 2 tbsp (30 g) Polish chicken seasoning If you don't have anything like this available to you, add your favourite herbs and spices for chicken.
- Butter or coconut oil for frying
- Cut off the ends of the snow peas and soy bean sprouts as they are very fibrous and hard to chew and digest.
- Rinse chicken breasts and allow them to dry (if you are using tofu, I recommend extra firm so you don't have to have to press them for long to get excess water out).
- Season your protein with Polish chicken seasoning or whatever other spice mix you have available.
- Chop vegetables: cut mushrooms into quarters, dice carrots, onions and green peppers.
- In a small pot, allow snow peas to sit in water with a bit of salt on low boil for several minutes. This will help them soften up more and reduce frying time with the other vegetables.
- Fry mushrooms separately in a pan over butter, coconut oil, or your preferred substitute. Allow mushrooms to soak in their own juices while frying for a few minutes so they absorb as much flavour as possible. They will darken in colour as seen here.
- Fry chicken on medium-high heat for several minutes, allowing the seasoning to seer slightly without making it burned and dry. Set aside when finished.
- In a pot, begin frying vegetables, minus green pepper; add the green pepper after a couple minutes as it doesn't take as long to get soft as the other veggies. After all vegetables are softened to your liking, drain any excess oil or liquid from the pot.
- Dump Szechuan sauce, mushrooms, and chicken/protein of choice into the mix. Turn heat to low and stir vigorously for several minutes. If you want a very spicy batch, now is a good time to add extra hot sauce to the mix.
- In a separate pot, boil water and add a pinch of olive oil and salt. Add the rice noodles and boil for 3 minutes, or whatever time is specified on the package.
- You can serve them right away, but if you are planning on having leftovers make sure to strain the noodles over cold water so they don't get mushy/sticky.
- Serve stir fry mix over a bed of hot noodles.
- Optional: For a traditional Polish accompaniment, serve with preserves like peppers and pickles, or my personal favourite, eggplant. Enjoy!
Thanks for stopping by! If you like this kind of article, why not check out some of my other food recipes as well?