• 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 400 g (13 oz) in total, cut into thin strips across the grain
  • about 300 ml (½ pint) groundnut oil
  • 1 green pepper, cored, deseeded and cut lengthways into thin strips
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and very finely shredded
  • 4 garlic cloves, cut into very thin strips
  • 4 spring onions, shredded
  • 4 tablespoons black bean sauce
  • 300 ml (½ pint) hot chicken stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 1–2 heaped tablespoons canned fermented black beans, rinsed, to garnish
  • egg noodles, to serve

Put the egg white into a bowl with a little salt and pepper and whisk with a fork until frothy. Sift in the cornflour and whisk to mix, then add the chicken and stir until coated.

Heat the oil in a wok until very hot, but not smoking. Add about one-quarter of the chicken strips and stir to separate. Stir-fry for 30–60 seconds, until the chicken turns white on all sides. Lift out with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Very carefully pour off all but about 1 tablespoon of the hot oil from the wok.

Return the wok to a low heat and add the green pepper, chilli, garlic and about half of the spring onions. Stir-fry for a few minutes, until the pepper begins to soften, then add the black bean sauce and stir to mix. Pour in the stock, increase the heat to high and bring to the boil, stirring constantly.

Add the chicken to the sauce and cook over a moderate to high heat, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Serve hot with egg noodles, garnished with the remaining spring onions and the black beans.

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