Nitcha Garsee, owner and culinary queen behind Kanōm Thai Street Food, is passionate about introducing Wacoans to the sweet and savory street snacks she grew up eating in Thailand. (Kanōm Thai Street Food was located at the Waco Downtown Farmers Market, but has temporarily closed so that Garsee can spend a year in Thailand with her family.) Pork stuffed tapioca pearls, flaky, umami-rich chicken curry puffs—Garsee makes every labor-intensive recipe for her farmers market stall from scratch.
When she’s back home after a long day of cooking, Garsee turns to simpler recipes for feeding her husband and four young children. This stir fry recipe is one of her back-pocket favorites for its ease, simplicity, and bold flavors.
Stir Fried Black Pepper Chicken
This dish is one of my favorites to make,” says Garsee, “because it’s simple, but it still has a hot taste from the pepper. And if you want more or less heat, you can add more or less pepper. If you don’t like spice at all, don’t use the pepper. It’s so easy.”
Serve this dish over rice or get creative with sides and accompaniments, experiment with different proteins (hello, shrimp!), mix it up with seasonal vegetables—make it yours and enjoy.
1 lb chicken thigh, boneless and skinless, cut into 2-inch pieces
½ c white or yellow onion, coarsely chopped
½ c bell pepper (green, red, or a combo of both), coarsely chopped
½ c green onions thinly sliced on the diagonal
2 T garlic, chopped or thinly sliced
1 T black pepper
1 T oyster sauce
1 T seasoning sauce
1 T sugar
3 T water
2 T vegetable oil
Heat wok or large skillet on high until smoking, then add vegetable oil and heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and toss a few times, then add the chicken and cook, tossing frequently, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add bell pepper and onion, toss for 30 seconds, then add the oyster sauce, seasoning sauce, black pepper, sugar, and water. Stir fry until chicken is fully cooked, add the green onion, toss for another 30 seconds, then serve hot.
Keep your eyes peeled on Garsee’s Instagram account to see what she’s eating on her year-long Thailand sabbatical, and head to Curry Up and Wok This Way in Union Hall if you need a Thai food fix before Garsee’s return. (It’s her brother-in-law’s restaurant, and while his focus is more on curries and noodles, the food is wonderful.)