Bird's Nest of Black Bean Chicken and Wasabi Cream
1 ounce dried wood ear mushrooms
1 ½ teaspoons wasabi powder
½ cup non-fat Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 pound chicken thighs, ½-inch dice
2 tablespoons minced ginger
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon minced fermented black beans
4 serrano peppers, thinly sliced in rings
1 large bok choy, leafy green part roughly chopped, white part, ¼ slices
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons corn starch
canola oil for deep frying noodles
4 ounces dried bean thread vermicelli noodles
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a medium saucepan, rehydrate the wood ear mushrooms in simmering water for 5 minutes (or follow package directions). Remove from the water and roughly chop. Reserve.
In a small bowl, combine 1 teaspoon of water with the wasabi powder to bloom it. Add the Greek yogurt and reserve.
In a wok over high heat, add 2 tablespoons of the oil and add chicken, salt and pepper and blanch the chicken until just cooked through, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
Add the remaining oil to the wok, then add the ginger, garlic, black beans, and serrano peppers. Stir fry for one minute until the aroma becomes apparent. Add the bok choy, reserved wood ear mushrooms, and chicken along with its juices back to the wok. Add the broth and bring to a boil.
In a small bowl, using your finger, combine the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water. Whisk the slurry into the simmering chicken mixture and cook another minute or two until the sauce is slightly thickened.
Have a large stock pot filled half-way with oil at 375 degrees. Gently drop the noodles into the oil. They will puff up into a birds nest shape instantly. Using long tongs, turn the birds nest over to cook the other side for just a few seconds. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
To plate: Lay the birds nest down on the platter. Top with the chicken stir-fry and place a line of the wasabi yogurt across the top.