Instead of the more obvious choice of rice, serve this stir-fry over barley. The barley contributes a significant amount of fiber (about 25 percent of which is heart-healthy soluble fiber), as well as lots of the antioxidant mineral selenium and quite a bit of magnesium.


1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

2 teaspoons cornstarch

3/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide strips

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as olive or canola oil

1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps quartered

1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch squares

1/2 pound asparagus, cut on the diagonal into 1-inch lengths

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

1 pound extra-firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

4 scallions, thinly sliced


1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, and cornstarch. Add the chicken and stir to coat.

2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and bell pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until the pepper is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.

3. Lift the chicken from the marinade, reserving the marinade. Add the chicken to the pan along with the asparagus, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring, until the chicken is almost cooked through, about 3 minutes.

4. Add the tofu, scallions, and reserved marinade, and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Makes 4 servings

Nutrition Facts

per serving
calories 336
total fat 16g
saturated fat 2.5g
cholesterol 50mg
dietary fiber 2g
carbohydrate 16g
protein 34g
sodium 605mg

Good source of: magnesium, niacin, selenium, vitamin B6, vitamin C

If you are carefully watching your sodium, be sure to read this before preparing this recipe: Sodium Intake and Salt in Recipes

From The Johns Hopkins Cookbook Library: Recipes for a Healthy Heart, edited by Simeon Margolis, M.D., Ph.D. and Lora Brown Wilder, Sc.D., M.S., R.D.

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 31 Oct 2011

Last Modified: 24 Mar 2015