Monday, January 24, 2011
Sesame Noodles with Chicken
I've been taking my cooking seriously for about five years, but one of the last types of food I'm learning to cook is Asian cuisine. I love to eat Thai, Chinese, Japanese and Indian, but for the most part I still rely on restaurants and take-out to get my fix of these complex international flavors. In the past two or three years our grocery stores (and even big box discounters like Target) are carrying international ingredients that used to send me on a wild goose chase all over town. I had to make a $25 investment in seasonings and spices when my culinary adventures took me to Asian cuisines, but I now consider rice vinegar, sriacha, low sodium soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and lo mein noodles to be staples in my kitchen. As an added bonus, many Asian dishes are loaded with vegetables (well, not this one) and they cook quickly. If you don't have a wok you can use a wide saute pan, but I bet you'll want to go ahead and spend $20 on a wok once you get into cooking this type of food.
Obviously, I didn't grow up cooking Chinese-style dishes, so I don't know how authentic my methods are. This recipe was inspired by The Pioneer Woman's Simple Sesame Noodles. I made it my own by stir frying some chicken, adjusting a few seasonings, and using wide lo-mein noodles. If you can't find lo-mein noodles (I bought mine at ShopRite in the international aisle), you can use linguine or spaghetti. If you can't find rice vinegar, substitute white vinegar.
I really like this recipe. I made it for the first time a week ago and it's already on the list for a repeat this week. I went through a phase when chicken lo mein was my go-to dish at the local Chinese restaurant. Since I've mastered this dish I don't think I'll need to call them anymore. Even E liked it, and he's pretty much a chicken and broccoli guy when it comes to Chinese food. Enjoy!
Don't be intimidated by the long list of ingredients and instructions. Get all of your ingredients lined up in advance and you can get this on the table on a weeknight.
Sesame Noodles with Chicken
Inspired by The Pioneer Woman's Simple Sesame Noodles, Improved by Keeley
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce plus 1 Tablespoon, divided
2 Tablespoons sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons pure sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon hot chili oil or sriacha sauce or sambal oelek (check the international aisle of a regular grocery store)
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 Tablespoons hot water
1 chicken breast, sliced very thin (1/8")
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice seasoning
8 ounces wide lo mein noodles, cooked according to package directions (I use Kame brand Wide Lo Mein Noodles)
4 whole green onions, sliced thin, for garnish
In a large bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup soy sauce and the next seven ingredients (everything up to the chicken breasts).
In a separate bowl, toss together chicken, Chinese five spice, and 1 Tablespoon soy sauce. Set aside.
Preheat wok to medium-high heat and pour in 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil. Stir fry chicken in wok for 2-3 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink.
Add cooked noodles to the wok and stir fry with chicken for 30 seconds. Pour sauce into wok and stir fry until heated through, about one minute. (You may not use all of the sauce. Pour slowly. I used 3/4 of the sauce, but you can season to taste.)
Serve immediately. Garnish with green onion.