Monday, March 23, 2009

Noodle This !

During one of our visits to New York City, Forrest and I dined in China Town at a famous noodle house. I don't remember the name of the joint, but it came highly recommended by our hotel concierge as an authentic noodle house that actual New Yorkers frequent and not just a tourist trap. When we arrived at the restaurant it was prime lunch hour and the place was packed. Our choices were to wait two hours for our own table or to sit at the first come first serve round 8 tops in the middle of the restaurant. Forrest doesn't have the luxury of waiting to eat very long and I get REAL hungry and REAL cranky when unfed for extended periods. Our choice was clear, we would sit at the table full of strangers in order to eat before the next millennium rolled around.

During our short 10 minute wait I played out introduction scenarios and discussion topics with my soon to be dining partners in my head. Although I wouldn't consider myself shy by any stretch of the imagination, I can be apprehensive when unexpectedly forced into conversational situations with strangers. Fortunately, Forrest is extremely natural in these situations and isn't the least bit backwards when it comes to talking with strangers. So I figured we would fare well. I began to scope out the existing diners of the group table and decided it would be an interesting lunch with stimulating conversation led by my very social husband. As we sat down to dine, Forrest and I smiled at our new "friends" and they eagerly smiled back and nodded. Next came Forrest's obligatory "Are you guys from New York?" - our new "friends" eagerly smiled back and nodded. Forrest tried again, "So have you guys eaten here before?" - our new "friends" eagerly smiled back and nodded. Then came Forrest's last attempt to spark the conversation at our group table, "Any of you speak English?" - our new "friends" eargly smiled back and shook their heads east and west. I guess that is what we get for dining with the China Town locals. Although we didn't leave with any new phone numbers in our Blackberries, we left with full bellies from some of the most delicously authentic cuisine I have ever tasted. This recipe is very authentic and took us back to that chat free lunch in New York's China Town.

Very Spicy Asian Noodles with Chicken
Adapted from Cooking Light March 2009

Yield

4 servings (serving size: 1 3/4 cups)

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb of boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste)
  • 1 (6.75-ounce) package thin rice sticks (rice-flour noodles)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dry-roasted peanuts, if desired
Preparation

1. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper and cook in a pan sprayed with cooking spray until browned and cooked throughout.

2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add ginger and garlic to pan; cook 45 seconds, stirring constantly.

Place in a large bowl. Stir in remaining 1 teaspoon oil, chicken, and next 6 ingredients (through sambal).

When I am purchasing an ingredient I have never seen before I always wish I had a picture of what it looked like so I could better navigate the crowded grocery shelves. So to help you out, I have pictured below some of the ingredients that may be unique to you.

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

3. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water; drain. Cut noodles into smaller pieces. Add noodles to bowl;

toss well to coat. Sprinkle with peanuts.

This was really delicious and VERY spicy. It could be served hot or cold and can be thrown together with pantry ingredients on short notice. This noodle dish is filled with flavor and tastes very authentic. Once you add the rice noodles to the sauce and chicken mixture, the dish comes together very smoothly and blends with ease.

8 comments:

Gabriela (Gabi With An Eye) said...

(nodding north to south) This dish looks delicious! Coincidentally my DH made lo mein noodles and General Tso's chicken for us tonight. Yumm-O! P.S. I love your square plates.

Joanna Eberhart said...

This looks fantastic. I am adding it to my favorites! :)

Kerstin said...

What a great story! I get super cranky when I'm hungry too. This looks like one of those dishes that could become a weeknight staple in our house - yum!

Katie said...

Oooooh! I totally starred this so I can remember to make it. It looks soooo delicious!! :)

teresa said...

This looks AMAZING! I love these kinds of dishes, I can't wait to give it a try!

MaryBeth said...

This looks really good, I hope to some day go to New York.

Spryte said...

That looks so tasty!

smechem said...

I made this last night with ground chicken and served over rice. It was so good. Now that I have all the ingredients I can make it on a regular basis. Thanks.