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