Monday, July 7, 2008

Spicy Asian Noodles

A few weeks ago I developed an intense craving for Spicy Asian noodles. While I have a few places in Lawrence to get good noodles, I'm an independent, self-sufficient soul, so I scoured the internet and my cookbooks for the perfect recipe.

A lot of recipes called for multiple types of soy sauces or exotic ingredients. While I don't mind using such ingredients, I wanted an economical recipe that utilized ingredients in this Kansans pantry. I eventually found such a recipe in Mark Bittman's book How to Cook Everything. The only new ingredient I purchased was fish sauce. The following recipe makes two big servings:

  • 6 ounces wide rice noodles
  • 1 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pressed garlic clove
  • 2-3 small dried hot red chiles
  • 1 chicken breast (or substitute other protein source)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce and 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce, or a combination of either
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice or other vinegar
  • 1 chopped green onion
  • 1/2 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
  1. Prepare the noodles according to the directions on the package. I soaked the noodles in very hot water for 15 minutes or until they were soft. Drain noodles and toss them with half the oil.
  2. Heat the remaining oil until hot over medium-high heat in a deep skillet. Crush the chiles using your favorite method. Add the garlic and chiles. Stir and cook for about one minute.
  3. Add the meat and turn down the heat to medium.
  4. When all traces of pink disappear in the chicken, add soy/fish sauce and the sugar. Stir and then add the drained noodles. Toss everything to evenly combine.
  5. Add vinegar and most of the basil.
  6. Serve garnished with remaining basil.

Overall, I'm happy with the recipe. I would like the noodles to be more colorful and saucier, so I'll work on it. With recipes like this I'm a tad bit outside my comfort zone. I like this. This child of the Great Plains grew up on food seasoned primarily with salt and pepper, so using these basic Asian flavors expands my culinary range.

Pass the soy sauce,

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