Friday, March 14, 2008

Spicy Lo-Mein

It's amazing how every country has its own version of a popular food. Take Chinese food for example. In Pakistan or India it is spicy and peppery and in the US it tends to be doused with sweet-savory sauces. I am sure if you and I were to visit China and eat authentic Chinese food we would be absolutely lost because it would be "Chinese" to us!

Jokes aside, I prefer Pakistani-style Chinese to any form of Chinese food because it is appeals to my spicy taste buds more. Ginger, garlic, chili...whats not to love? This is my take on a populr dish back home..enjoy!

Spicy Noodles

1 boneless chicken breast (can also use equivalent quantity dark meat if desired)
1 bell pepper, julienned
1 carrot, julienned
2 spring onions chopped finely; separate the white part from the green
2-3 green thai chillies or 1 jalapeno (use less if desired)
1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, julienned
3 cloves of fresh garlic, smashed and chopped finely
3 tbsp chili garlic paste (look in the asian foods aisle)
2 tbsp soya sauce
1 maggi/knorr chicken or veggie bouillion (optional)
3 tbsp ketchup
3 tsp oil
3/4 lb noodles (use ones from Indian store if you can get it or you can use any thin pasta)

Heat big pot of water until bubbling. Throw in some salt, stir and add your noodles. You will want to keep checking the pasta - we want it to cook it al dente (just cooked). In the meantime season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tsp oil in a seprate frying pan and when hot, add the chicken breast. Sear meat on one side until golden brown and then flip over to the other side. Add about 1/8 cut water to this with 1 tsp soy sauce. Cover and steam chicken until just done. How do you know if its done? Pierce the chicken with a fork and the juices should run clear. Remove from pan and place in a plate and LEAVE ALONE for the next 5 minutes. If you cut into this too soon, the chicken juices will run and the meat will become dry. When the chicken has cooled down, using 2 forks, shred the chicken into small pieces.Heat a wok over medium heat for a minute.

Drain pasta in a colander and immediately toss with plenty of cold water so it does not stick. When pasta has cooled down, heat a pan with 1 tsp oil until hot. Separating the pasta into approximately 3 batches, saute the noodles in the oil, tossing only occasionally. This should create a nice golden brown crust on some of the noodles. Remove from pan and set aside.

Heat a wok over medium heat. When heated through, add oil and white part of spring onions. Saute for a minute or so and then add the choppes garlic and julienned ginger. Stir-fry the garlic, onion and giner for about 2 minutes until nicely cooked. Add julienned carrots - stir fry one minute. Next add bell pepper and cook another 2 minutes. Using your wooden spoon, push the vegetables off to the sides of the wok and with your fingers crush the maggi cube to the middle. If more moisture is needed, add a few drops of water to the pan to help the bouillion melt. Once melted, toss with the vegetables and season with pepper. Taste the vegetables - are they cooked sufficiently? Remember we still want them on the crisp side as soggy vegetables can ruin the dish. Add the soya sauce, chili-garlic paste and ketchup at this point. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes and immediately add the noodles, tossing carefully so everything is well combined. Cook for a few minutes more so the noodles have a chance to absorb the flavor of the sauce. Turn off heat and garnish with the green portion of the spring onions.

This is one quick and easy dish that never fails to please in our home. Enjoy!


Dan Morgan said...

I cannot wait to try this out. Thank you very much for your recipes!!! I always wanted this one.
Dan Morgan

Charlene said...

Thank you so much Dan! Do try it and let me know how it turned out :)

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