Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Spicy Asian Noodles with Chicken...

When Jeff saw me grab a package of rice noodles and place it in our basket at the market this weekend, I noticed a little later he picked it up and eyed it real well with almost a slight grimace on his face. He perked up and proceeded to ask "Um.... what are these things for? Are you sure you meant to get these?".

After some assurances, he reluctantly put them back in the basket, but I knew if I didn't pay attention they wouldn't make it to the register and suddenly "disappear into thin air". Uh huh... can you tell this has happened before? I needed those noodles so I could get around to making this Spicy Asian Noodles with Chicken I've been meaning to try out for dinner!

To prepare the noodles, you'll want to follow the directions on the package, but all we did was soak them in hot water until they had softened, yet still had a slight bite to them. This took about 10 minutes, but it will depend on the thickness of the noodle you use. Don't boil these like you would pasta - you'll end up with a sticky blob that doesn't look or feel very appealing (and yes, I've done that myself before we knew what to do with them! It was several years ago and thankfully Jeff had no memory of that incident!). Once they had soaked, we rinsed them in cold water and took a knife to them, making them easier to incorporate and eventually eat! I should have a pair of good kitchen shears, but I don't - they would have made this job less messy!

To cajole an aromatic wave out of the fresh garlic and ginger, we heated a couple teaspoons of toasted sesame oil and slide the duo in to swim around for a short minute. The warmth lifts their flavor and mellows out the garlic, making a base for the sauce that also consisted of chopped scallions, fresh cilantro, soy sauce, rice vinegar, hoisin and sambal oelek, which is simply a fresh chile paste. We tossed that sauce with the chopped noodles, along with shredded cooked chicken, which stretched this dish out and made it more hearty. For a touch of crunch, chopped peanuts are tossed on just before serving - if you plan on having leftovers, save those peanuts and wait to add them until you eat the dish so you don't lose their contrasting texture.

I am wavering on how "spicy" this should have been - as is, with two teaspoons of the sambal, I didn't get as much of a burn as I was expecting. If you wanted more of a kick, I'd suggest tasting the sauce before you add the noodles and chicken, then adjust with additional sambal or maybe even a pinch or two of crushed red pepper flakes if you like. Other than that, we thought it was fairly well balanced and Jeff gave two enthusiastic thumbs up to rice noodles! See, listen to me... I knew you would like it!


  1. Oh yum. This incorporates many of my favorite flavors! And I have rice noodles, just waiting. . .

  2. Joe, you are saving my for Dinner. I'm going to the store and will make this tonight. Thanks.

  3. Joe, finally made it. We were licking our plates. The boys loved it. Thanks again for another winner from your blog.

  4. Jennifer - You'll have to let us know what you think!

    Helene - Glad you gave it a try! It was a fun, quick recipe.