Chicken with Udon Noodles, Shiitake Mushrooms and Snow Peas
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Why I Love This Recipe
My husband and I returned from Canada yesterday late in the afternoon and I knew that I would have to stop at the local grocery store before I could make dinner. I was feeling an Asian void in our diet of late and decided to make a meal that would remind us of the Far East. Dinner was on the table in 20 minutes...
Our love affair with Asian food began 12 years ago when we first moved to Hong Kong. I loved visiting the outdoor food stalls (dai pai dongs) in Hong Kong and later in Singapore and Bangkok. The old familiar sound of propane fiercely firing a gigantic wok brings back a flood of gastronomic delights. One wok but, oh, so many scrumptious dishes churned out for the hungry patrons. And, it was dirt cheap! I think the most amusing part of watching the food being prepared is how these guys (yes, usually it was a man behind the wok and usually with a cigarette precariously hanging out of the corner of his mouth) could work so fast and not get burnt by the billowing flame that engulfed their woks. Once you get past the untidy, questionable food safety issues of a dai pai dong, and the plastic table and stools, you won't be disappointed with the food! Sadly, though, these food stalls in Hong Kong are slowly disappearing to the redevelopment of old districts.
Ingredients You'll Need
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 lb. (454g) boneless skinless chicken thighs, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 cups (500 ml) stemmed shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 cup (125 ml) water
1/4 cup (50 ml) hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sambal oelek or hot sauce
4 packets (7 oz/200g each) fresh udon noodles
1 cup (250 ml) snow peas, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 teaspoon sesame oil
In wok or large skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and fry with garlic and ginger until chicken is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and fry until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Stir in water, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce and sambal oelek; bring to simmer. Add noodles and toss to combine; simmer until sauce is thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add snow peas and sesame oil; cook for 1 minute.
The Culinary Chase's Note: The key to a successful stir-fry is to have all your ingredients ready to go as the cooking time isn't long. I combined the water with the hoisin sauce, oyster sauce and chili sauce. If you can't find the sambal oelek, use your own favorite hot sauce. The chilies compliment the sweetness of this dish and a teaspoon isn't going to be overpowering even if your palate can't handle the heat. Look in the Asian aisle of your grocery store to find Japanese udon noodles. If not available, look for pasta such as linguine. Enjoy!