Lately dinner at home has been a simple affair. Between taking care of CB, keeping up with my blogs, holding down a full-time job, and writing a book, I don't have a whole lot of time leftover to cook. Scott Bobleo has stepped up to the plate, staking his claim in our kitchen by making dinner several nights a week. Sharing my kitchen with my husband is a whole other adventure that I have plenty of feelings about, but I'll get into that another time.
Most nights dinner consists of a protein, prepared simply in a pan or oven accompanied by a veggie, and maybe brown rice or sweet potato. Every now and then, I still get the opportunity to take my time in the kitchen and whip up something really special. The last time my parents came to visit I took advantage of their enthusiasm for holding CB, and made up a massive plate of stir-fried noodles with grilled chicken, pickled veggies, and fresh herbs.
By the way, the rice noodles in this recipe are gluten-free, so if you also use tamari in the sauce you have an entirely gluten-free dish. Sweet! You can also feel free to swap out any of the pickled veggies according to what you prefer, or what you have handy. jicama, cucumbers, or pretty much any crispy vegetable that you enjoy eating raw will make a good pickle.
Can't handle the heat? Leave out the jalapeno and crushed red pepper.
Pan-Fried Noodle Salad
Serves 6 - 8
- 6 ounces rice stick noodles
- 1 pound chicken breast
- 2 tablespoon cooking oil (grape seed, coconut, etc.)
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 mango, peeled and sliced
- 1 bunch scallions, sliced
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
- salt & pepper to taste
Asian Quick Pickles
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 1 red bell pepper, cored and cut into thin slices
- 1 golden beet, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced (optional)
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 whole star anise
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari for gluten-free)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- Soak the rice stick noodles in cold water, and let sit for 1 hour, then drain. Meanwhile, make the pickles.
- To make the pickles, combine the vinegar, water, salt, sugar, and anise in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour the hot brine over the sliced veggies and let sit for at least fifteen minutes. Serve at room temperature, or chill in the fridge until it's time to use them.
- To make the sauce, combine all of the sauce ingredients (except the cornstarch and water) together in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, the reduce to a simmer. Mix the cornstarch and water to firm a slurry, then pour the slurry into the simmering sauce, whisking continuously. Simmer the sauce for 1-2 more minutes, then remove from heat.
- Season the raw chicken with a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Heat a skillet over medium. When hot, add the cooking oil to the pan. Now add the chicken. Fry on one side until golden brown (about 3-5 minutes), then flip. Continue to fry the chicken for another 3 - 5 minutes, or until cooked through. You can slice it open to check. It should be totally white and opaque all the way through. If you see pink, keep cooking it. You could also check done-ness with a cooking thermometer. Chicken is done at 165 F degrees.
- Remove the chicken from the pan when done. Add the sesame oil to the pan followed the drained rice stick noodles. Fry the noodles for about five minutes, then pour the sauce over the noodles in the pan. Toss the noodles and continue cooking as the sauce absorbs and the noodles soften. This will take 3 - 5 minutes. When the noodles are tender enough to eat they are done.
- Transfer the noodles to a large bowl or platter, then toss them with the scallions and cilantro. Drain the pickles, slice the chicken and mango, then add these to the noodles as well.