Wednesday, January 13, 2010
The October 2009 issue of Cooking Light magazine ran a series of recipes under the title, "How to Build a Better Bowl of Noodles". I found myself drooling over the Japanese Udon Noodle Soup, the Italian Bucatini with Mushrooms, and the Spicy Malaysian Style Stir Fried Noodles as I flipped through the pages. But it was this Thai Rice Noodle Recipe that I couldn't get out of my head. My love for Thai food is no secret. In the past year I've posted recipes here for Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce, Coconut Jasmine Rice, and Spicy Coconut Shrimp Soup. All decent attempts at recreating my favorite Thai restaurant menu items at home. This Thai Noodle recipe joins the other recipes in my file labelled, "Almost as Good as Sweet Mango" (that's our local Thai restaurant) So good! Of course my favorite Thai dining experience of all time was at Nan in Atlanta, GA. If you find yourself in the ATL with a hankerin' for Thai food, you've gotta check them out. It's a gorgeous restaurant with amazing food. My Thai recipes are probably almost as good rather than just as good for a number of reasons. For one, I'm originally from small town Indiana. I didn't grow up eating Thai food. Throwing these ingredients together is not intuitive for me, I have to concentrate on the recipes. It's not like the food I grew up cooking where I just "feel it", adjusting to taste and texture because I know how the food is supposed to look and taste at any given stage in the preparation of the recipe. When I'm cooking "my food" I'm more likely to play with seasoning to get it right. When making something that I'm not as familiar with, I stick a little more closely to the recipe. Second, the Thai recipes that I have made at home are made from ingredients that I picked up at the grocery store. Often there is only one option for each product. It's not like I can pick and choose between brands. Not that I know which would be best even if I did have an option. I'd love to spend a day in the kitchen of my local Thai restaurant and observe their ingredients and methods. Along the lines of talking about ingredients, most of the recipes I have tried are lightened up versions, adaptations of my Thai favorites made healthier. The original, full fat and calorie recipes might resemble those ordered off the menu a little more closely. All of that said, I wasn't disappointed in this Thai noodle recipe. It was delicious! The flavors were wonderful together and just what I had hoped for.
Here's whatcha need: fresh lime juice, boneless, skinless chicken breast, rice noodles, brown sugar, fish sauce ( I only had oyster sauce), soy sauce, chili paste with garlic, salt, green onions, ginger, garlic, fresh basil, lemon grass, and shallots.
Yes, that's our grill in the background of the ingredient picture. He's not gettin' a lot of action these days. : (
To begin with, you cut the chicken into cubes and combine with 2 tablespoons of lime juice for 15 minutes.
Soak the noodles in hot water. Ideally, you would have the XL or wide rice noodles for this recipe. My local grocery store only carried the regular size version.
While the chicken marinates and the noodles soak, combine the remaining lime juice, brown sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, chili paste, and salt with water to make the sauce.
Heat some oil in a skillet and add the chicken to the pan. Stir fry for 4 minutes until done. I also gave the chicken a nice sprinkle of salt to season it up.
Remove the chicken to a bowl and keep it warm. Add a little more oil to the skillet and toss in the green onions, ginger, and garlic. Stir fry until golden and fragrant. I also added in some of the shallots to the mix.
Now toss in the drained noodles and stir fry for 30 seconds, tossing well.
Stir in the sauce.
To wrap it up, return the chicken to the noodles and cook another 30 seconds. Top with basil, lemon grass, and shallots. I only had lemongrass paste, so I stirred that into the noodles and tossed well to combine. It was lovely. The biggest surprise for me was that my husband really enjoyed this dish. He even took the leftovers to work for lunch and returned an empty container that evening. It had to be good!
Thai Rice Noodles with Chicken from Cooking Light October 2009
Yield: 4 servings
1/4 cup fresh lime juice, divided
2 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
8 ounces 1/2-inch-thick rice noodles
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh chile paste with garlic (such as sambal oelek)
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
3 tablespoons thinly diagonally sliced green onions
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup torn fresh basil
1/4 cup very thinly sliced lemongrass (tough outer stalks removed)
1/4 cup very thinly vertically sliced shallots
1. Combine 2 tablespoons juice and chicken in a bowl. Let stand 15 minutes.
2. Soak noodles in hot water 15 minutes or until somewhat soft but still slightly chewy. Drain well.
3. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons juice, sugar, and next 4 ingredients (through chile paste). Stir in 1/8 teaspoon salt.
4. Heat a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Remove chicken from juice; discard juice. Add chicken to pan; stir-fry 4 minutes or until done. Transfer to large bowl; sprinkle with remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan. Add green onions, ginger, and garlic; stir-fry 45 seconds or just until golden and fragrant. Add noodles; cook 30 seconds, tossing well. Stir in sugar mixture. Add chicken; cook 30 seconds. Place 1 1/4 cups noodle mixture on each of 4 plates. Top each with 2 tablespoons basil, 1 tablespoon lemongrass, and 1 tablespoon shallots.
Fat:5.5g (sat 0.6g,mono 2.9g,poly 1.6g)