Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Spicy Orange Chicken Noodles

This is really very tasty and although it looks like a fairly substantial list of ingredients it’s quick to put together. You could even omit the marinating step altogether if you were really short of time.

I’ve used shirataki noodles: often heralded as wonder noodles due to the fact that they have virtually no calories (they are made from the root of an Asian plant called konjac so may also be called konjaku or konnyaku) they are in fact reasonably common in Japanese cuisine and although the chicken has more of a Sichuan Chinese flavour I thought they may go together quite well. You could however use egg noodles or serve this over rice.

If you do get hold of shirataki noodles it is likely they will be pre-packaged in liquid. The best way to prepare them, in my experience, is to rinse well under warm-hot water for a good 5 minutes, drain them well then dry roast by tipping them into a dry wok over a high heat and stirfry for a minute or two. You’ll know they’re ready when they seem to go a bit squeaky. Then simply set them aside until you’re ready to add them back into the stirfry.

Spicy Orange Chicken Noodles
Serves 2

275g chicken breast fillets, cut into ½ cm thick bite-sized slices
2 tbsp ginger, shredded
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
2 tsp light soy sauce
1½ tsp potato flour (or corn flour)
½ tsp sugar
¼ tsp ground white pepper
½ tsp toasted & ground Sichuan pepper
4 tbsp water or chicken or veg stock
2 tsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp groundnut oil
2 small-medium carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal
½ red pepper, deseeded and sliced into thin strips
2 spring onions, finely sliced
zest of 1 orange (use a citrus zester rather than, say, a microplane)
1 tsp chili bean sauce
1 medium ripe tomato, cut into thin wedges
½ tsp salt
200g shirataki noodles

In a medium bowl mix together the chicken slices, soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of the potato flour, sugar, white pepper, ground Sichuan pepper, half the Shaoxing and half the ginger. Marinate in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the water or stock, rice vinegar, the remaining 1 tablespoon of Shaoxing, and the remaining ½ teaspoon cornstarch.

Heat a wok over high heat and add the oil, swirling to coat the bottom. Add the red pepper and carrots and stirfry for a few minutes until tender but still slightly crisp.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon ginger & the garlic and stir-fry for 10 seconds, just until the ginger is fragrant.

Push the ginger, garlic, carrot and pepper to the sides of the wok. Carefully add the chicken, spreading it as evenly in one layer in the wok as possible, and allow it to sear for 1 minute without stirring.

Add the orange zest and chili bean sauce. Stir-fry for 1 minute, until the chicken is lightly brown but not yet cooked through.

Add the tomatoes and stir-fry for about 30 seconds more.

Throw in the noodles and mix in.

Give the rice vinegar mixture a stir and add it to the wok along with the salt and most of the spring onion (reserve a little). Stir-fry for another minute, or until the chicken is cooked through. Transfer to a plate and serve with the remaining spring onion sprinkled over.

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