Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Noodles with Chicken and Mushrooms

With the man in HK I felt the need for noodles myself. I'm a big fan on so many levels and it fits nicely into my attempts to keep the washing up to a minimum. The wok is big but it still just one pan.

I bought fresh egg noodles from Wing Tai supermarket in Brixton on Saturday, they are a favourite of mine for soups and stir fries, they cook quickly and freeze well. A good basic ingredient. Like pasta, they are made from a paste of wheat flour, water and egg and then extruded into shapes like fine vermicelli or flat ribbon noodles of varying widths. The resulting golden noodles are mostly dried, often in 'nests', but are a treat fresh.

Until recently, the U.S. government required a noodle to contain flour, water, and eggs to be rightly called a noodle. Since most Asian noodles, unlike these, aren't made with eggs, this left them without much of an identity. The FDA permitted names like "alimentary paste" and "imitation noodles," but Asian noodle producers--from the birthplace of the noodle no less--could not use the n-word. The government finally relented, and they can now be called "Asian noodles." The spectacular divide between food and regulation.

I had a little cooked chicken left from the roast last week so I used it rather than buy fresh, adding to my 'frugal' credentials for the week. Dried mushrooms are easily bought in any Asian food store and are a great standby ingredient to have around.
Noodles with Chicken and Mushrooms
1 cup of shredded cooked chicken or 1 fresh chicken breast
2 tspn light soy
2 tspn rice wine
250g/ 1/2lb fresh egg noodles
4 dried shitake mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 chilli, finely sliced
1 tbspn grated ginger
1 stalk celery, finely sliced
4 tbspns spiced oil
4 spring onions, sliced into 2cm/1" lengths
1 tbspn light soy
1 tspn sesame oil

Marinate the chicken for half an hour in the light soy and rice wine at the same time as soaking the mushrooms in hot water. When they are softened, cut out the hard stem and slice the caps to the same kind of size as the chicken shreds.

Wash the noodles under a hot tap to separate them. Heat 2 tbspns of oil in a wok till smoking then toss in the noodles and stir fry to coat. When they are hot scoop them out again back into the colander and set aside.

Heat the rest of the oil till very hot and throw in garlic, chilli, mushrooms, ginger and celery and stir fry for a minute or two then add the chicken and toss together till it's all piping hot. (If you are using fresh chicken add it to the pan before the aromatics) Throw the hot noodles back into the wok with the soy and stir fry till the ingredients are well mixed. Add the spring onions, stir through. Off the heat add the sesame oil and give the noodles a final toss before serving.

It worked a treat - spicy and slippery with an occasional crunch from the celery with earthy tones from the mushrooms - and ready to eat in ten minutes after the soaking time. Too much for one - but good cold for lunch next day.

No comments: