From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...After a weekend which saw an epic battle waged between willpower and appetite, I think a few days of sensible eating are definitely in order. Appetite was obviously triumphant, so meals for the remainder of the week will be lighter than usual. I decided to make this Asian-style noodle dish for our supper tonight. It is calorically kind, very easy to prepare and has a lovely warmth that lingers on the tongue without burning the innards. The dish, while not Thai, is patterned after Thai noodle dishes that use rice noodles as their main component. Rice noodles can be tricky to prepare. It is very easy to overcook them and on more than one occasion I've actually had then disappear into the sauce in which they cooked. I've experimented with various ways to cook them and several years ago I stumbled on a foolproof way to prepare them. I spread the noodles in a small roasting pan and cover them with boiling water. I let the noodles sit in their water bath for 20 minutes and then rinse them. At this point they are very pliable, but still very chewy and will need another 3 minutes in a sauce or stir-fry to finish cooking. Rice noodles are always the last ingredient I add to any dish that uses them. That allows me to control exactly how long they cook before they are served. I really like this recipe because it is scaled to feed 2 people, but if all the chairs at your table are occupied, you can double the ingredients to prepare a family size meal. Here is how the noodles are made.
Asian-Style Hot Pepper Noodles...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Bon Appetit magazine
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon Asian chili-garlic sauce
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
10 ounces dried wide rice noodles
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 8-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large egg, beaten to blend
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, preferably Thai
1) Combine oyster sauce, chili-garlic sauce, soy sauce, and sugar in a small bowl. Mix well. Set aside.
2) Prepare noodles according to package directions. Drain, run under cold water to cool, and set aside.
3) Heat oil in a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant and lightly brown, about 1 minute. Add chicken and cook, tossing often, until cooked through, 3-4 minutes.
4) Add pepper, onion, tomatoes, and 2 tablespoons reserved sauce to pan and toss to combine. Add noodles, egg, and remaining 2 tablespoons sauce and toss to combine. Add basil leaves and cook, tossing constantly, until noodles and vegetables are completely coated with sauce and heated through, about 2 minutes more. Serve immediately. Yield: 2 to 3 servings.
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