Monday, 23 January 2012

Spicy Chicken Noodle Stir Fry for Chinese New Year

If you are reading this in China - or simply happen to be Chinese - Happy New Year! Today is the first day of the Chinese New Year so what else could I feature but a Chinese dish? As 2012 is the Chinese Year of the Dragon, I decided also to add a little bit more fire to the dish than you may normally expect from a Chinese stir fry by adding some hot green chilli pepper.

Ingredients for One Serving

1 chicken breast fillet
3oz portion of dried Chinese noodles (fresh noodles work equally well)
1/2 red bell pepper
5 small closed cup mushrooms
2 small shallots
1/2 hot green chilli
Sachet of stir fry sauce
1 egg white
1 tsp cornflour
Sunflower oil for frying


It is not absolutely essential but strongly advisable that you begin by velveting your chicken. This is a Chinese technique which serves to offer the chicken some level of protection from the intense heat of the stir frying process. It means your cooked chicken will be much softer and more tender when served.

Chop the chicken breast in to bite sized pieces. Put the egg white in to a small bowl and stir in the cornflour. Season with salt and add the chicken. Stir well, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for about twenty minutes.

If you are using the dried noodles, they should be cooked while the chicken is velveting. The instructions should be on the packet but in this instance they were required to be added to boiling water and simmered for four minutes. Drain them through a colander or sieve, lay them on a plate and cover until required.

When you are making a stir fry, you should have all your ingredients prepared and ready for the wok before you start. This is because you simply won't have the time to start chopping vegetables or preparing meats once you start cooking. While the chicken was in the fridge, as well as cooking the noodles, I wiped and halved the mushrooms, peeled and finely sliced the shallots, finely chopped the half chilli and sliced the half red bell pepper.

Drain the chicken thoroughly through a colander or sieve. Add a couple of tablespoons of oil to a very hot wok and fry the chicken only until it is sealed. This is when it has turned white/opaque. Remove it to a plate with a slotted spoon. Add your vegetables to the wok and fry for about a minute before re-adding the chicken.

The stir fry sauce used in this recipe was oyster and spring onion (scallion) but you can use whichever variety you prefer. This should be added to the wok after the chicken and the mix cooked for a further minute or two.

The noodles should be added to the wok and stirred through the mix to heat through for about thirty seconds before the meal is plated and served.

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