Thursday, January 27, 2011

Pan Asian Noodles with Ginger Chicken, Bok Choy and Fried Shallots

Suddenly, I’m rocking along yesterday and then I felt it…scratchy throat, the sudden tiredness of having run a marathon (or birthed a child since I haven’t run a marathon, but have birthed a child) without having done anything.  A cold was setting in and today, feeling all the effects of it, all I could  think about eating was soup in all forms so short of having anything soupish at home, I picked up tortilla soup for lunch.  Last night however, to keep my promise to you, I knew it was going to be me making dinner, not picking anything else up. 

For some reason, when I feel the first sensations that I am “catching” a cold, I want either Mexican or Asian and the more spicy the better.  My boys love Pad Thai so and I got Bok Choy in my veggie box so I set about making a fusion of Pad Thai and Bok Choy stir fry.

Though the ingredient list is long, you will have most of it if you keep your List items stocked.  If you’re feeling a cold coming on (though I pray you are uber-healthy and simply want to create this dish) and don’t feel like going to the store, feel free to sub onions for scallions, extra dried ginger for the fresh and even using scrambled eggs and extra peanuts instead of the chicken for protein. (Scrambled eggs are part of Pad Thai anyway!)

CWYG List Items – rice noodles, dried ginger and garlic powder, shallots, garlic, soy (or tamari), agave, paprika, sesame oil, canola oil, peanuts, chicken (if you have kept it stocked)
Veggie Box Items – Bok Choy
To Buy Items - scallions, ginger, chicken (if not in your freezer)          

Pan Asian Noodles with Ginger Chicken and Fried Shallots
1 12 oz package wide rice noodles (look in Asian aisle; these are the ones that are the width of fettucine)
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced thinly (partially frozen is easier to slice)
1 tsp each dried ginger and garlic powder
1 bunch Bok Choy, leaves separated from stalks.
1 large shallot
5 cloves garlic, minced and divided (garlic is a great decongestant and natural antibiotic so I use a lot!)
1 2” piece fresh ginger (another natural decongestant)
2 scallions
¼ cup soy or tamari sauce, or more to taste (Tamari is a gluten-free soy sauce)
2 tbsp agave nectar or 3 tbsp sugar (we use organic to avoid processed sugar)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp canola oil
¼ cup peanuts, chopped
Sriracha or chili garlic sauce for serving

Place the noodles in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand til softened then immediately drain.
Either directly on the cutting board you used to slice chicken (hopefully a different one than veggies) or in a bowl, toss the chicken slices with the dried ginger and garlic powder.

Slice the bok choy leaves and stalks thinly and keep separated. Slice the shallot lengthwise very thinly. Mince garlic, grate it with a Microplane or put through garlic press.  Finely chop ginger or use a Microplane to grate it. Thinly slice scallions

In a bowl, mix the remaining garlic, soy sauce, agave or sugar, and paprika to form the sauce.

Heat a large skillet or wok.  Add canola oil then when it’s shimmering add the shallots and cook, stirring often until the shallots are very brown and crispy.  Remove to a paper towel leaving behind all of the oil and lightly salt.

Add chicken, just enough to make a single layer.  If necessary, cook the chicken in batches to avoid steaming rather than browning the chicken.
When all the chicken is cooked, add the sesame oil, ginger, scallions and bok choy leaves.  Cook until the bok choy leaves are beginning to get tender.  Add the stalks and cook for another minute then add the noodles and sauce mixture.

Garnish each serving with chopped peanuts and pass additional soy and Sriracha or chili garlic sauce for everyone to season to taste at the table.

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