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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Szechuan Noodles with Chicken

As much as I love to cook, sometimes I just don't feel like cooking. Despite the fact that it usually takes longer to eat out than eating at home considering drive time and the terrible service at most area restaurants. Sunday I just didn't want to cook, mainly because we didn't have much in the house to cook with. I had been sick all last week, so groceries were at a minimum. We did have some chicken, but no veggies to speak of, or rice, or potatoes, or pasta. So, I started nudging David towards brewery mode mentioning things like cold beer and pork sandwiches. This usually does the trick on Sunday night. No luck, he wasn't budging. So, I decided to make an honest effort and went through the cupboards one more time. Well, I did have a variety of noodles, chinese egg noodles, soba, and udon. So, off to the computer to find something to do with chicken and soba noodles. I had vaguely remember seeing a recipe for noodles on the Food Network while I was surfing last week. A few keyword searches and I found it Ina Garten's Szechuan Noodles. With a few adaptations and a little jazzing up dinner was on the table in less than 30 minutes...

Szechuan Noodle with Chicken
adapted from Ina Garten's recipe on the Food Network
serves two with sauce to spare for lunch the next day


for chicken:
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast cut into bite size pieces
2 tbsp. vegetable oil (peanut or canola)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tsp. sesame oil

for sauce:
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsp.fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp. dry sherry
2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp. honey
1/4 teaspoon hot chili oil
1 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 pound soba or udon noodles
4 scallions, sliced diagonally (white and green parts)
2 tbsp. cilantro, roughly chopped
lime wedges for garnish

Place 2 tbsp vegetable oil in large non-stick skillet or wok. Add chicken and fry until cooked thouroughly. Add red pepper flakes and and sesame oil, toss to coat. Remove from heat.
Place the garlic and ginger in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the vegetable oil, tahini, peanut butter, soy sauce, sherry, rice wine vinegar, honey, chili oil, sesame oil, and cayenne and black peppers. Puree the sauce.
Add a splash of oil to a large pot of boiling salted water and cook the noodles according to directions on package. Drain the noodles in a colander, place in a large bowl, and while still warm, toss with 1/2 of the sauce. Add the scallions and cilantro; toss well. Serve warm or at room temperature. The remaining sauce may be added, as needed, to moisten the noodles. Serve with a fresh lime wedge.


  1. I love the sound of that sauce, I might have to give it a go with tofu.

    Total kudos for managing to cook when you didn't feel like it, now there's some serious commitment to the cause! It's been hot here and my "cooking" has involved pointing N in the direction of the salad and cheese in the fridge!

    I can't wait to swap NZ tales with you, I thought it was so hilarious that you posted about hokey pokey just days before we went away.

    Oh, and I passed on a blog award to you, for being a downright lovely lady.

  2. This looks delicious Nicole - I'm going to have to make it for dinner next week! Thanks for sharing!

    We miss you on SB - hope to see you soon!


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