Chicken and vegetables stir-fried in a spicy Kung Pao sauce, tossed with al-dente rice noodles makes for an easy, delicious one-bowl meal.
I can never get enough of Asian cuisine. And by Asian, I specifically mean Oriental cuisine like Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Thai. The flavors are simply out of this world amazing. It is astounding the kind of flavor profile you can create with just a few choice ingredients and in one bowl of piping hot, spicy noodle bowl.
Noodle bowls are the perfect winter comfort food. Don’t get me wrong. I could chow down a giant slice of pizza or cheesy pasta bake any day. But when you are going to be simply sitting on your bottoms after that huge dinner, cheese on top of refined carbs are probably not the way to go.
And that’s where noodle bowls come in. It has some carbs, but you get to play around with all the other add-ins. Your favorite protein and vegetables all drenched in a savory lick-the-bowl-clean kinda sauce. Kung pao, Hunan, Sichuan, Manchurian, red curry, green curry, Panang, Bulkogi; I’ll take them all!!
Stir fries are so easy. You can make them with almost anything you have lying around in the fridge or freezer. I resort to stir-fried chicken or meat recipes most often on Friday nights, when I seem to have missed yet another grocery run. And now that we are in our thirties with a kid, Friday nights usually mean cartoons and car racing games on the TV. So a quick 30-minute one-bowl meal that is delicious and gets everyone excited is what I go for.
This spicy, tangy, savory Kung Pao chicken served on top of rice noodles with crunchy broccoli and peanuts hits all the right spots.
You can use any kind of noodles that you like. You can even get away with using spaghetti or linguine, if that’s all you have on hand. But right now, I’m digging those Thai style flat rice noodles. You simply soak them in boiling hot water while you prep the stir fry.
Ooh, the Kung Pao chicken. Where do I even begin? It’s spicy, tangy and savory with tons of garlic and hot chili peppers. Kung pao chicken is usually made not too saucy, but we’ll actually make it saucy enough to toss it with noodles for kung pao chicken noodles.
If noodles are not your thing, you can serve the Kung Pao chicken and vegetables over plain rice or fried rice. I like to add some peanuts or toasted nuts for crunch.
Before you begin to make the stir fry, get all your ingredients ready. Stir the sauce mix, chop the ingredients and place everything within reach. Once the chicken gets cooked, the rest of the recipe goes rather quickly. The dried red chilis infuse the cooking oil with tons of flavor, so I would advise you to hunt it down in any Asian store. If you cannot get ground Sichuan pepper, go for ground black pepper. It’s all about adapting a recipe to your needs!
- Chicken - 1 lb, boneless and skinless, cut into bite-sized pieces
- Soy sauce - 1 tbsp
- Rice vinegar - 2 tsp
- Corn starch - 1 tbsp
- Ground Sichuan pepper (or black pepper) - ¼ tsp
- Sesame oil - 2 tsp
- Soy sauce - 1 tbsp
- Rice vinegar - 1 tbsp
- Chicken stock or water - 3 tbsp
- Corn starch - 1 tsp
- Sugar - 1 tsp
- Ground Sichuan pepper (or black pepper) - ½ tsp
- Flat rice noodles - 4 oz (can also use other noodles)
- Oil - 2 tbsp, divided
- Button mushrooms - 4 oz, sliced
- Broccoli florets - 1 cup
- Scallions - 3 stalks, sliced
- Garlic - 3 large cloves, thinly sliced
- Ginger - 1 tsp, grated
- Whole dried red chilis - 6-8
- Dry roasted peanuts - ¼ cup
- Sesame seeds - to garnish
- Cilantro leaves - to garnish
- Lime wedges - to serve
- Marinating Chicken: Mix the chicken marinade ingredients together. Set this aside for 10-15 minutes while you prep the other ingredients.
- Sauce: Mix the ingredients for sauce together in a small bowl. Set this aside.
- Stir fry & Noodle bowl: Prepare noodles as per package instructions. Set aside. You can toss cooked noodles with a few drops of sesame oil and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large wok or skillet with high sides. Shake off excess marinade from chicken and add to the pan. Fry on all sides till the chicken is cooked through, 4-5 minutes. Add vegetables and toss around till tender-crisp. Remove chicken and vegetables to a plate or bowl.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil and add red chilies. Stir fry for a few seconds till they begin to change color but are not burnt. Now add white part of scallions, garlic and ginger and stir fry for a few seconds till fragrant.
- Return chicken and vegetables to pan. Add sauce and toss everything to coat with sauce. Quickly stir in roasted peanuts and cooked noodles.
- Serve hot sprinkled with green parts of scallions, sesame seeds, fresh cilantro leaves and lime wedges on the side.
Enjoy a piping hot bowl of Kung Pao chicken noodle bowl on your next night in. You won’t miss the takeout, I promise!
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