Every time I turn on NDTV Good Times, TLC or AXN, there is always some cookery show going on, with talented chefs plating up delicious, exotic looking and tummy-rumble-inducing dishes. (I’m convinced my eyes and my stomach have a special relationship; no matter how full I am, the minute I see beautiful food, my tummy instantly growls!) There have been several such instances when I’ve been glued to the TV, watching chefs put together Chinese noodles, stir fried with loads of vegetables, poultry and seafood; lying in a wholesome broth – all glistening and colorful. To my surprise, I found that every chef has a unique go-to Stir Fried Noodles recipe. There’s Thai, Chinese, Hong Kong style, Schezwan, and so many more. To my amateur self, it was a little too confusing (I just couldn’t figure out the difference between them all). Nonetheless, they all looked incredibly mouth-watering.
I’ve always wanted to try cooking Stir Fired Noodles, but since I’m not a huge fan of noodles dishes in general, I always procrastinate when I do think of trying it. So how did I get myself to make them? It’s a funny story actually. One night, I had a wonderful dream of me getting home from work and whipping up a delicious Stir Fried Noodles dish for the family. (Weird, isn’t it? I’m not kidding, I actually dreamed of noodles!) This was the first time I ever dreamed of food (or at least I think it is.) Since everyone in the dream seemed to find the dish yummy, I thought, why not see how it goes for real?
Stir Fried Noodles is one of those no-fuss dishes. It is not time consuming and neither is it difficult to make. Simple yet flavorful is what this dish promises to be. All you need is a whole lot of vegetables and your choice of protein (it could be chicken, seafood, or even processed meats like sausages or salami) stir fried in a delectable broth, to which you add boiled Chinese noodles. It is really as simple as that, but it tastes like a dish which you would find at a really good Asian restaurant.
What you need:
- Chinese Noodles – 500 g
- Garlic – 5 cloves, chopped finely
- Ginger – 2 tsp, finely chopped
- Onion – 2 medium, sliced
- Carrot – 1, julienned
- Mushrooms – 200 g, chopped to bite size pieces
- Broccoli florets- cleaned thoroughly
- Green Bell Pepper (capsicum) – 1, sliced
- Red Bell Pepper (red capsicum) – 1, sliced
- Chicken Breasts – 4, cubed
- Vegetable Oil – 3 tbsp
- Lime Juice – 5 tbsp
- Soy Sauce – 6 tbsp
- Fish Sauce – 2 tbsp
- Vinegar – 6 tbsp
- Oyster Sauce – 6 tbsp
- Sugar – 4 tsp
- Pepper – to taste
- Red Chilly Flakes – to taste
- Chicken Soup Cubes – 2 (can be substituted with a few tablespoons of chicken stock)
This is how you make it:
- Boil the Chinese noodles until semi-soft. Don’t overcook them. Once done, take them off the heat, drain the hot water and pour cold water to prevent sticking. Drain again and set aside.
- In a bowl, mix together lemon juice, soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, vinegar, pepper and red chilly flakes.
- In a large skillet, heat oil. Fry onions, garlic and ginger until onions are translucent.
- Marinate the chicken pieces in a one tablespoon of soy sauce and some salt.
- Add mushrooms and carrots into the skillet. Add two tablespoons of the sauce mixture and cook for five minutes.
- Add green bell pepper and chicken. Cook till chicken is cooked through.
- Add red bell pepper and broccoli and pour in the rest of the sauce mix. Add the two soup cubes and cook for four minutes.
- Make sure that you have plenty of broth and that it is seasoned as per your liking.
- Add in the noodles and stir until the broth, vegetables, chicken and noodles are mixed through.
- Cook for a minute or two and take it off the heat.
- Serve warm.
This is one of the tastiest main course dishes I have ever cooked. This could very much be your go-to dish for days when you’re way too tired and just can’t be bothered to cook something elaborate. I totally see myself living the dream I had – coming home from work, preparing this lip-smacking dish and sitting with the family for a warm, hearty dinner. The best thing about this dish? It’s all-in-one; you don’t need to make a separate side dish to go with it!
I had a lot of worries when I was making these noodles – Will mum and dad eat it? The boyfriend doesn’t like too many vegetables all together, maybe he’ll be fussy about it. I myself don’t like noodles. Maybe this was a bad idea after all! My mind wouldn’t stop ranting. But then I tasted it, and instantly every single qualm floated away. It was nothing like anything I’d tasted before. It was hot and sweet, the unique taste of every vegetable, the different sauces, the chicken, all fusing together into a perfect amalgamation. It was nothing short of a divine blend of flavors. It was so good, I admonished myself for procrastinating for way too long.
And what was everyone else’s reaction, you may ask? My mum enjoyed it – she grabbed a bowl full of noodles, ate it up and then took a second-helping. Dad gave me a 10/10 for the noodles; he said they were ‘Supppeeeerrrb!’ He even asked if he could have them for dinner a few days later, but alas, they were all gone by then. The boyfriend, well, all he said was, “The noodles are excellent! I love it. You really are a genius!” You can imagine my surprise and joy. With such great reactions to my first try at cooking Stir Fried Noodles, nothing’s going to stop me from making them often and cooking them in different styles.
A little tip: To all the mothers out there, this is a great way to get the kids to eat vegetables!
So channel your inner chef and whip up this gastronomical extravaganza. Trust me, you’re going to feel like you just had a scrumptious meal at a great Asian restaurant!