Pan-Asian Explosion

Doesn’t that sound like fun?  Like, an explosion of deliciousness in your mouth?

I think so.

Last night I made Chicken Lettuce Wraps and Thai Peanut Noodles for the first time ever.  I hate to brag, but it was really good.

Recipes were requested over at FB, so here goes:

CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS

2 T vegetable oil

1 lb of ground chicken breast

1 cup minced water chestnuts

1 cup minced mushrooms

1 cup finely chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 T rice wine vinegar

lettuce leaves–I used Butter Lettuce, but Iceberg would work, I suppose.

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large skillet, when it shimmers add the chicken and cook, breaking the meat into small pieces (as if it were ground beef).  When the meat is almost done, add the water chestnuts, mushrooms, and onion, and cook until the onions are translucent and mushrooms have given off their water.  Add the garlic, and cook for a couple more minutes.   Combine the brown sugar, soy sauce and vinegar until sugar is mostly dissolved and pour this sauce on the chicken mixture and cook until everything is well combined. This will take about 3-4 minutes.

To serve, spoon the chicken mixture in a lettuce leaf, roll up soft-taco style, and enjoy! Delish! (This dish could be vegetarian or vegan if made with TVP crumbles instead of meat)

THAI PEANUT NOODLES

5-6 cups boiling water

1/2 an 8-oz package of rice noodles, more or less (I used what was left of a partial box, sorry, it’s not a precise measurement) you could also use plain old spaghetti noodles

2 T vegetable oil

1 head of broccoli, cut into small florets

1/2 cup sliced water chestnuts , sliced into matchstick sized pieces. (This is the other part of the can from the above recipe.  I used 1 small can total in both dishes.)

1 medium carrot, cut into matchstick-sized pieces

4-6 oz snow peas, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces

2 cloves garlic, chopped

3 green onions, thinly sliced

1/4 chopped cilantro (optional)

(Here is the cheat to this recipe: I used bottled peanut sauce.  You can certainly make it easily enough, but I happened to have it in my pantry from a trip to TJ’s.)

1/2  of a 11.5 oz bottle of peanut sauce (See note above)

Directions:

Put the noodles in the boiling water, cover with a tight fiting lid, turn off the heat under the pan and set a timer for 8 minutes.  At the end of 8 minutes, drain the noodles and set aside.  Meanwhile…

In a wok or large skillet heat the oil until shimmering over med-high heat, add the vegetables (except garlic and green onion) and cook until tender-crisp. Add the garlic and reserved noodles, then the sauce and stir-fry until all combined.  Add the green onions and cook for about a minute longer, garnish with cilantro if desired. Try to keep from stuffing the entire pan of deliciousness into your pie hole.  Just try.

This dish is vegetarian if made with spaghetti, and is vegan if you use the rice noodles and make sure your sauce is vegan (mine was). If you are into that sort of thing…

 

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