Noodles. Pepper. Chicken. What more can I ask for on a pleasant, laid-back Sunday afternoon?
“Noodles? I can’t eat noodles; there’s too many of them. No matter how hungry I am, 1000 of anything is too many.” – Mitch HedbergThe Fact: Contrary to popular belief, Marco Polo did not discover pasta; was only the first to write about it. The Inspiration: Ghostly silence until 11am (to allow you to stay under the covers); cheerful country music to wake you up; a mindless, laid-back, workless day; un-put-down-able Pepper Chicken Noodles for when the stomach growls; your favourite people for company… that’s what Sundays are made of! … and yes, also the fact that I hadn’t stocked up on my regular supplies for the week, and so, apart from two packets of Hakka noodles, 2 frozen chicken breasts, 1 carrot, 1 red pepper, and 1 yellow pepper, I pretty much had nothing to cook …
The IngredientsApproximately 6 servings
- 2 packets of vegetable or egg noodles of your choice (approx 300 – 350gms)
- 150 gms boneless chicken
- 2 green chillies (de-seed the chillies if you can’t tolerate spice)
- A thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger
- 1 large or 2 medium-small onion(s)
- 2 medium-sized peppers (use different coloured peppers for a more colourful dish)
- 1 large carrot
- 2 soup cubes
- 4 tablespoons Dark Soy sauce (I used Ching’s Secret)
- 4 tablespoons All-In-One Stir-Fry sauce (I used Ching’s Secret; you can use any brand that’s easily available)
- 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- Butter or olive oil (olive oil being the healthier option)
- Salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
Boil the noodles as per instructions on the packet. Drain the noodles, run cold water through them to stop them from cooking further and then, drizzle some oil on them to prevent them from sticking. Set aside.
In the meantime, slit the chillies, finely chop the garlic, julienne the carrots and capsicums, slice (not chop) the onions, and dice the chicken into medium-sized bits.
Heat a wok with about 3 tablespoons of butter or olive oil (use olive oil as the healthier option). When the oil is hot, drop the chillies and chopped ginger into the oil. Without letting the ginger burn, quickly add in your onions.
Sauté the onions for about 2 – 3 minutes. When the onions appear translucent (don’t let them lose their crunch), toss in the carrots and stir for about 2 minutes. Then, toss in the capsicum briefly for about a minute.
Add 1 soup cube, half a teaspoon of salt and about 3/4th tablespoon of freshly ground pepper.
Stir the veggies and empty them into a plate.
Heat the wok again and add a sliver of butter or a drizzle of oil to it. When the butter/oil has heated, add the diced chicken and stir continuously till the pink of the chicken is no longer visible (about 1 – 2 minutes). Scoop out the chicken bits and set aside.
In the same wok, stir in all the sauces—the soy, stir-fry sauce, ketchup and vinegar. Toss in the noodles for a few seconds (do not stir to prevent the noodles from breaking or becoming a mash). Sprinkle the noodles with the second soup cube, salt to taste, and 1 tablespoon of freshly ground pepper. Feel free to add more pepper if you enjoy spice or then, tone down the pepper to your liking. Toss again for a few seconds. Add in the veggies and the chicken bits. Toss once more and voila, you’re done.
And since I don’t believe in reheating noodles (though I will if I absolutely have to), enjoy the dish while it’s hot! Add a glass of white wine or even a coke to your meal and maybe, the book you’re reading or a movie of your liking, and you’re pretty much set.
Bon appétit! Here’s hoping the door bell doesn’t ring 🙂 … at least not just yet…!