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Chilli Chicken Noodles

Chilli Chicken Noodles

Ching-He Huang’s Chinese Food Made Easy is one of my favourite cook books, and definitely my regular go-to for great, and as you would expect from the title, easy chinese meals. I bought the book the day after the first episode of the TV series aired, and several of the recipes have become regular dinners.

Lots of the dishes have quite a long list of ingredients, but actually across the book there is a core of store-cupboard staples that, once you’ve bought them, allow you to cook many of the recipes. And, despite the number of ingredients, everything is still simple to put together and tastes great.

I’ve played around with the original recipe a little. The OH isn’t the greatest fan of hot foods, although I’m working on that, so I’ve substituted the original red chilli for sweet chilli sauce, adding a sweeter but still warming kick, and a pinch of dried red chilli flakes. The original calls for yellow shi wheat flour noodles, but I generally have egg noodles in the house right now, or you could serve this with rice. There are a few other minor deviations from the original, however, the end result is delicious so who’s complaining? 

Chilli Chicken Noodles (serves 2)

For the sauce:

  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2.5cm piece fresh root ginger
  • 1 small red pepper
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 5 tbsp water
  • 1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • pinch dried red chilli flakes

For the chicken:

  • 150g egg noodles
  • 1 tablespoon ground nut oil
  • 250g skinless chicken breast fillets, sliced into 1cm strips
  • 1 courgette, sliced into strips
  • 1 red pepper, sliced into strips
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 bunch (5 or so) spring onions, sliced

Cook the noodles in boiling water as per the packet instructions. Drain, plunge into cold water, drain again and then dress with a little ground nut oil to stop them sticking. Leave to one side.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Peel the garlic gloves and the ginger and finely chop both. I whizzed them in the mini-chopper, you could grate them on a microplane, or, just do it the traditional way with a knife and some patience. De-seed the pepper and roughly chop into chunks. Roughly chop the tomatoes. Whack the garlic, ginger, tomatoes and pepper into a blender with the sauces, water, sugar and chilli flakes, and whizz. You’re looking for a fairly liquid sauce. Put to one side.

Heat the ground nut oil in a wok, and then stir-fry the chicken for 3-4 minutes until starting to brown. Add the pepper and courgette, and stir-fry for a further minute. Tip the noodles into the wok, give everything a good stir, then pour on the sauce and bring to the boil. Simmer for a minute or two, then season with the soy sauce, and stir in the spring onions. Serve immediately.

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