Asian Peanut Noodle Stir-Fry

One year ago today, our sweet puppy, Eva Marie, was born. We weren’t there on that day, but we found her at the Humane Society just a little over 2 months later. She was only 7 pounds, very shy and thoughtful in her crate, and the cutest little ball of fluff you’ve ever laid eyes on. We took her home immediately, and the rest is history. Eva likes food just about as much as we do, but we keep her people-food intake to the barest minimum. Occasionally popcorn, maybe a dropped crouton or two, but for a special treat, Eva loves a dog biscuit coated in creamy peanut butter. Therefore, in honor of Eva’s birthday and her favorite thing in the world to eat – peanut butter – we present a peanut butter recipe for your enjoyment. I think Eva would love it.

It’s been awhile, but we’re finally coming through on our promise to post more Asian-style recipes. With the introduction of our Kung Pao Chicken recipe, I described my absolute obsession with anything containing soy sauce and all things from the Far East (other than maybe chicken feet or odd parts of an octopus served on a stick). Oddly enough, one of our favorite “Asian” dishes comes from a very unlikely non-Asian restaurant, The Cheesecake Factory. Have you ever tucked into their absolutely out-of-this-world Thai Peanut Pasta dish? I’m salivating just thinking about it, but then I snap back to reality and can tell you that I’ve found the calorie count for that dish, and I can therefore no longer eat it with the same reckless abandon I once would have. Sigh…life isn’t fair.

Well, this is not a copy cat recipe of that amazing dish, but it does remind me in some ways of the Cheesecake Factory’s take on Asian-style pasta. This sauce is not nearly as sweet, and both the sauce and the chicken marinade have a lovely kick on the back end, thanks to all the Sriracha. I wouldn’t classify this as a “spicy” dish, but it’s not your everyday ooey-gooey sweet overload that many peanut butter-based sauces tend to taste like. The rice noodles are too die for, if cooked correctly. The huge amount of shredded vegetables that go into this dish make up for what some may say is a shockingly small amount of noodles that will supposedly serve 6 people, and the veggies serve the dual purpose of adding lots of great texture and color to the dish. The aroma produced in your kitchen while cooking this recipe will have you running to the table, I can guarantee. And in the end, for a dish composed of protein, carbs, and lots of peanut butter, the calories really aren’t that bad. This is a very hearty meal, and perfect to serve on a cool night to warm you up when you’re just not in the mood for plain old spaghetti. If you’re an Asian food fan like us, or a peanut butter lover, I recommend whipping this up the very next chance you get.
Ingredient List
Peanut Sauce
1 cup chicken broth
5 tablespoons peanut butter      [500 calories] (we used Reduced Fat Crunchy)
1 tablespoon Sriracha chili sauce     [15 calories]
2 tablespoons honey     [120 calories]
2 tablespoons soy sauce     [14 calories]
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
3 garlic cloves, crushed

Chicken
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (~ 8 ounces each)     [400 calories]
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Sriracha chili sauce     [15 calories]
Juice of ½ lime
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 tablespoon soy sauce     [7 calories]

Stir-Fry
½ tablespoon toasted sesame oil      [65 calories]
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup green onions, finely chopped
1 ¼ cups carrots, shredded
1 ¼ cups broccoli slaw, shredded (you can find this in the vegetable section at the grocery store already prepared)
1 cup bean sprouts
8 ounces rice noodles      [910 calories] (you can usually find this in the Asian area of any generic supermarket)
1 cup chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted, dry roasted peanuts, chopped (optional for garnish)
Dried or fresh cilantro leaves (optional for garnish)

Recipe
Serves 6
Calories per serving: 360

Heat a small saucepot over medium-low heat. Combine 1 cup of chicken broth, peanut butter, sriracha, honey, soy sauce, ginger, and crushed garlic in a small bowl and mix well. When saucepot is hot, add mixture. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce becomes smooth (~ 10 minutes). When sauce is smooth, lower heat to lowest setting on the stove and cover saucepot.

* Be sure to keep your heat level very low; the sauce will easily burn on the bottom if your stove is too warm or you’re not stirring constantly.*

In a large stockpot, boil 1 quart of water and add salt, to taste, when a rolling boil is achieved.

Heat a large wok or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Rinse chicken well under cold water, then pat dry with paper towels. Slice chicken into thin strips (~ ½ inch thick). In a medium bowl, season sliced chicken with Kosher salt and black pepper, than add sriracha, lime juice, crushed garlic, grated ginger, and soy sauce. Mix with a spoon to combine well.

Once wok/Dutch oven is hot, add toasted sesame oil. Wait until oil is nearly smoking, then add chicken mixture. Sauté chicken until cooked through (~ 5-7 minutes), and then remove chicken from the wok/Dutch oven.

Lower the heat of the wok/Dutch oven to medium, and then add the stir-fry ingredients (crushed garlic, scallions, carrots, broccoli slaw, and bean sprouts). Season to taste with salt and pepper, stir to mix well, and allow vegetables to sauté until crisp (~ 3 minutes).

At this point, you should add your rice noodles to the water that is hopefully boiling by now. Cook the noodles for 3-5 minutes, or until soft. Beware – rice noodles will quickly turn to mush if overcooked. Err on the side of caution and keep a close eye (i.e., taste frequently during cooking) on the noodles during this step. Once noodles are cooked to your satisfaction, drain in a pasta strainer.

Once the vegetables are crisp, return the cooked chicken to the wok/Dutch oven, followed by the cooked noodles, and the peanut sauce. If your noodle mixture isn’t “saucy” enough, add more chicken broth to loosen the mixture. Toss well to combine. Serve noodle stir-fry with crushed peanuts and cilantro on top as desired.

Recipe – Asian Peanut Noodle Stir-Fry – PDF Version

————————————————————————————————————————————-

This recipe was adapted from Skinnytaste, which in turn adapted the recipe into a “lighter” version from Favorite Family Recipes. Our version lies somewhere in between the two…and it really isn’t that bad on calories if you can keep yourself from having more than one serving in a single sitting! If you’d like either of the originals, they can be found here
Asian Peanut Noodles with Chicken
or
Thai Peanut Sauté.

————————————————————————————————————————————–

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s