Anyone who knows me knows that I love P.F. Chang’s…I sometimes dream of their lettuce wraps. Yum! As tasty as P.F. Chang’s is, their menu isn’t always waistline friendly. For example, their chicken lo mein clocks in at over 700 calories! This edition of Recipe Rehab is meant to duplicate the yummy, spicy, and salty flavors of your favorite Chinese foods while being a little more waistline friendly! This Spicy Asian Noodles recipe features chicken and fresh red peppers with as much or as little zing to it as you want! Caveat: This recipe is not low sodium, so if that is a dietary concern for you you may want to avoid. It also isn’t the prettiest dish ever, but it packs a flavor punch and is super easy, so it’s great for weekday meals!
The secret to this recipe is two fold – it uses a combination of flavorful sesame oil as well as olive oil – both of which are good for you! Sesame oil is slightly higher in fat and calories than olive oil, but both are pretty good for you. The dual use in this recipe is because I find cooking entirely in sesame oil can be overwhelming in flavor, but if you’re a huge fan, go ahead and sub the olive oil for extra peanut oil in your Spicy Asian Noodles. The other secret gives this recipe some serious kick – hot chili sesame oil. Feel free to adjust the amount of this you use to spice it up, or tone it down for the kids!
If you haven’t worked with cellophane noodles before, they are pretty fun! A few caveats – they cook quickly! Don’t overdo it or your Spicy Asian Noodles will resemble oatmeal…The other trick is to really season your water. I don’t measure soy sauce into the water – I basically add it until it turns a yummy golden brown. Also, don’t salt your water on top of the soy sauce – you will end up with SUPER salty noodles. Here is a glimpse of what they look like during cooking and after:
So there you have it! I almost forgot the best part – My Fitness Pal calculates this recipe as having approximately 420 calories per serving, making Spicy Asian Noodles a serious recipe rehab over lots of take out Chinese food! Enjoy!
- 4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into cubes and seasoned with salt and pepper
- 8 oz Cellophane Noodles
- Sesame Oil
- Olive Oil
- Soy Sauce
- 2 tablespoons Cumin
- 1 tablespoon Turmeric
- 4 tablespoons fresh Ginger, minced
- 2 Onions, thinly sliced
- 2 Red Bell Peppers, seeds and veins removed, sliced thinly
- Hot Chili Sesame Oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 1. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
- 2. Heat 2 tablespoons of sesame oil and 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium high heat. Once hot, cook the chicken 5-6 minutes, or until brown and cooked through. Don't overcook, or it will get dry.
- 3. When the water is boiling, add enough soy sauce so that the water is a golden brown. Add a drop or two of hot sesame chili oil. Turn the heat off, and add the cellophane noodles. Let them soak between 4-7 minutes or until they are soft. Don't oversoak them them or they will be mushy! Drain them and toss them with 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and another drop of hot chili sesame oil.
- 4. Heat 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the pan you used to cook the chicken. Stir fry the red peppers and onions until softened, about 6-7 minutes. Add the ginger, a drop or two of hot chili sesame oil if you like it spicy, the cumin, and the turmeric, and 1/4 cup water.
- 5. Toss the noodles into the pan and taste. Season with extra soy sauce or hot chili sesame oil as you desire. Add the chicken back in and keep cooking the noodles until they get somewhat dry and brown.