About Me

I love to keep things fresh. Boredom makes me cringe. I believe in perseverance. Anything new and different inspires me. Photos and stories contained on this blog are my own. I create the majority of my recipes featured as well. If I adapt a recipe or find a great one to share from another source, I will give credit where it is due and a link to the original if at all possible. Please ask prior to using photos, writings and recipes and if using, please link to to the original source. Peace and Happy Blogging!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What's for Dinner Wednesday Recipe: Vietnamese Chicken and Brocolli Stir Fry

Culture to me is the spice of life.  I jump at every chance I get to learn about other cultures and am so appreciative of any opportunity that comes my way to taste authentic cooking of any ethnic cuisine.  THE REASON, really, that I love big cities, is because of this one factor alone.  That's it.  That's THE REASON.  The abundance of options when it comes to choices of ethnic restaurants and food shops in big cities just lights me up.  The multicultural element of big cities in the United States, some more so than others, is my favorite thing since I can't actually travel to each and every country individually (Yet anyway.  Maybe someday.  Now that would be a dream come true.) 

In terms of friends, I look back and realize that I have always tended to seek out connections with such a variety.  I am multicultural, as most of us are.  Half of my family comes from Trinidad and half from the USA.  Obviously prior to Trinidad and the States, my ancestors can be traced to many different countries.  I love blends, when it comes to food and spices, people, art, language, friends, music, colors and so much more.  My interest in food blossomed with my exposure to my friends' kitchens throughout my life.  Whether Spanish, Indian, Middle Eastern, Lebanese, Greek, Good Ol' Southern, Cajun, Trinidadian/West Indian, Vietnamese, Chinese cooking - I loved and still love it all!

The recipe that I am going to post for you today is yet another Fresh and Simple recipe of mine.  It is easy and quick enough for a weeknight meal and definitely tasty enough for company.  I have only just this year had the privelege of eating authentic Vietnamese and Chinese food at a place other than a restaurant.  A dear friend of mine named Tran Luong has treated me to quite a few meals.  Though I have not learned her actual recipes, I have been able to combine my tasting experience at her home with what I have read and experimented with over the past few years to develop this recipe.  By the way, Tran is not only a fabulous cook, but also a very talented seamstress and knows four different languages (English, Vietnamese, Chinese and Mandarin).  There is no limit to what she can do with a needle and thread and lucky for me, she is located in my hometown of Lafayette, LA.  If ever you are looking for a seamstress, feel free to contact me and I'll lead you to her.

So here's the recipe and for true validation, I'll have to get my friend Tran to test it out for me:

What's For Dinner Wednesday Recipe: Vietnamese Style Chicken and Brocolli Stir Fry with Udon Noodles
Serves 5

Kitchen Hardware (optional):  An Electric Wok is great to have for this recipe. You could substitute a 3 or 4 qt saute pan instead. Just remember that the lid will need to go on over the brocolli for a little while. Also, I used a mandoline to slice my carrots relatively thin, not necessary though.

1/2 package of Udon Noodles (found in the Asian Section of the grocery) or Linguine as a substitute
3 tablespoons Fish Sauce (found in the Asian Section at the grocery)
3 tablespoons Water
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
2 teaspoons Sugar
1/2 teaspoon (or more if you want it spicy) Sriracha Chili Sauce
2 tablespoons Canola Oil (divided)
2 cloves Garlic (crushed and diced)
1 pound Chicken Thighs (trimmed of most fat and sliced into bite sized pieces)
1 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1 head Brocolli (cut into florets)
5 stalks Green Onions (sliced)
2 whole Carrots (thinly sliced)

1) Bring a pot of water to boil and cook the Udon or Linguine according to the package instructions. Drain, rinse with cool water and set aside.

2) Prepare the sauce by whisking together the fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, Sriracha Chili Sauce and water.
Curious as to what the key ingredients look like?  Here's a picture:

3) Heat one tablespoon of canola oil in the wok or saute pan on medium-high heat. Add in the diced garlic to flavor the oil for a minute or so. Add chicken thighs and season with ground black pepper. Cook for approximately 7 minutes, stirring after 4 minutes or so to cook on all sides. Cook until chicken is just cooked through. Remove chicken from pan and set aside on seperate plate.

4) Add the remaining one tablespoon of canola oil to the wok or pan, the brocolli florets and the sauce mixture. Scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen anything that may be sticking. Stir the broccoli to coat with sauce and cover the wok or pan with the lid to steam. Keep covered for 5-7 minutes and cook unitl the brocolli is crisp tender. If you need to add a bit more water to steam, go ahead, but only a tablespoon at a time. Uncover to stir after about three minutes.

5) Uncover and add the chicken, carrots and green onions to the brocolli. Cook for another 5 minutes or so until the brocolli and carrots are cooked to desired tenderness. Be careful not to overcook.

6)Add the cooked Udon or Linguini noodles to the Chicken/Vegetable mixture and toss to coat. Allow to cook a few minutes to heat through and serve.

I hope you give this a try and more than that, I really hope you like it!  Here's the finished product.  The answer is no, I cannot eat this with chopsticks yet.  It'll take time, I'm just not that coordinated - I understand my shortcomings.


Shana said...

Made this tonight! Except I have a slight obsession with snow peas so I threw some of those in too. And I was feeling feisty so I used chopsticks :) Thanks for posting the recipe! So good!

Lisa Avant said...

Finally! Hallelujah - someone commented about a recipe! Please tell me if some measurements seem off. Constructive criticism is welcomed. I need a recipe tester so bad to double check me. You're the best!

Varunavi said...

Thanx for visiting my blog,it was pleasure having u there.

Dubai is a wonderful place to live and i am sure ur mom would be missing it.

Nice recipe i have not tried vietnamese cusine.

Shana said...

I thought the measurements were spot on. I liked the addition of the sugar; it countered the saltiness of the soy, fish sauce, etc. I'll definitely let you know if I try another recipe!

Lisa Avant said...

Thank you my friend! I'll be in touch. Thinking of starting guest posts one day a week. Maybe you'll wanna post about a subject that interests you? I know that you love to write (obviously, because you freelance). Let me know and I'd love to spread your name. I'm working hard to network this blog and anything that would be of interest to me and readers would be right on! Maybe books or anything else of interest to you. You always did find the best books to read. I told a friend of mine about you and she wanted me to suggest a book to you. I'll have to get the name. I know your mind is always working. You and I always did love projects, like bike rodeos, lemonade stands, the "Warrior's Club" and Potatoe stamps... The list goes on and on! The good ole days.

Shana said...

I am interested in everything so you let me know what you want and I'd be happy to contribute. You're right, books are way up there. I'm always looking for suggestions so I'd love to know what your friend recommends. And yes...if you ever decide to write a post for pre-teens on "How to Effectively Alienate Fellow Children In Your Neightborhood' you could definitely list our childhood exploits. We ruled with an iron fist :)

Lisa Martin Avant said...

Hey Shana. You can write about whatever you want. It's a guest post. I just need to figure out how to open it up to let someone else type. What have you been freelancing about? Anything in particular?

Lisa Martin Avant said...

Shana, email me your email address when you get a chance. My email is bestfrommynest@yahoo.com

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