Tuesday, April 13, 2010
What's for Dinner Wednesday Recipe: Vietnamese Chicken and Brocolli Stir Fry
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
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.