Today I want to share a recipe that I crave when I’m sick with a cold. When my sinuses are stuffed and my body aches, I want Chinese food. I’m not talking about excellent renditions of Cantonese, Szechwan or Taiwanese cuisines that you might find at any number of excellent Chinese restaurants.
I’m talking about Chinese-American food found in many American strip malls. Specifically, I crave chicken lo mein. I think it’s the sauce-drenched noodles that I love. The taste is strong enough to satisfy my cold-dulled taste buds. I add more flavor with dashes of Sriracha sauce or a spoonful of kimchee.
My starting point was a chow mein recipe from Food Network star Ree Drummond, aka the Pioneer Woman. The recipe lends itself to adaptation: Use leftover spaghetti instead of rice noodles, add leftover cooked shrimp or beef instead of chicken, vary the vegetables to your liking.
If you prep the vegetables and cook the noodles in the morning, this dish can make a quick weeknight dinner.
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Just don’t wait until you are sick to make it.
CHICKEN, VEGETABLES AND STIR-FRIED RICE NOODLES
This recipe is inspired by the chow mein recipe in “The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime,” by Ree Drummond. It is ideal for additions; add 1/2 cup bean sprouts with the noodles or 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms or diced broccoli florets with the carrots.
1 to 2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 cup julienned carrots
4 green onions, sliced, divided
1/2 large head Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
8 ounces thin rice noodles, cooked per package directions
1/2 cup cooked chicken, diced or shredded
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
Sriracha sauce or kimchee, optional
Heat 1 tablespoon peanut oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until it starts to soften. Add carrots and half of the green onions. Stir and let vegetables cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Stir in cabbage and 1 tablespoon peanut oil and cook for 2 to 4 minutes until cabbage wilts. Add noodles, chicken, soy sauce, sesame oil and remaining green onions. Toss to fully incorporate.
Serve hot with Sriracha sauce or kimchee to season to your preferred level of spiciness.
Makes 6 servings.