asian-marinated chicken with salted cucumber and rice noodles
inspired by a dish i saw once in donna hay magazine
Have I mentioned yet that I suffer from culinary ADD? While the majority of North-Americans are thinking about turkey, cranberries, and sweet potatoes, (and of course I am thinking of all that goodness too!) I am also thinking about…asian chicken noodles!
I think I got especially excited because I thought hoisin would be an inaccessible ingredient for me in my tiny corner of South America. And even though I’ve yet to find a thick, creamy yogurt or a moist pastry, I haphazardly fell upon hoisin wedged between oyster sauce and sake. Yes please, yes please, and yes please!! And so a noodle craving turned into a noodle satisfaction. A noodlefaction? Just trying that out.
I must state that as this was a craving, and as cravings go, I was not carefully marking down what I threw into this pan or that pot, so I cannot give exact measurements. But just have fun with it and change up whatever you want to make it yours! So then, the noodlefaction goes as follows (yup, I’m running with it):
asian-marinated chicken with salted cucumber and rice noodles recipe:
Let’s say, 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1/4 cup hoisin
1/4 cup oyster sauce
1/8 cup soy sauce
8 oz (230g) rice noodles
1 tbs sesame oil
2 tbs sake (Japanese rice wine)
⅓ cup fresh cilantro
a bunch of scallions (spring onions or green onions)
1 baby cucumber
Combine the hoisin, oyster, and soy sauces and marinate the chicken thighs in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. 2 hours if you are a master of self-control and want to lord that over us. (I like to use a sealable plastic bag for marinating because you can keep the air out and the marinade spreads all over the meat.)
Meantime, thinly slice your cucumber and season evenly with sea salt to taste. Allow to drain in a sieve while you proceed.
When meat is ready, bring a pot of water to a boil, take off the heat and soak the rice noodles in the water until al dente.
Separate the chicken from the marinade (but don’t throw the marinade out!!) and add sesame oil to a pan. Personally I am partial to a cast iron pan, but do whatever you need to to get a decent char on the chicken. Grill over medium heat. Remove from the heat as soon as it is charred nicely and starting to get sticky. Not cooked yet? No worries! Add the rest of the marinade that you did not throw away until you see stickiness as you have never seen stickiness before and the chicken is cooked through. Transfer chicken thighs to a cutting board. Add sake to your pan with the marinade and let it reduce a bit. Add rice noodles and toss until coated. Thinly slice the white parts of your scallions and reserve the tips. Add the sliced scallion and fresh cilantro to the noodles and toss to distribute evenly.
Thinly slice the remaining tips lengthwise. Retrieve cucumber slices from sieve and pat dry with paper towel if excessively moist. Thickly slice the marinated chicken.
Using tongs, distribute noodle mixture into bowls. Top with the sliced chicken, cucumber, and scallion. And serve!
(And by “serve”, I mean start scarfing down with a pair of chopsticks and a pale beer. Make as much noise as possible while sucking back the noodles. It’s a sign of respect! Somewhere, I’m sure…)