In high school and college, I always loved it when midterms and finals were writing papers instead of taking tests. I was never a big fan of tests, but I could write a good paper in no time. I loved writing, and could always do it quite well. So, why in the world am I having such writer’s block lately? I could bang through papers on Russian novelists, sociology, and business ethics, but ask me to write up a few sentences about a tasty Asian noodle dish we had recently and I’m at a loss.
As I approach my seventh (!!) blogiversary, am I just running out of stuff to say? The new neighbor I ran into on the way home yesterday whose ear I talked off would probably argue that I most certainly am not. Sometimes, I feel like there’s more pressure on me because I’ve been posting less, so I feel like my posts needs to be better or something. I don’t know what it is, but I might just have to start writing really random posts that have nothing to do with the meal or sharing things like this great way to solve the debt ceiling crisis.
But, allow me to write a few sentences about this meal since it’s a food blog, after all. We’ve been eating a lot of stir fries and Asian noodle recipes lately, because they’re usually pretty quick and always pretty delicious. This recipe is similar to a standard lo mein, but has orange juice added to the sauce, which works really well and brightens it up a bit. It calls for marinating the chicken, but because I didn’t read-through the recipe before it was time to make it (no wonder I was better at writing than reading in school), I obviously skipped that step, just adding the sauce at the end, which it worked fine. I was perusing my cupboard full of half-eaten boxes of pasta and came across some somen noodles, which I really loved in this recipe. But really, any type of pasta will work, including rice noodles, so use what you have. (Sidebar: a lazy Susan is the WORST cabinet for storing food. The worst.)
Orange Sesame Noodles with Chicken
Adapted from Daily Unadventures in Cooking
2/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup less-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp. sambal oelek or other chili paste
2/3 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. vegetable/canola oil
1 lb. boneless/skinless chicken thighs or breasts, sliced
4 green onions, sliced, white and green parts separated
1″ knob of ginger, peeled and grated or finely minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb. shiitake mushrooms, sliced
3 carrots, sliced or cut julienne
1 lb. bok choy or leafy green of your choice, chopped
8-10 oz. noodes like somen, lo mein, or spaghetti, cooked
2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
toasted sesame seeds, for serving
Whisk together the orange juice, soy sauce, sambal, chicken broth, and cornstarch. Set aside.
Sprinkle the chicken with a little salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a wok or nonstick skillet, and then add the chicken. Stir-fry for a minute or two before adding the white parts of the onions, ginger, garlic, carrots, and mushrooms. Continue to stir-fry until vegetables are tender-crisp and chicken is just about cooked through.
Add the bok choy and stir just for a minute until it starts to wilt. Stir in the orange sauce and boil until thickened and chicken is cooked through. Add the cooked noodles and sesame oil, tossing to combine everything and wilting the bok choy/greens. Top with toasted sesame seeds and the green parts of the onions.