Well, I never meant for this to be a blog about food or recipes, but I can't help sharing good recipes when I come across them. (I guess it's because I spend a good part of my life cooking and baking for my family and other people.) So, here I go again.
I love (and often crave) the "Dan Dan Noodles" from Pei-Wei/P.F. Chang's. (My mouth is watering right now, and I'm not even hungry.) I found a recipe that claimed to replicate this delicious dish, and decided to give it a try. I had to adapt a little, but it turned out great. Jay thought it tasted just like the real thing. Here is how I adapted the recipe:
It calls for ground chicken. I don't own a meat grinder, and I wasn't about to go to the trouble of making a special request from the butcher. So, I just boiled a couple of chicken breasts and diced them really small. Plus, that gave me the chicken stock required for the recipe.
Also, I didn't have time to venture to an Asian market to find the soba noodles, so I substituted angel hair pasta (that's what I had in my pantry), and it was just as good. Instead of cooking wine, I used Rice Wine Vinegar, because I had some on hand. I did buy oyster sauce and chili paste, which are easy to come by in grocery stores in the Asian section, but I forgot to buy the bean sprouts to go on top. Jay didn't miss those, but I like the crunch they provide.
Here is the recipe as I made it:DAN DAN NOODLES
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 T. olive oil
3 green onions, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. chili paste (not chili sauce)
1/2 c. soy sauce
2 T. rice wine vinegar
1-2 T. oyster sauce
1 T. sugar
2 c. chicken stock
2-3 T. cornstarch
1 (16 oz.) pkg. angel hair pasta, cooked
1 large cucumber, julienned
Boil chicken in enough water to cover (you don't need to add salt because of the soy sauce) until tender (about 20 minutes), finely dice, and set aside. Combine soy sauce, chili paste, vinegar, oyster sauce, sugar, chicken stock, and cornstarch in a bowl; whisk until smooth; set aside. In a wok or large skillet, briefly saute onion and garlic in hot oil. Add liquid mixture; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until thick. Stir in chicken. Serve over cooked noodles, garnished with cucumbers and bean sprouts.