Spicy Minced Chicken Noodles

 

I live in the San Gabriel Valley, the Asian food Mecca of Southern California. San Gabriel Valley is home to some of the best Chinese food outside of China. There is wide array of regional cuisines like Sichuan, Cantonese, Hunanese, etc. In addition to Chinese food, you can find Taiwanese, Vietnamese, Burmese, and even food from Borneo. From soupy dumplings to Hainan chicken, one will never run out of food options. One of my favorite noodle dishes out here is the minced pork noodle, made with a fermented bean sauce. Every restaurant has their own version, but it is always made with ground pork. I created my own version with organic ground chicken and spiced it up a bit. I use a chili pepper sauce made in San Francisco and noodles made nearby in Commerce (where I’ve actually visited the factory).

I tested this noodle dish at my office and it was a hit, even among those that don’t like spicy food. I may not be Chinese, but I have become very familiar with Chinese flavors, and based on the response I got, these noodles are as good as any noodle dish in the San Gabriel Valley. Once you have all the ingredients ready, the dish takes less than 20 minutes to whip up, but be sure to read the whole recipe in advance, as almost every step is 3 minutes or less and you’ll be moving quick! But don’t let that scare you off – once you make this dish, I guarantee you’ll enjoy it!

Serving Size: 2 large bowls of noodles

Ingredients

2 tablespoons of oil
3 cloves of garlic (minced)
8 ounces of organic ground chicken
1/2 cup of finely chopped choy sum leaves* or spinach leaves.
2 tablespoons of finely chopped preserved turnips*
2 tablespoons of chili pepper sauce*
2 tablespoons of organic soy sauce
1 tablespoon of Chinese black vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon of Chinese five spice
1 teaspoon of sugar
3/4 cup of homemade chicken stock or store-bought low-sodium chicken broth (cold)
2 teaspoons of organic cornstarch
12 ounces of fresh Chinese wheat noodles (medium thickness)*
1 green onion, thinly sliced
Fresh cilantro leaves
Chinese chili oil (optional)

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Directions

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil.

2. Meanwhile, heat a wok or a large sauté pan on high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil.

3. Add the minced garlic. Sauté for 15 seconds.

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4. Add the ground chicken. Sauté for 3 minutes, breaking up the meat.

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5. Add the choy sum. Sauté for 1 minute.

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6. Add the preserved turnips. Sauté for 30 seconds.

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7. Add the chili pepper sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, five spice, and sugar. Sauté for 1 minute.

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8. Add cornstarch in the chicken stock, making sure your chicken stock is cold. Mix well and and pour directly into the wok, stirring the meat. Cook until the sauce boils and thickens. This should take about 3-5 minutes. Turn off the heat.

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9. Take the fresh Chinese noodles and put in the boiling water. Follow the cooking directions on the package. The brand I use takes 2.5 minutes.

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10. Drain the noodles but don’t rinse. Divide the noodle into bowls.

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11. Pour a generous amount of meat sauce over the noodles. If using, drizzle a tablespoon of chili oil over the sauce. Garnish with chopped green onion and cilantro.

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12. Serve immediately.

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*Here are photos of some hard to find ingredients I used in this recipe. Also, I added a picture of the choy sum before it was chopped up. You can find all these ingredients at a Chinese grocery store:

 

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