Happy Halloween! If you’re a dedicated reader, you know the deal; if I need something spicy, I add sriracha. But recently I discovered a new ingredient to add that kick that we all love in an Asian-inspired dish: roasted red chili paste.
Roasted red chili paste isn’t as strong as most spicy ingredients, but it has extreme depth of flavor that goes really well in a stir fry, even if you’re not into spicy food. I found that adding a little bit of the chili paste didn’t actually make the dish too hot, but rather added another layer of complexity to the stir fry. However, the more you add the spicier it will be.
Discovering this new flavor for my Asian-style dinners was great, especially as school gets more and more monotonous, what with homework, college apps and standardized tests. Choosing to take a different route with this dish really helped me flex my creative muscles in a way I really can’t during the school day.
Whether you’re bored, stuck in a rut or counting down the days until Thanksgiving Break, this udon stir fry is the pick-me-up you need. Enjoy!
for the marinade
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1-2 tablespoons roasted red chili paste
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
for the stir fry sauce
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 -3 tablespoons roasted red chili paste
for the stir fry
- 1 package stir fry udon noodles
- 4 boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 large carrots, sliced thinly
- 2 cups chopped broccoli florets
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- sesame oil for sautéeing
In a large bowl, combine the soy sauce, chili paste and sesame oil, then toss in the chicken pieces and mix until each cube of chicken is coated. Let sit for at least 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce and chili paste for the stir fry sauce and set aside.
Add a little sesame oil to a large pan on medium-high heat, then add the chicken. Sautée for at least 45 seconds per side until the chicken is fully cooked, then let drain on a plate covered by a paper towel.
Drain any excess oil, then toss in the carrots and broccoli. Cook until the carrots are soft and the broccoli is a bright green–about 5 or 6 minutes. Add in your bell pepper and continue to cook for another two minutes.
Toss the chicken back in along with your noodles; the advantage to getting soft, stir fry udon is that it will cook in the pan or wok along with the rest of your food so you don’t have to boil it separately.
Cook the noodles for around 2 minutes, then add in your sauce and give it one final mix before turning off the heat and serving.
Note: If you can’t find stir fry udon, just boil the dry kind and turn off the heat before you add the noodles.