I have spent the last 3 days procrastinating on this chicken hokkien noodle stir fry post. It has always taken me ages to write a single post. This is particularly upsetting when you live with people like Steph who are able to smash one out in a few hours. Every time she finishes on the same day she started, I take a moment to breathe and think of my happy place where everyone is just as crap as I am. It’s people like her ladies and gentlemen, that makes us ESL (English is a second language) kids feel stupid and inadequate.
Just the other night I was jotting down some ideas for this post and then within the space of five minutes, I got writer’s block. It was so severe that I thought taking a quick nap to recharge and smash it out when I woke up was a good idea. And well, we all know how that usually ends.
To emphasize the severity of my condition, I have this recurring nightmare about procrastinating on a uni assignment. It gets extremely emotional when I’m down to the last few minutes before it is due and I just sit there in front of the computer having a panic attack. And let me tell you folks, there is no greater feeling in one’s life than being royally and utterly F@#$ED!!!
Fortunately, these days I don’t have nightmares anymore. Yep, luckily for me, as soon as I start to drift off a foot the size of a kiwi fruit hits me in the face. This is quickly followed up by another foot until my shnoz is completely leveled with my cheeks. And when that gets old, my little girl begins pinching my double chin! Many nights I lay in bed drenched in a pool of my own tears and sorrows. But the worst part of it all, is that I can’t do a damn thing about it, because if I do and she wakes up…. IT STARTS ALL OVER AGAIN!
OK enough with the festivities! Let’s get back to this chicken hokkien noodle stir fry. Since my family predominantly had Vietnamese food growing up, we do not have a traditional recipe for these noodles. So, this particular recipe I am sharing with you guys today is one I have developed from a few other recipes and then put my spin on.
In the beginning I used fish sauce because that’s what we Viets do. But over the years I have tweaked the recipe to resemble something more authentically Chinese. The two most important things I have learnt about this recipe is to always cut your ingredients thinly, and keep the heat up on high. Doing this will ensure the meat will be cooked through and the vegetables remain crispy.
A few more tips are:
- Load the dish up with vegetables. We can all do with more vegetables in our diet.
- Don’t make it overly saucy. I am not a big fan of having excess runny sauce all over my noodles.
- Get high-quality hokkien noodles from your Asian groceries. This is obviously very subjective but I honestly find the Asian brands to be more elastic and firm.
- I prefer to use dried shiitake mushrooms over fresh. Why? Because for me the dried version packs more punch. The flavour is more pronounced and pairs well with the soy sauce.
- Always have chilli sauce on the side. I avoid putting chilli sauce directly in a dish because I know there are a lot of people who can’t take the heat.
- If you have leftover meat or vegetables in the fridge… chuck ’em in! Minimising waste is good for you and the environment.
If you take the time to give this chicken hokkien noodle stir fry a go, I promise it will become part of your dinner rotation. So, don’t sit there and procrastinate on whether you should or shouldn’t and just DOOOOOOOOO IT!
Easy Chicken and Hokkien Noodle Stir Fry
This easy chicken and hokkien noodle stir fry is a perfect mid-week dish when you've come home from work and need something quick and easy.
- 5 dried whole shiitake mushrooms (Note 1)
- 1 cup boiling water, to soak mushrooms
- 500 gm chicken thigh fillets
- 1 bunch choy sum (200 g), roughly chopped into 3 cm lengths
- 1/2 medium red capsicum, sliced thinly
- 1 medium-sized brown onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3 slices ginger
- 10 snow peas
- 3 tbsp / 45 ml reserved water from soaking the musrhooms
- 1/2 cup cold water, for the sauce
- 1 tbsp / 15 ml cornstarch
- 2 tbsp / 30 ml vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp / 30 ml regular soy sauce
- 2 tbsp / 30 ml oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp / 30 ml shao xing cooking wine
- 1 tbsp / 15 ml hoisin sauce
- 1 tbsp / 15 ml sesame oil
- Freshly ground pepper
- Coriander roughly chopped
- Spring onion, finely chopped
- Sriracha / salty chilli sauce
Cut the dried shiitake mushrooms in half with kitchen scissors. Add the shiitake mushrooms and 1 cup of boiling water into a bowl. Cover and let it sit for 20 mins. (You will need to reserve some of the mushroom soaking liquid so don't throw it out.)
Add all the sauce ingredients into a bowl and whisk until combined.
Cut the chicken thighs into roughly 1.5 cm thick strips and place in a bowl. Add 2 tbsp of the sauce to the chicken and allow to marinate for 20 mins.
Prep all other vegetables.
Take the mushrooms out, and reserve 3 tbs of the soaking liquid. Squeeze the water out of the mushrooms into the sink, then remove the stalk and thinly slice.
In a small bowl, add the 3 tbsp of reserved mushroom soaking liquid and the cornstarch. Using your finger or a teaspoon, mix them together until fully combined.
Add 1/2 cup of water and the cornstarch mixture to the sauce and whisk.
Submerge the hokkien noodles with boiling water in a large bowl. Loosen up the noodles with some tongs then drain.
Place a large empty bowl next to your stove top and heat a non-stick wok / fry pan to high.
When the wok / pan is hot, add 1 tbsp of oil and the chicken. Cook for 5 mins or until done (Note 2). Put the cooked chicken into the bowl.
Add 1 tbsp of oil and add the onions, garlic and ginger. Cook for 30 seconds.
Add the shiitake mushrooms and the capsicum. Cook for 1 minute.
Add the choy sum, snow peas and the sauce. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
Take out the ginger slices and turn the heat to low. Add the chicken and hokkien noodles to the wok / pan and combine well.
Garnish with chopped coriander and spring onion, and serve with sriracha/chilli sauce.
- You can substitute dried shiitake mushrooms for the fresh version but the flavour will not be as strong. Substitute the mushroom soaking water with plain tap water for the sauce. Both the dried and fresh shiitake mushrooms should be available at your local supermarket or definitely at your Asian groceries.
- When frying the chicken, try not to move them around too much. Cook it like a steak and let it fry on one side for a few minutes and then turn it over. This way the chicken will have develop a nice colour and look more appealing.