Thursday, October 18, 2007

Food Fit for a Power Ranger

This evening at dinner Sonny said, “This is so yummy, I bet even Power Rangers would eat it!” If you knew how obsessed my son is with Power Rangers, you’d understand what a huge compliment that was. But don’t get the wrong idea, he wasn’t talking about mac n’ cheese or pizza (which we’ll have tomorrow night). He was talking about yakisoba stir-fry.

This is such a versatile dish because you can basically use just about any meat or vegetable you like. The sauce is slightly sweet due to the hoisin, but that’s balanced by the black soy sauce (which is very salty) and chili bean paste. (don’t worry, this is not at all spicy). To further balance the hoisin, I recommend a strong veggie like mustard greens, bok choy, asparagus or even broccoli. For the meat, I used chicken, but you could just as well substitute pork, beef or tofu.

This recipe easily serves 6 (8 if it’s part of a multi-course meal).

Yakisoba Stir-fry with Chicken and Mustard Greens
  • 3 tbs hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbs black soy sauce (regular soy sauce is fine too)
  • 1 tbs Chinese chili bean paste (or chili garlic sauce will do fine)
  • ½ tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tbs minced garlic
  • 1 tbs minced or grated ginger
  • 1 bunch mustard greens, roughly chopped
  • 1 ½ to 2 chicken breast, sliced for stir-fry
  • 2 bunches green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 (32 0z) package of yakisoba noodles
Start by separating the noodles. They come compressed together and it can be hard to separate them when they are cold. You could dunk them into boiling water for about 10 or 20 seconds, but that’s too much work for me. I’m also afraid they will get too soft and become soggy when I stir-fry them. What I normally end up doing is putting them into my stockpot and filling that with lukewarm water and carefully trying to separate the noodles with my hands. Every strand doesn’t have to be separated, but they should be loose. Drain them and keep them in a colander until ready to use. They come lightly coated with oil so they shouldn’t clump together and stick.

Make the sauce mix by combining the hoisin, soy sauce, chili bean paste, brown sugar and sesame oil. Mix well to dissolve the sugar and set aside until it’s needed.

Heat a wok over high heat. When it’s very, very hot add a splash of oil (about 2 tbs). Add the garlic and ginger and fry for about 10 seconds. Add the chicken and then the mustard greens. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes, until the chicken is almost done. Add the drained noodles and stir-fry until everything is well mixed, about 1 minute. Add the sauce mix and continue to stir-fry until the noodles are coated with the sauce, about a minute or two more. Turn off the heat and throw in the green onions. Toss a couple more times and you’re done! Serve immediately. Even though this is well seasoned, I always serve noodles with fish sauce, lime wedges and sambal oelek on the side just in case anyone wants to a little extra seasoning.

We scored this costume at the local Goodwill. Nevermind the costume is for the black ranger and the mask belongs to the green ranger. What can you ask for for $6.99?? He'll probably wear the Darth Vader mask we picked up at the same time anyways. Don't you just love the poses?


Manggy said...

I LOOVE yakisoba! But I really want it to be extremely spicy (and sweet)! Maybe I'll sub chili bean sauce and add cayenne and dried chili flakes, or sneak in a chopped Thai chili.

That costume is too cute. I love the poses!

dp said...

I like it spicy too, but the kiddo can only take so much heat. I usually put a big dollop of sambal on top :-)