Spicy Chinese Indian pad thai

27 Apr

My roommate requested a stir-fry noodle dish last night.  He originally asked for something carroty and gingery to go with some buckwheat noodles he’d bought last week.  Classically forgetting all details of the request except for the noodle part, I didn’t buy carrots or ginger but instead bell peppers, mushrooms, red onion and broccoli.  I had some chicken breast strips in the freezer that needed to be used, too.

I was having one of my hair-brained cooking nights last night, and I’m actually surprised I didn’t completely ruin the dish because I was cooking with reckless abandon…something that usually leads to strange or even inedible concoctions.

I used the wok for its size, depth and ability to cook a large volume of food quickly.  I started with fish oil over a medium heat and added sliced green, red and yellow bell pepper and red onion.  I made the slices of the onion and peppers large, but if I made this dish again, I’d make the slices for the peppers much thinner (maybe 1/4-in. thick).  The onions work well in thick slices.  I added salt and pepper and let the veggies begin to sweat.

While looking through my spices for inspiration, I decided to attempt an Indian fusion dish.  I added garam masala and ground cumin (about a teaspoon of each) along with some crushed red pepper flakes.  After a minute or two, I added bite-sized chunks of chicken.  As they began to whiten, I added broccoli and mushrooms.  I added more peanut oil and soy sauce and turned up the heat to reduce the liquids and make the ingredients brown slightly as they began to glaze.

To this now-huge amount of vegetables cooking over a high heat, I added more garam masala and cumin powder, hoisin sauce, sweet chili sauce and spicy chili oil.  Once the chicken was cooked through and everything was softened and glazed to my liking, I added the cooked noodles and continued to sautee on a high heat long enough for the noodles to brown slightly.

The result was good hot and even better cold the next day.  It was definitely a dish that tastes great – or better – as leftovers.  It tasted a little like Indian food due to the spices, felt a lot like pad Thai in consistency, and was full of Chinese-style vegetables.  It was a bizarre attempt at a tri-cultural fusion, but it seemed to work, or at least it was tasty.  With some tweaking, the dish could probably be even better.  It was a fun attempt at experimentation, and I feel successful because I didn’t ruin it by adding so many ingredients!

Ingredients:
-1 large red onion, 3/4-in. slice
-1 small red bell pepper, 1/4-in. slice
-1 small green bell pepper, 1/4-in. slice
-1 medium yellow bell pepper, 1/4-in. slice
-1 head broccoli
-1.5 cups sliced Chinese mushrooms
-8 strips chicken breast, but into bite-sized pieces
-1-2 T. garam masala
-1 T. ground cumin
-1-2 T. hoisin sauce
-1-2 T. light soy sauce
-1 T. sweet chili sauce
-1 t. chili oil
-1-2 t. salt
-1 t. freshly-ground black pepper
-1 t. red pepper flakes
-2-3 cups cooked buckwheat pad-Thai style noodles

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One Response to “Spicy Chinese Indian pad thai”

  1. berriness July 7, 2011 at 18:16 #

    sounds yummy. there are no incomplete stories… just to be finished

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