Kung Pao Noodles

Who would have thought peanuts and chicken would become one of the most famous take-out stars of Chinese-American culinary fusions and Kung Pao rules for that matter. The authentic Sichuan Kung Pao Chicken (宫保鸡丁) or Gong Bao Ji Ding made with mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorns has been heavily improvised (modernized would be the correct term here) by adding vegetables,sweet sauces,other condiments,nuts etc. catering to tastes of different people from different countries.

I made my own version of Kung Pao noodles sans chicken.The power of peanuts and Sichuan peppercorns.

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Kung Pao Noodles

Ingredients:

Hokkien noodles: 1 cup,uncooked

Canola oil: 2 tbsp

Dark soy sauce: 1 tsp

Light soy sauce: 1/2 tbsp

Green onion: 1 medium,sliced

Green bell pepper: 1 medium, julienned

Dried red chillis: 2,halved

Fresh ginger: 1/2 inch, julienned

Garlic : 2 cloves,chopped finely

Scallion: 1 stalk,chopped

Sugar: 1/2 tsp

Black vinegar: 1 tsp

Peanuts: 2 tbsp(I used plain peanuts,but you can always used roasted)

Salt (adjust the salt keeping in mind the soy sauces you are adding)

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Method:

Boil the noodles in a pot of water as per packet instructions,drain and keep them aside .For the sauce mix both the soy sauces,sugar,salt and vinegar and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. In a wok put one tablespoon of oil and add the red chillies to it.When they start to give away the aroma take out the chillies and put it on a kitchen tissue to soak the excess oil.To the hot wok add the rest of the oil and to it add the ginger,garlic,onion and bell pepper.Stir fry until they are tender yet crunchy.To this add the boiled noodles and mix well.Add the sauce and fried red chillies to it and stir well.When the sauce coats the noodles add the peanuts and mix.The sauce should coat the peanuts and noodles evenly. Take out the noodles from the wok and divide in serving bowls.Sprinkle scallions and peanuts on top and serve hot.

I like eggs with almost everything.So I had a crisp fried egg as a side with the fiery noodles.

CHILLI ALERT: Try not to crush the red chillies while cooking.

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Himalayan Noodle Soup

Soups are cleansers.They are really the detoxifiers for any season.Whether hot or cold,soups are delightful bowls of goodness and freshness.The key is fresh ingredients and clear broth.Tibetan and Bhutanese cuisines are rich in hearty soups like the Thukpa.So I made a vegetarian version of thukpa for today’s breakfast.

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Himalayan Noodle Soup

Ingredients:

Vegetable broth:2 cups,strained through a muslin cloth

Flat rice noddles:150 grams

Onion:1 medium,chopped

Green bell pepper:1,julienned

Carrot:1/2,julienned

Ginger:1 1/2 inch,julienned

Garlic:2 cloves,chopped

Green chillis:1/4 inch ,chopped finely

Tomato:1/2 sliced

Black pepper:1/2 tsp

Red chilli pepper flakes:1/2 tsp

Salt

Olive oil:1/2 tbsp

Coriander leaves:For garnish

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Method:

In a pot heat the oil and add the onion,carrots,ginger,garlic,bell pepper and saute it until tender.Add salt and red chilli flakes to it.Now add the warm broth to the pot and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes.Meanwhile in a large pot of boiling water add the rice noodles and let it cook al dente. With a wooden ladle pour out the soup into deep bowls.Now add handful of the noodles to it.Sprinkle with ground black pepper and add fresh sliced tomato to it.Serve it immediately.In the hot broth the tomatoes become pliable and wonderful to eat.That is the beauty of soups.

I enjoyed the soup with the Lord of The Rings movie marathon today.Happy Weekend everybody!

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