Five Spice Chicken & Mushroom Noodle Bowl

One more day.  One more day until this apartment ceases to be my home.  To me, moving is bittersweet.  You say goodbye to the old place you’ve grown accustomed to and felt comfortable in, and go onward to the new strange place that is home, but doesn’t feel like it yet.

When I went off to college, my mom sold the house I had grown up in and moved as well.  I was sad to leave that house, filled with countless memories, because it was the only home I had ever really known.

This will be the first house I can call my home since then.  Right now, it doesn’t feel much like home, littered with half-unpacked boxes and kitchen supplies stacked in various corners.  Maybe it’s because none of our furniture is there yet.  I mean, how can you have a home without a bed or sofa, or any chairs?  Or a cute little bunny to greet you when you get home?

So I suppose time is needed.  Time to acclimate to my new surroundings.  I’m excited.  I’m nervous.  I want noodles.  Noodles are my all-time comfort food.  I ate them practically non-stop in Taiwan (in between sips of bubble tea) and I pretty much eat them whenever possible.

This recipe is kind of an Asian mash-up, featuring Chinese five-spice powder aka my own personal MSG and udon noodles, which are Japanese.  I suppose I could have used lo-mein noodles.  Oh well.  This noodle bowl contains sautéed mushrooms and chicken rubbed thoroughly with five-spice powder.  Plus a classic sauce and of course, scallions.  Ah yes, comfort food at its finest.  Now back to packing.

Five Spice Chicken & Mushroom Noodle Bowl

Adapted from Better Recipes

Makes about 3-4 servings

8oz udon, lo-mein or other medium sized noodle

1 lb thinly sliced chicken breasts or boneless thighs

2 Tbsp Chinese five-spice powder

8oz button or baby bella mushrooms, sliced

¼ cup veggie or peanut oil

4 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp sesame oil

1 Tbsp rice vinegar

1 Tbsp sesame seeds

¼ cup chopped scallions for garnish

Prepare your noodles according to the instructions on their packaging.  While the noodles are cooking, make the sauce and prep the chicken.

Whisk the soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar together in a small bowl; set aside.

Sprinkle both sides of the chicken pieces with the five-spice powder, and rub it in well.  Heat half the oil in a large skillet or wok. Add the chicken and cook over medium-high heat until browned and cooked through, about 3-5 minutes.  Remove to a plate and set aside, leaving the drippings in the pan.

Heat the remaining half of the oil and add in the mushrooms.  Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until lightly browned and tender, about 5-8 minutes.

Add the noodles into the pan, then pour the sauce over the noodles, stirring to coat.  Add the chicken back in and toss the mixture until the sauce thickens a bit, about 3-5 minutes.

Transfer the noodles to bowls and garnish with chopped scallions and sesame seeds.  Enjoy your comfort noodles!

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