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Sesame Noodles with Chicken and Seasonal Greens
Put your wok to work with this simple yet flavourful Thai recipe.
There are so many things to enjoy about this recipe: the deliciously addictive noodles, the fresh crunchy vegetables and the beautiful combination of sweet and sour flavours. But have you ever thought about the cool techniques that are involved in making such a sensational dish?
Watching the Chef passionately cook Sesame Noodles in front of me was a treat, and I couldn’t help but notice the wonderful movements he performed that always seem to go unnoticed. The one thing that caught my attention was the use of mirin. Mirin is a Japanese sweet rice wine that is incorporated into a dish to give a mild acidity flavour. The very first step in the recipe is pouring the mirin into a pot and bringing it to a boil, but this wasn’t the impressive part. It’s what came next.
The Chef proceeded to gently tilt the pot on its side, lifting a match simultaneously, moving it into the pan and lighting the mirin on fire, creating a wonderful and unexpected burst of flames that lit up the whole kitchen. Pretty cool hey? I thought so.
Flambè is the French culinary term used to describe this exact process of igniting ingredients containing alcohol and burning it off, while also putting on an eye-catching display. Now, I’m not going to give you a tutorial on how to perform the perfect flambè simply because it’s not my forte, however take a look at the video above and do some research, as I can guarantee that this special maneuver will come in handy if you ever need to impress a special someone…
320g egg noodles
180g shiitake mushrooms
1 bunch scallions
300g chicken thigh fillets
2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp white pepper
3 ½ tbsp mushroom soy sauce
1 ½ tbsp soy
3 ½ tbsp mirin
2 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp grated ginger
2 tbsp grated garlic
2 tbsp white sugar
2 tbsp sesame paste
3 ½ tbsp dashi (shio miso)
2 tbsp sriracha
2 tbsp water
In a medium-sized pot, pour in the mirin and bring to boil. Carefully tilt the pot and hold a lighter near the mirin to ignite it and burn off the alcohol. This process is known as ‘flambè’ which refers to the culinary act of setting the alcohol in the food on fire. In the meantime, chop the garlic, ginger and vegetables. Once the alcohol has evaporated from the mirin, set it aside to cool down.
To prepare the dressing for the noodles, in a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame paste, dashi, sugar, sriracha, ginger, garlic, rice vinegar and sesame oil and set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the noodles for 2-3 minutes. Stir occasionally to avoid the noodles sticking together. Once cooked, drain the water and set aside. You can also complete this step towards the end of the recipe if you would like your noodles to be hot when served.
Once the mirin has cooled down, add it to the dressing.
Drizzle a fry pan with oil and add the vegetables and season with salt and pepper for flavour. Fry on high heat for a couple of minutes to give them a crunchy texture.
Turn off the heat, add the noodles to the pan and sautè with the vegetables for 2 minutes.
Serve the noodles and vegetables on a plate and pour the sesame dressing over the top. Finally, garnish with black sesame seeds and scallions and serve warm.