Today started off horrid and rainy, as usual. Bummer.
But it ended up being a great day! I treated probably the most adorable child you have ever seen (he had cerebral palsy) with a few of my friends for my case studies week, and it was such a great experience. He was so motivated, and we got to watch him feed himself yogurt at home for the first time (and show his mom!). Even though it would have been incredibly frustrating to probably any other seven-year-old (he only managed to eat about a tablespoon of it, with the rest all over his face, arms, leg, chair, floor…etc), he was able to push through his physical limitations and be super excited anytime a drop of it actually made it inside his mouth.
It was very inspiring, to say the least. A nice reminder that I probably should not get so annoyed just because it’s been raining nonstop for the past few weeks. At least I can not only feed myself dinner, but plan it, go shopping for it, and make it all by myself.
So here’s a lovely dinner for all of you people to make. Just remember to be grateful for every bite you take on your own, okay?
It’s a deal.
Thai Noodles with Bok Choy (adapted from Hot Sour Salty Sweet: A Culinary Journey Through Southeast
- 1 lb wide dried rice noodles
- 3 T vegetable oil
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1/2 lb chicken breast, thinly sliced
- 1 t sugar
- 1 lb bok choy, rinsed and sliced lengthwise into thin spears
- 1 T miso paste
- 1 1/2 T soy sauce
- 1 T Thai fish sauce
- 2 T cider or rice vinegar
- 1 1/2 C mild broth (I used 1/2 C chicken broth with 1 C added water)
- 1 T cornstarch, dissolved in 3 T water
- Salt and pepper to taste
This is a great dish, and despite the rather long ingredient list, it’s very quick and easy to make. Because the cooking moves fast, have the ingredients all prepared and ready to be tossed into the pot at a moment’s notice. Start by soaking the dried noodles in warm water for 15 minutes, then drain them.
Heat a wok (I use a flat-bottomed GreenPan wok, which I love) and add 1 T of the vegetable oil. When it is hot, add half the rice noodles and fry for 2 minutes, pressing them against the hot sides of the wok. Once finished, divide them among the plates (this recipe serves four). Add a second T of olive oil, and fry the second batch of noodles, dividing them on to the plates when finished.
Toss in the last T of vegetable oil, and when hot, add the minced garlic and saute for a few seconds, then add the chicken. Cook until the meat has all changed color.
Add the bok choy, pressing the leaves against the sides of the hot pan until they turn bright green and wilt. Admire.
Lastly, add the miso, vinegar, soy sauce, fish sauce, and broth. Stir it around until the sauce begins to combine, then add the cornstarch and water mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for a few minutes until the sauce is thickened and the bok choy is tender–it should only take about five minutes.
Divide the bok choy and chicken among the plates, and ladle extra gravy over the top.
Serious yum. This can be served with a hot chile-vinegar on the side to heat things up a bit, if you like (which I obviously do).
This dinner is really satisfying, and for once, not too fishy. Actually, not fishy at all–just “deliciously Asian”, as Fritz says. Definitely an Southeast Asian comfort food that I am certain we will be making again.
And for those of you scared of Thai food, Fritz isn’t a huge fan of strong Thai flavors, but he really loved this dinner. He ate a giant bowl of leftovers in the car while driving on the way to see Thor the day after. Which is kind of scary, if you think about it. Noodles aren’t really the most portable of foods for those of us planning on eating while driving (which you should never do, of course).
I don’t have class until eleven tomorrow! Is that something to be grateful for, or what?