When I want to whip up a quick meal, I first set the stage by assembling my ingredients, and I get the measuring and cutting/chopping out of the way. Sometimes I do this prep-work an hour (or half-a-day) ahead of cooking time. Then, when I go back into the kitchen, I can cook a tasty meal in 20 minutes.
Here are the recipes for my Asian lunch inspired by the good cooks at Lotus Pepper Food Truck.
To whip this up in a flash, first gather all your ingredients…
- 6-8 ounces Vermicelli rice noodles (available at Asian markets)
- 1/4 cup rice wine
- 2 cups chopped/julienned veggies for the slaw (choose from carrots, cabbage, lettuce, bell peppers, cucumber, summer squash, radish, onion…)
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (for slaw dressing) + 1 tablespoon (for peanut dipping sauce)
- 2 tablespoons super fine sugar (for slaw dressing) + 1 teaspoon (for peanut dipping sauce)
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil (for slaw dressing) + 2 tablespoons (to sauté the chicken)
- a couple dashes hot pepper flakes
- one pound boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into strips or tenders (approximately 1-1/2 x 4 inches)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour blended together with 2 tablespoons Penzey’s Saté seasoning
- 1/4 cup natural peanut butter (without added sugar)
Now bring the meal together in 9 quick steps:
- Put a large pot of water to boil on the stove, on high heat.
- While the water is coming to a boil, mix the sweet-hot-salty-sour slaw (for that recipe, click here).
- Add 1/4 cup of rice wine and 6-8 ounces of rice-vermicelli to the boiling water. Cook approximately 3 minutes (or until noodles are soft but not mushy) stirring frequently.
- Dip into the pot with a ladle or long-handled heat-proof cup and reserve some of the cooking liquid (you’ll need between 1/4 and 1/3 cup).
- Drain and rinse the vermicelli under very cold water and set aside.
- Quickly make a dipping sauce by mixing together 1/4 cup of all-natural peanut butter, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes and enough of the reserved water to make a smooth, dippable consistency. Whip it with a fork (the way you’d scramble an egg) to bring it all together; set aside.
- Dredge the chicken in the seasoned flour mixture (shake it all up together in a sealable plastic bag),
- and heat 2 tablespoons of peanut oil in a large skillet over medium high heat for 1-2 minutes until it shimmers (stay close and be attentive–don’t let it start smoking!)
- Arrange the chicken pieces in a single layer, cover and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then turn the chicken every 1-2 minutes. Repeat turning and covered-cooking until all sides are nicely browned and the chicken is no longer pink in the middle. This will probably take 6 minutes total (more or less depending on the size and thickness of your chicken pieces, the temperature of your heat and the conductivity of your pan). Test a piece by cutting into it.
Plate and serve your yummy light meal for 4 good people.
When you want to whip up something tasty in a flash, what do you make? (please post a link to your recipe, if it’s online….)