Salut A Touts!
Before I go on, I beg to ask if all of you who read this try at all?! Nobody wants to win something or have their recipes up here abi? I’m always asking for your pictures and ideas but as much as I appreciate the marriage proposals and what not but it’s better if BN Cuisine had some pictorial feedback and recipes or basically whats happening in your kitchen.
Anyway, bants aside, this week I am in the mood for Asian! Being Nigerian, one of our favourite things to eat is Chinese food. These days we are even embracing Thai and Indonesian food these days. Basically as far as it’s spicy and “sweet” we gat time for that!
But many of us shy away from cooking this at home because we feel we can never get it right like the real McCoy Mr Chang or Chinatown. Truth is it doesn’t have to. Experimenting with ingredients in your kitchen would give you flavour regardless. You can still create a memorable meal as long as you’re using great ingredients you would be more than okay.
My thought process for today’s recipe was inspired by something I read in a cookbook. Then chicken is easy and fast to cook, basil is my new obsession, chilli for heat and the bean sprouts for crunch! So voila! Basil Chilli Chicken Stir Fry with Noodles.
This is something you can whip pretty quickly and I’ll give some tips on how it be even quicker. I would also let you know where I got some key ingredients and what you can substitute in case you don’t find what’s mentioned in the recipe.
What You Need
2 large Chicken Breasts
8 tablespoons light soy sauce or 4 tablespoons dark soy sauce
4 tablespoons crushed garlic (1 1/2 tablespoon for the chicken)
3 tablespoons grated ginger (one tablespoon for the chicken)
2 tablespoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons chilli sauce (if you like it sweet go for the sweet chilli sauce)
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
Seasoning powder or cube to taste
1 small onion finely chopped
2-3 tablespoons freshly chopped chillies
Salt to taste
A handful of fresh basil leaves
fresh chopped chillies for garnish
200g bean sprouts fresh or from a can
300g cleaned shrimps
4-5 tablespoons of peanut or vegetable oil for stir frying
A pack of dried egg noodles or rice stick (I prefer the egg noodles though do not use vermicelli noodles its too difficult if you’re not that experienced in the kitchen and i personally just hate it.)
First, I must say you kind of need a WOK to feel like you’re some legit asian person but more importantly it gives the best stir fry effect. This is because you’re using all sides of the pan to cook and not just the base. However, if you don’t have a wok do not fret. Just get a wide enough pan and ensure the oil is smoky hot before you add the ingredients and maintain the hight heat and keep it moving.
The trick to stir-fries is doing all your prep and laying it all by your side and move like the wind over the high heat. You keeping it moving round the Wok would cook it without burning.
Get your board out and cut your chicken into one inch diagonal strips or cubes if your prefer I think I even did a mixture of both. Place it in a bowl and add the ginger, garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce and chilli sauce (at this point if you like it slightly sweet you could ass sweet chilli sauce instead.) Leave to marinade for 30 minutes minimum.
While that is marinating, do the rest of your prep. Chop the onions, lay out the bean sprouts, wash the basil and chop the chillies that you’re using. Arrange the soy sauce and other condiments. Bean sprouts can be found in most supermarkets in cans. L’epicerie brings it in fresh every Thursday. It’s slightly more expensive but the advantage is when it’s cooked it is more crunchy. The ones from the can you can’t cook it too much.
Cook our noodles according to packet instructions. Usually soaking them in boiling hot water for 1 min to soften then draining and rinsing under cold water. You may add a drop of oil to the water to further ensure it stays separate.
Place your wok on the highest flame, let the oil get smoky. Add the onions, garlic and ginger then add the chicken with all the marinade juices. Stir fry for 2mins. Add the Chillies and shrimp, cook for 40 seconds then add the noodles and half the basil. Add the whole leaves like that. Don’t fret its whole because it wilts down pretty quickly. Keep it moving and add the bean sprouts if using canned stuff then rice vinegar and hoisin sauce at this point add the seasoning and check for salt. If you are using fresh bean sprouts add them with the shrimp.
Place in a bowl and garnish with the rest of the chilles and basil and serve.
A glass of your favourite drink should be there to comfort the tingling of the chilli son your palette. I recommend freshly squeezed apple and beetroot juice on the rocks. Sounds weird but amazing I tell ya!
A wok doesn’t cost so much. I got one for as low as 3600 Naira! Look on Jumia.com or any of these online shopping sites if you’re too lazy to look. However, in your causal stroll to the big malls check out what they have. They are usually doing some promo most times.
I recommend you buy a whole bag of garlic, have a friend over and y’all discuss wants important to y’all, peel and puree it in your blender with some water and place in small containers and freeze. That way you have garlic quick and easy when you need it. It’s a suffer now enjoy later idea! Ensure the shrimps have been cleaned and deveined.
If you eat pork, pork tenderloin is effect here as well.
Fresh basil you can get from Spar (Park n Shop), Shoprite, Jakande Market, Ilupeju Indian Vegetable stands (Olutunda street, Bazaar, Shop Perfect) La Pointe and L’epicerie supermarkets as well. Use 2 different types of chillies for a unique heat sensation
Alright…I think that would be all!
Have a flavour – filled weekend!
Chef Fregz loves to cook! He is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Paris Culinary Arts School in France and hosts monthly “Chef Fregz Specials” where he whips up a yummy menu with a different theme each time then everyone enjoys a taste.He also caters special events and private dinners. To find out more visit www.cheffregz.com