Appetising Asian

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By Jan Bilton

Asian cooking techniques and condiments are now so widely used in Kiwi kitchens that they have become the norm.

Stir-frying has been around since New Zealand’s gold rush days and the popularity of Chinese restaurants in the 1950s had a big influence on home cooking. The change from English-based meals of meat and three veg has been evolving over many years. Today, combining Chinese sauces and spices with a lamburger is no longer thought of as fusion food — it’s Kiwi cuisine.

Chicken Noodle Nanjing

CHICKEN NOODLE NANJING

Makes a scrummy lunch or light meal.

Sauce: 2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons sugar

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder

3 tablespoons olive or peanut oil

1 teaspoon diced chilli

Garnishes: 1/2 cup diced cucumber

1/4 cup each: chopped roasted peanuts, spring onion

Chicken: 2 teaspoons canola oil

200g minced chicken

1 tablespoon Hoisin sauce

2 teaspoons each: soy sauce, Shao Xing (cooking wine)

1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder

200g Udon noodles or similar

Combine the sauce ingredients and place aside.

Place the garnishes in small bowls.

Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan on medium. Add the chicken and stir-fry until coloured. Press any lumps out with a fork. Add the Hoisin sauce, soy sauce, cooking wine and five-spice. Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the packet instructions. Drain, reserving a half cup of the cooking water. Combine the water with the sauce ingredients. Place in 2 serving bowls.

Top with the noodles, chicken and garnishes. Serves 2.

  • Jan Bilton is a Cambridge-based, professional food writer. For more of her appetising Asian meal ideas see her website.

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