Spicy Sesame Noodles With Chicken and Peanuts
In this quick and spicy weeknight noodle dish, sizzling hot oil is poured over red-pepper flakes, orange peel, crunchy peanuts, soy sauce and sesame oil. While you brown the ground chicken, the mixture sits, and the flavors become more pronounced and fiery. Tossed with soft noodles and browned chicken, the bright chile-peanut oil shines. If you crave something green, throw in a quick-cooking green vegetable when you break up the chicken in Step 3. You can also swap the chicken with ground pork or beef, or crumbled tofu.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1 ½tablespoons red-pepper flakes
- 1 ½tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 ½teaspoons toasted sesame oil, plus more as needed
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- ½cup plus 1 tablespoon neutral oil, like grapeseed or vegetable
- 6tablespoons roasted, salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
- Rind of 1/2 orange, peeled into 2- to 3-inch strips
- 1pound ground chicken
- 10to 12 ounces ramen or udon noodles, preferably fresh
- 3tablespoons finely chopped chives
Step 1In a medium heatproof bowl, stir together the red-pepper flakes, soy sauce and sesame oil. Set next to the stovetop.
Step 2Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Meanwhile, in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium heat, cook the 1/2 cup oil, peanuts and orange rind, shaking the pan occasionally, until the peanuts are golden and bubbling, 3 to 5 minutes. Immediately pour the contents of the skillet over the red-pepper mixture (be careful of splattering!) and set aside.
Step 3Meanwhile, in the same skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add the chicken and press it down with a wooden spoon into a thin layer. Season with salt and a generous amount of black pepper and cook, without stirring, occasionally pressing the layer of chicken down, until the bottom is browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Break the chicken up into small pieces and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes more.
Step 4While the chicken cooks, cook the noodles according to package directions, until chewy but not soft. Drain and toss with a bit of sesame oil.
Step 5Remove and discard the orange rind from the chile oil. Off the heat, add enough chile oil to coat the chicken and stir, scraping up any browned bits from the pan. Add the noodles and toss, adding more chile oil to fully coat the noodles and chicken. (If you don't use all of the chile oil, you can store it in the refrigerator for 2 weeks in an airtight container.) Top with chives and serve at once.