One Recipe, Two Meals: Chicken Lo Mein
Good news: I’ve got the solution for life.
OK, let me start over. It's the solution for dinner — for your dinner’s life. And it involves lo mein noodles and chicken and a crazy-gorgeous sauce! But don’t freak out; we’re keeping your kids’ version way simple. Their dish involves orange slices, so I’m pretty sure we’ll be high-fivin’ after that.
The thing about this recipe is that I steered clear of the goo. You know how some traditional lo mein-style dishes are super shiny and almost gooey? I didn’t really want that with this. I wanted fresh. Simple. Bright. Healthy.
For the kiddies, just brown some ground chicken. It gets seasoning with a smooch of Chinese five-spice powder, only because I dig that depth of flavor, and the littles like the cinnamon in it! Their version gets the tiniest splash of orange juice, some cooked lo mein noodles and mandarin orange wedges. Boom.
For your blissful adult version, we start with the same approach but go deeper. I made you a fantastic Asian dressing to swirl into the cooked chicken. You’ll also add diced red bell pepper, some bean sprouts and a truckload of scallions. And you’ll mix the noodles in with the chicken mixture. It’s terrific. You’ll sob — but don’t blame me if you ruin your mascara.
OK, let’s high-five.
Two 3-ounce bundles lo mein noodles (spaghetti noodles can easily be used instead!)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the lo mein noodles until al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain, and drizzle with a little bit (about a tablespoon) of sesame or olive oil, to keep the noodles from sticking.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground chicken and brown, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Add the Chinese five-spice powder and a small pinch of salt. Continue to cook until the seasoning coats the chicken, about 30 seconds.
At this point you can set aside about 3/4 cup of the lo mein noodles with 1/2 cup of the ground chicken. Divide that among two small plates, and drizzle a tablespoon of orange juice (total) over both plates. Garnish with a few mandarin orange wedges and a tiny bit of scallions, if your kids dig them! Serve it to your littles.
Now, for you. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, extra virgin olive oil, lime juice, brown sugar, fish sauce and the remaining 2 tablespoons of orange juice. Pour the mixture over the remaining ground chicken in your skillet, and bring the heat back up (if you’ve turned it down, to tend to the kids). Add the bell pepper and the bean sprouts; saute for 3 more minutes, so the flavors have time to marry. Now add the remaining noodles to the pan and toss to combine.
Serve with fresh lime wedges and the remaining scallions! Good grief, almighty.
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