This Chicken Stir Fry with Rice Noodles is a terrific fridge and pantry forage meal, made with your choice of dried noodles, a simple tasty stir fry sauce and whatever veggies you can scrape together. This is loaded with veggies and light on the noodles, and if you cook it for more than 5 minutes, it’s overcooked!!
I literally rummaged through my fridge to make this Chicken Stir Fry with Rice Noodles. Photographed it, ate half, gave the other half to the homeless guy at the dog park. Smugly patted myself on the back for making a recipe I wanted to post on my site using things I already had – no special run to the grocery store to get specific ingredients.
Then I realised I needed to make it again for the recipe video. And so off I went to the grocery store. 🙄
I wanted to share this recipe because I have a theory that almost everyone has some sort of dried noodles in the pantry. I made this with thinnish rice sticks which I’m fond of because they just need soaking in boiled water. But you can use any dried noodles you want – dried or fresh.
Many noodle stir fries tend to be heavy on the noodles and light on the veggies. This one is the other way round. It only uses 100g/3.5 oz of dried noodles for 2 servings. When you pull out the dried noodles, you’ll be doubtful that it’s enough. But it will be! Once the noodles are soaked, they expand, then when tossed in the sauce and loosened up, they increase in volume again. And also, there is stacks of veggies in this recipe. By volume, there is more veggies than noodles, but they shrink a lot during cooking.
Speaking of cooking – as with all stir fries, this Chicken Stir Fry with Rice Noodles cooks super fast. Actually, it cooks even faster than most because it’s made with dried rice noodles and if you toss rice noodles in the wok for more than a couple of minutes, they will start to break apart. It’s so disappointing when you dig into a big bowl of noodles only to find it’s just a pile of short broken strands!
That is pretty much the only rule with this recipe – it must be cooked super quickly! Any longer than 5 minutes and it’s been on for too long.
So next time you’re wondering what to make for dinner – if you can find some dried noodles and bits and bobs in your fridge, make this! – Nagi x
- 150 - 180 g/ 5 - 6 oz chicken breast , cut into thin strips
- 1 tsp cornflour / cornstarch (optional)
- 1 tsp oil (peanut, vegetable, canola) (optional)
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce (or sub with Hoisin)
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce (Note 2)
- 1/2 tsp each sesame oil, sugar (optional)
- 1 1/2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine (Shoaxing wine) (Note 3)
- 1/4 tsp white pepper (or black pepper)
- 3 tbsp water
- 100 g / 3.5 oz dried rice noodles (Note 4)
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 garlic clove , finely chopped (Note 5)
- 1 small onion , sliced (white, brown, yellow)
- 1/2 bunch choy sum or other Asian greens , stems separated from leaves (Note 6)
- 1/2 red capsicum / bell pepper , sliced
- 1 carrot , peeled, cut in half lengthwise and sliced on the diagonal
- 5 - 7 mushrooms , sliced
- Sesame seeds and finely sliced green onions/scallions , optional
Mix chicken, cornstarch and oil in a bowl.
Mix Sauce ingredients in a bowl. OR use 3 tbsp Homemade Stir Fry Sauce + 6 tbsp water.
Just before cooking, soak noodles in hot water per packet directions, then drain. (Note 7)
Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat.
Add garlic and onion, cook for 30 seconds.
Add chicken, cook for 1 minute until it changes colour from pink to white.
Add carrot, Choy Sum stems and capsicum. Cook for 1 minute.
Add mushrooms, cook for 30 seconds.
Add noodles, Choy Sum leaves and Sauce. Toss for 1 minute until leaves have wilted and Sauce has evaporated. Don't toss for more then 1 1/2 minutes - noodles may break.
Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions then serve immediately.
1. I usually tenderise chicken for stir fries using baking soda / bi carb which is one of the methods used by Chinese restaurants (for example, in this Cashew Chicken). For this recipe, I'm using a faster method which does not tenderise the chicken but does keep it juicy because the cornflour oil mixture coats the chicken and seals in the moisture.
This step is optional because this is such a quick stir fry, the breast should be juicy. Also, thigh could be used instead which is juicier.
2. Dark Soy Sauce has more flavour than light or all purpose soy sauce and also stains the noodles a darker colour. If you don't have Dark Soy Sauce, I would use 3 tbsp of Oyster Sauce and only 2 tsp of all purpose or light soy sauce.
3. This can be substituted with Mirin (skip sugar if you do) or Dry Sherry. If you can't consume alcohol, use 1/4 cup chicken broth/stock instead (or 1 crumbled stock cube + 2 tbsp water)
4. This recipe works great with any noodles. Use 100g/3.5oz of dried rice noodles (rice sticks, pad thai, vermicelli), or about 120g/4 oz of dried noodles (like egg noodles, ramen, Maggi, Fantastic noodles), or 180g / 6 oz fresh noodles (which usually just need to be soaked in hot water).
I used Changs Rice Stick Noodles in the video and photos. I like noodles that can just be soaked in hot water rather than having to boil (the thicker ones need to be boiled).
5. Finely chopping garlic rather than using garlic from a jar or mincing it using a crusher stops it from burning and spitting.
6. Use about 2 handfuls once chopped, this wilts a lot once cooked, so don't be afraid to bulk up! Cut stems into 5 cm / 2" lengths, and split thicker stems in half lengthwise so they are all roughly the same size. Any Asian greens works great in this, or sub with 2 1/2 cups shredded or chopped cabbage, spinach or other leafy greens.
7. Don't rehydrate the rice noodles until just before cooking. If you leave them sitting around for a while, they have a tendency to break when cooked.
8. VEGGIE SUBS: I recommend using onion but other than that, feel free to swap out the veggies for whatever you have. Use about 5 cups (packed) of veggies of choice.
9. Nutrition per serving, assuming 150g/5 oz chicken used.
Chicken Stir Fry with Rice Noodles recipe video!
LIFE OF DOZER
Winter? What’s that?? (I took this photo bundled up in a fleece wearing waterproof pants and gum boots!)