Annual Autumnal Headcold Report:  It’s day three of the headcold I always get this time of year.  Not feeling bad enough to stay home from work, but feeling like putting my head down on my desk and crashing out.  Of course, the downside would be the snoring, snorting and snuffling noises I would make were I to do that would TOTALLY blow any shred of sophistication I may have.  

The downside of any headcold is that taste is the first thing to go, turning everything into variations of mashed potatoes or oatmeal.  Now, while I actually like mashed potatoes and oatmeal, I need flavor in my food!  I need savoriness or heat or sharpness – anything but the blandness I’m currently stuck in.  Which is why I really like this dish – it seems to be the one thing that can cut through the bland – but, maybe that’s because of the number of peppers I added to it and the last squeeze of lime when I served.  Either way, it’s a really easy dish that reminds me a little of Pad Thai.  I made it with egg noodles, but am planning on doing it with soba noodles next time .  I also think this would be a great way to use up leftover shredded chicken or TURKEY – for all you folks dreading Thanksgiving leftovers, making it an even quicker dinner!

Bang-Bang Chicken Noodles

  • 2 cups frozen soy beans
  • 4 Tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • Juice of 2 limes (or 1 really juicy one)
  • 1/2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp chili oil
  • 4 chicken breasts, cut into strips about pinkie-width
  • 2 red chillies, trimed seeded and cut into thin strips
  • 1 red and 1 yellow pepper, seeded and cut into strips
  • 4 green onions, cut on the diagonal into 1/2″ strips
  • 1 package cooked egg noodles (soba noodles would be good, too)
  • 1 large handful cilantro and a couple of wedges of lime to serve

Cook the soy beans in the microwave, drain and set aside.  In a small bowl, thin the peanut butter with a tablespoon of water then add the lime juice, soy and sesame oil, and set aside.  In a nice hot wok, drizzle the chili oil, then quickly brown the chicken in batches and set aside.  Add the peppers and chillies, cooking a minute to soften, then add the green onions for a minute before adding the cooked chicken, soy beans and noodles.  Add the sauce a little at a time, mixing thoroughly until it reaches a consistency you like.  To serve, toss with the cilantro and top with a squeeze of lime.