This started its life as a recipe for a beef and noodle salad—served cold, but because of missing ingredients and my general forgetfulness, I arrived at this dish. It was gobbled up by all present—even the very fussy 96-year-old. I've posted the recipe here because the guests who ate it want to recreate it. It's tasty and fast to make—and not too spicy. It's also versatile. You can double or triple it, and you can leave out ingredients, add extra ones and even switch from beef to chicken. Oyster sauce is sweet, so be careful about adding the brown sugar, too.
- 1 1⁄4-1 1⁄2 lbs chicken breasts, cut into postage stamp-size squares and sliced 1/8 of an inch thick (chicken thigh meat is okay if you prefer dark meat)
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 2 teaspoons mild curry powder
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar (optional, use if you like sweet because the oyster sauce is already sweet)
- 1 lebanese cucumber, sliced thinly
- 1 red onion, sliced thinly
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced thinly (capsicum)
- 1 long red chile, seeded and chopped finely
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh mint (or more)
- 1⁄3 cup chopped unsalted peanuts or 1⁄3 cup unsalted cashews
- 1 lb hokkien noodles
- 1⁄2 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar (finely ground sugar)
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely chopped (optional)
- 1 additional long red chile, seeded and chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves (or more)
- Combine the sliced chicken, peanut oil, oyster sauce and curry powder and brown sugar (if used) in a bowl. If possible, leave this mixture (covered and in the fridge) to marinate for a few hours or overnight. But if time is short, just keep going.
- Make the cooking sauce -- made up of the last six ingredients listed. If you keep the meat overnight, make and keep the sauce (separate and refrigerated) overnight, too.
- Stir fry the chicken, in batches. Set aside.
- Stir fry the vegetables—cucumber, onion, bell pepper and chili—until just tender.
- Add the mint, nuts and cooking sauce, and cook for one minute.
- Add the chicken and heat until warm again.
- In a separate pan, cover the noodles with boiling water for a few minutes—until they are hot.
- Drain the noodles and combine with chicken and cooking sauce mixture.