Thai Basil Noodles

This is one of those crisper-clean-out dishes that is infinitely adaptable, and very tasty. I love rice noodles, and when I was on my kumquat binge a couple weeks ago, I stocked up on fresh rice noodles at the Vietnamese market. The noodles need only 5-10 seconds submerged in boiling water to be ready for use, so you can pull dinner off in no-time with these, and they’re tastier than dried noodles.

I used thai basil in this, which has a bit more heat and intensity than italian basil, but it could easily be omitted, or substitute cilantro, which would be just as tasty. I added some heat to the noodles with my favorite Sambal Oelek chili sauce – it’s not too hot, and the chilies have heat with a little sweetness. If you don’t have Sambal, add some cayenne to add some heat, or any dried chile you’ve got on hand.

The only real trick of this dish is dealing with the rice noodles. Once you plunge them in the boiling water, you’ve got to get them out of the water, drained, and into the stir-fry, pronto. So remember to take care of the noodles when everything else in the stir fry is done to your liking – that way you drain the noodles, toss them with the sauce, and you’re done. Dinner’s on!

Thai Basil Noodles
Serves 4
8 Weight Watchers Points per serving

Chicken marinade
6 oz chicken breast, sliced into bite-sized pieces
1 T soy sauce
1/4 cup sherry
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp Sambal Oelek

Combine soy, sherry, ginger, garlic and sambal in a bowl and stir. Add sliced chicken and stir to coat with marinade. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 8 hours. (I do this before I go to work)

1 12oz package of fresh rice noodles
1 T oil
1 cup chicken stock
1 T soy sauce
1 T fish sauce
1 tsp Sambal Oelek
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 red bell pepper, sliced
2 cups raw broccoli florets
1/2 onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
handful of thai basil, roughly chopped
3 scallions, sliced
lime wedges

  1. Combine stock, soy, fish sauce, sambal and ginger in a bowl, and set aside. Heat a large pot of water and bring to a boil.
  2. Heat a large skillet over med-high heat. Drain off the liquid from the chicken and marinade. Add oil to the pan and gently add chicken to hot skillet, in one layer (you may have to cook chicken in batches, to avoid crowding the skillet). Sear for 2 minutes, then turn chicken over, cook one more minute, then remove chicken from pan and set aside.
  3. Add a touch more oil to the pan. Add onion and broccoli, and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add red pepper and garlic, cook 2 more minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add the sauce mixture and stir.
  4. Plunge rice noodles in boiling water for 5-10 seconds. Drain quickly in a colander, then add the noodles to the stir fry, and toss to coat. Add chopped basil and scallions, and serve with wedges of lime.

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