Asian Noodles with Chicken and Scallions
Take a tip from Asian home cooks and use bottled sauces to your advantage.
1 lb chicken tenders (not coated or cooked)
1 lb fresh or frozen broccoli florets
1 lb dried udon (thick wheat noodles)
1/2 cup premium oyster sauce (preferably Lee Kum Kee)
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce (preferably Lee Kum Kee or Koon Chun)
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
2 teaspoons Chinese chile garlic paste (preferably Lan Chi), or to taste
1/2 cup chopped scallions (from 1 bunch)
2 teaspoons roasted sesame seeds (optional)
Cook chicken in a 6-quart pot of boiling unsalted water, covered, until just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl with a slotted spoon.
Add broccoli to boiling water and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer with slotted spoon to a colander to drain, then transfer to another bowl. Return water to a boil and cook noodles until tender (check often; cooking time on package may not be accurate). Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain noodles in colander and rinse under hot water.
While noodles cook, tear chicken into chunks.
Add oyster and hoisin sauces, sesame oil, chile garlic paste, half of scallions, and 1/3 cup cooking water to chicken and stir to combine.
Divide noodles, broccoli, and chicken mixture among 4 bowls and sprinkle with sesame seeds and remaining scallions. Serve immediately, stirring just before eating. If noodles become dry, moisten with some of cooking water. Makes 4 servings.
Cooks' note: If you have to substitute an Asian chile paste without garlic for the chile garlic paste, start with 1/2 teaspoon and add to taste.
Photo: Photo: Romulo Yanes