Chinese Wheat Noodles with Spicy Cilantro Pesto
- Prep Time 0:20
- Cook Time 0:15
- Estimated Cost $7.25
- 5 Comments
Fresh Chinese wheat noodles (gan mein) are a BrokeAss’s best friend in the kitchen. Found in Asian markets, health food stores, and well-stocked supermarkets, they are essentially fresh pasta—but for about 1/3 of the price. They are the perfect base for this spicy pesto because they are chewy and sturdy but also light in flavor and so nicely absorb the flavorful sauce. This recipe is also a great time to use all of the cilantro herb—leaves and stems—just make sure you wash them very well to be sure to remove the dirt and sand. If you’re not a cilantro fan, try this dish using mint or Thai basil.
1/2 lb fresh Chinese wheat noodles $1.25
1 4-oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2" pieces (substitute tofu for a veggie version) $2.00
1 medium-sized bunch cilantro, rinsed well and dried $0.50
1 tsp Sriracha or other Asian chili sauce $2.50 for an 8 oz jar
2 cloves garlic Pantry
1 carrot, grated $0.50
4 green onions, sliced $0.50
vegetable oil Pantry
- Fill a large pot with salted water and bring to a rapid boil. Add noodles, taking care to separate them. Cook for 5-6 minutes, until al dente, and drain, and return to the pot.
- Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a small saute pan over high heat. Add the chicken or tofu and cook 2-3 minutes on each side, making sure to check that the chicken is fully-cooked. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a food processor or using a mortar and pestle set, combine chili paste, cilantro, garlic, 2 tsp vegetable oil and salt to taste until it forms a smooth, wet paste.
- Toss the noodles with the pesto in the pot over medium heat (this is to mellow the garlic's sharp flavor), for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat. Toss in carrot, green onions, and chicken/tofu. Serve with more chili sauce if desired.