Have you ever really wanted to like something, but you just didn’t? Part of dating is finding out what someone’s ‘quirks’ are and deciding if you’re good with that particular kind of crazy. Things like weird fears, how they handle illness, or listening to parade music for fun.
When we were dating, Greg confessed that he hated Chinese food. (Gasp!) What he actually said was “I really want to like it…everyone always looks like they’re having so much fun when they eat it.” When I was pregnant, he was kind and went with me to Chinese restaurants. Being a lover of rice dishes like jambalaya, the fried rice began to grow on him. Then a young man from Cambodia that he worked with brought homemade egg rolls to share and my picky eating husband surprisingly tried them…and loved them.
Since then, he’s found a few dishes that he enjoys (beef and broccoli, for example) at restaurants. But he much prefers when I make Asian-inspired recipes at home, like this chicken teriyaki and sesame noodles.
I make Pioneer Woman’s sesame noodles, and just tweak the recipe a bit to work for us. Here’s what I do:
- My kids didn’t love the addition of the sesame oil, so I leave it out, serving it on the side for those of us who love it!
- I get my sesame oil at Trader Joe’s, and the little bottle lasts forever, since you use just a drizzle.
- We also serve the sliced green onions on the side.
- If you don’t have chili oil, you can substitute a pinch of red pepper flakes.
- If you don’t have rice vinegar, you can substitute white wine vinegar.
- I add a bit of ground ginger, and frequently use garlic powder instead of fresh.
- Brown sugar works nicely, too, instead of white.
- Instead of just using some hot tap water, I reserve some of the pasta cooking water to add back in to get the right consistency.
- I usually double this recipe…leftovers heat up wonderfully, just sprinkle on a bit of water to moisten.
Chicken Teriyaki In a Flash
When I first started making chicken teriyaki at home, it was a crock pot recipe. Over the years, it has morphed into this quick skillet meal that we all prefer. If you want to make it in the crock pot, I would recommend using chicken thighs instead of breasts, whole instead of chunks, and leave out the cornstarch. (You could make a slurry and add it in to make a thicker sauce at the end, I suppose).
I usually mix up my noodle sauce and chicken sauce at the same time, since they use many of the same ingredients. Aside from cutting up the chicken, this is the most labor intensive part of this dish. It’s really easy!!
This starts the same way as my quick chicken fajitas…cooking up the meat in a big skillet, removing liquid that accumulates so you don’t boil the meat.
When the chicken is cooked through, you just dump in your sauce mixture and heat until it thickens a bit. (This happens really quickly, like under 2 minutes!) And Voila!
I serve this with sesame noodles and either broccoli or green beans. But it would be delicious over rice, as well. It is one of our whole family’s favorite meals, and has been a request for ‘birthday dinners’ more than once.
Do you love Chinese food? What’s your favorite recipe?