Schezuan Chili Noodles

Stuffy head? Allergies starting to act up?  I’ve got the creeping crud, so this szechuan chili noodle recipe immediately caught my attention. It’s a cousin to Dan Dan noodles, but a lot simpler, with ingredients that are easier to find if you live in a western country and far fewer steps. Dan dan noodles require making the chili oil, then the meat mixture, and finally noodles and vegetables.  For this recipe, you only have to make the oil and the noodles. Call it Chinese-inspired.

You can make this with ground chicken or pork, or leave it as is (fewer things to buy and cook) and have it as a vegetarian dish. I didn’t have any ground meat handy (it was all in the freezer) so I went without. If you don’t have baby bok choy, green cabbage will do just as well.

You can get pre-made chili oil, but (at least the brand I got) has an odd metallic taste that I don’t like. It’s easy enough to make yourself, and only requires one extra small bowl (no additional pots!) to hold the mixture while you make the rest of the recipe.

Now about the actual noodles. The recipe I adapted this from used what she called “wide Chinese egg noodles.” I had never seen that.  I looked and couldn’t find anything easily. Then in the comments she said it was really pappardelle. OK! Easier to find (and I love pappardelle). Plus then I get to make White Ragu Pappardelle  with the rest of the pasta. If you want to be more authentic, use real Chinese wheat noodles or rice noodles.

One final recipe note.  The original calls for chili paste (sambal oelek), which is essentially just a jar of spicy, ground chilis.  You can get it online, or check your grocer. If you can’t find it, substitute garlic chili sauce (and possibly remove the garlic clove from the recipe, depending on how spicy you like your food).  If not, then substitute sriracha or even hot sauce instead.

The whole thing comes together in about 30 minutes or so.




Schezuan Chili Noodles

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Cuisine: Chinese

one

Schezuan Chili Noodles

Ingredients

  • 1 T cooking oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • pinch to 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 T plus 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 1/2 tsp water
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp chili paste
  • 1 scallion chopped, plus extra for garnish
  • 1/2 cup baby bok choy, chopped (or use cabbage if you prefer)

Instructions

  1. Fill a 2 quart saucepan (medium size) with water and bring to a boil.
  2. First start by making the chili oil. You’ll need a good sized (large) skillet. Heat that over medium heat. Then add the oil, garlic, ginger, and chili. Cook, or about 5 minutes, until the garlic becomes fragrant. Stir it occasionally and keep an eye on it so the garlic doesn’t burn.
  3. Add the sesame seeds and stir, cooking about another 30 seconds. Then carefully pour the mixture into a bowl.
  4. The water should be boiling by now, so add the noodles and cook according to the package directions. Packaged pappardelle noodles should take about 7-10 minutes to cook. Fresh ones will cook faster, about three or four minutes.
  5. While the noodles are cooking, in a separate, small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, vinegar, chili paste, and water.
  6. Add the scallions to the skillet you used to cook the chili oil and cook for two or three minutes. Pour the soy sauce mixture into the skillet and add the box copy. Simmer for 3-5 minutes until the vegetables are cooked. Stir the mixture occasionally so the box chop gets coated with the sauce.
  7. Drain the noodles and add them to the skillet as well as half of the chili oil mixture. Stir everything to coat. Pour into a bowl and serve with the remaining chili oil and extra scallions.

Szechuan Chili Noodles Tools and Ingredients


Huey Fong Sambal Oelek Chili Paste
Made by the same company that produces the wildly popular sriracha sauce. This is spicier, since it has more chili in it.  Put it on noodles, in omelettes, or in soup.

 

Huy Fong Chili Garlic Sauce

The same great chili paste, plus extra garlic! Use it in Pad Thai, mix into eggs, stir fries, soups, or any food that needs a kick of flavor. I sometimes put it in my caldo verde. Doesn’t have sugar (unlike the sriracha sauce) so it’s more potent (also good if you want to avoid extra sugar).

 

More Asian and Chinese Noodle Recipes

Chinese Chicken Noodle Cabbage Soup for One Person

Spicy Sesame Noodles Recipe

Easy Singapore Noodles with Chicken 

Spicy Beef Noodle Soup for One

 




Sichuan Chinese Chicken and Eggplant with Garlic Sauce

This is all my brother’s fault.  He was raving about the Sichuan Chinese chicken and eggplant with garlic sauce that he had at a local restaurant.  I couldn’t get the idea out of my head, and I already had the eggplant (bought to make eggplant parmesan), so I figured I would give it a try.

This recipe is adapted from The New York Times. It originally called for minced garlic, soybean paste, and hot chili paste.  I had the garlic, but not the other ingredients, so I improvised. I replaced the soybean paste with hoisin sauce, and used chili garlic sauce instead of the garlic and chili paste.  Doing that also saved me an extra step (no garlic to chop). I reduced the water a bit to compensate. That recipe also called for ground pork (which I didn’t have because I’d eaten the last of it with my black beans, so I used chicken instead).

Eggplant is notorious for soaking up oil.  There are several schools of thought about preparing eggplant in order to minimize this.

Some insist you have to salt it and let it sit (to draw out the water) and dry it with a paper towel and let it sit for 45 minutes.  Others say to put it in water, salt the water, cover that with a lid or a heavy weight, and let it sit for 15 minutes, then drain, and dry it off.

A third way (which I just learned, and wouldn’t necessarily do for Chinese food), is to soak the eggplant in milk.




I tend to use the first method, but I confess I usually don’t wait that long.  I’m too impatient (and hungry). I get around it by slicing the eggplant very thin.

If you want your eggplant extra crispy, dredge it in cornstarch before you cook it.

Sichuan Chinese Chicken and Eggplant with Garlic Sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Category: entree

Cuisine: Chinese

one serving

Sichuan Chinese Chicken and Eggplant with Garlic Sauce

Why bother with takeout when you can make Sichuan Chicken in your own home? Flavored with ginger, chili garlic sauce, and hoisin sauce, it only takes a few minutes and it's much cheaper too.

Ingredients

  • 8-12 thin slices of eggplant
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tsp potato starch or corn starch
  • 1/4C water
  • 1/2 tsp chili garlic sauce
  • 1/4 tsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 T neutral oil
  • 1 chicken thigh

Instructions

  1. Slice the eggplant and place it in a bowl. Sprinkle it with a bit of salt, toss everything together and let it sit while you go on to the next step.
  2. In a separate, small bowl, make the sauce. Mix together the soy sauce, sugar, and starch (potato or corn) until the starch dissolves. Add the water, chili garlic sauce, and hoisin sauce.
  3. Heat half the oil in a large frying pan or wok.
  4. Slice the meat off the chicken thigh (if you are using bone-in), or cut into strips if you have a boneless thigh (I always get the bone-in, toss the bone in the pan first, let it cook a few minutes longer than the rest, and save it for stock).
  5. Cook the chicken for 5 minutes. Once it's done, transfer it to a plate while you cook the eggplant.
  6. Dry the eggplant with a paper towel.
  7. Add the remaining oil to the pan. When it gets hot, add the eggplant slices.
  8. Cook, stirring, and turning the eggplant occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until it's brown and slightly crispy.
  9. Now add the sauce. Cook another minute or so, then add the chicken back to the pan.
  10. Raise the heat to high and bring the entire thing to a boil. Let that cook for a minute or two.
  11. Serve with rice on the side.




More Asian Chicken Recipes

Asian Chicken Salad with Cabbage

Singapore Noodles with Chicken

Stir Fry Chicken with Peanut Sauce

Chinese Chicken Noodle Cabbage Soup for One Person

Ingredients and Tools to Make Sichuan Chinese Chicken and Eggplant with Garlic Sauce


Lee Kum Hoisin Sauce

Sweet, slightly tangy and great for this dish, as well as marinades. Try it with a simple pork roast, sliced and served with steamed bread and scallions. Or, marinate fish with garlic, hoisin, and five spice powder. It’s also great in stir fries.

 

Chili Garlic Sauce

In case you haven’t guessed (since I keep mentioning it), I love this stuff. It’s got more heat than sriracha (which has sugar), plus the extra flavor boost from garlic. I put it on eggs, in marinades, stir-fries, veggies, enchiladas, soup. Someone on Amazon mentioned mixing it with some plum sauce and cooking it with chicken. I’m going to try that next!

Chili Paste

If you want to be authentic, get the chili paste. Use it for this recipe, or for making Thai or Indonesian recipes. It makes a great starting base for marinades and sauces. Mix it into meatloaf or top some scrambled eggs. Think of it as sriracha with more kick.




Spicy Sesame Noodles Recipe for One Person

It was recently Chinese new year, and I had a craving for spicy sesame noodles. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the “right’ sort of noodles.  Most of the sesame noodles recipes use long pasta noodles, usually linguine. I didn’t have linguine, only penne.  So, I made do with what I had at hand.  Feel free to use either one. It doesn’t matter.

Also, the recipes I found online were either much too sweet, or called for other ingredients I didn’t have.  The one from Allrecipes was too sweet and had too much oil.  It was also meant to serve eight people, rather than just one person.  I found another recipe from The New York Times, but that one called for tahini or peanut butter, which I didn’t have.  I did like the idea of including ginger though.

This is really spicy, so if you prefer a milder version, leave out the chili garlic sauce.




Spicy Sesame Noodle Recipe for One

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Category: entree

Cuisine: Chinese

one serving

Spicy Sesame Noodle Recipe for One

Spicy sesame noodle recipe for one. This make a great quick and easy lunch.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dry short pasta (if using penne or short pasta); if using linguine grab a handful about two inches around
  • 1 T canola oil
  • pinch sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp chili garlic sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sriracha
  • 1/2 scallion (just the green part), chopped
  • 1/8 tsp sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Fill a medium size saucepan about two-thirds of the way full with water and bring to a boil.
  2. When the water comes to a boil, add the pasta and cook 8-10 minutes.
  3. While the water is coming to a boil, make the spicy sauce.
  4. Mix the remaining ingredients (except for the scallions and sesame seeds) in a small bowl.
  5. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and pour into a serving bowl.
  6. Add the sauce and stir to coat the pasta.
  7. Top with scallions and sesame seeds.

Notes

You can make this ahead and serve it cold, or eat it hot.

Spicy Sesame Noodles Recipe for One Person Substitutions and Variations

  • if you don’t have rice vinegar, use white vinegar
  • add strips of fresh bell pepper
  • add lightly cooked snow peas or broccoli
  • if you want a heartier meal, put in some cooked chicken
  • add 1 T tahini or peanut butter to the sauce (use the peanut butter to make a peanut butter and cucumber sandwich — yes, really)

More Spicy Recipes

Spicy Beef Noodle Soup for One

Chili Citrus Chicken Thigh Recipe for One

Easy Chicken Curry Recipe