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Use Your Noodles

December 12, 1991|BEV BENNETT | Bennett is food editor of the Chicago Sun-Times and a cookbook author. and

Just as Italian pastas aren't limited to classic Italian dishes, Asian noodles shouldn't be restricted to Asian dishes. The following recipe uses buckwheat noodles to give the dish a nutty, earthy flavor. Shiitake mushrooms and cilantro complement the noodles. Borrowing from the Italians, though, olive oil is used for cooking.

BUCKWHEAT NOODLES WITH CHICKEN AND MUSHROOMS

1/4 cup olive oil

1 cup sliced shiitake mushroom caps, about 3 ounces

1 clove garlic, minced

1 whole chicken breast, skinned, boned and cut into bite-size pieces

1/4 teaspoon crushed hot red pepper

Salt

Freshly ground white pepper

8 ounces cooked buckwheat noodles

1 heaping tablespoon minced cilantro

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in large skillet. Add and saute mushrooms and garlic 5 minutes. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil along with chicken and crushed red pepper. Saute over medium heat, stirring frequently, until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon noodles onto serving platter and top with chicken mixture. Sprinkle with cilantro. Toss just before serving. Serve hot or tepid. Makes 2 servings.

Note: Buckwheat noodles are available in supermarkets with Asian food sections or in health food or specialty food stores. For cooking, follow package directions, but test noodles for doneness about 2 minutes before directions specify. Whole-wheat noodles can be substituted.

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