Last night’s dinner

Last night’s dinner was actually pork chops marinaded in soy sauce, honey and orange juice and then grilled but here is a photo of all that nice jam from last week.

Today can only be described as stinking hot so no baking will be done and we need to finish up a lot of vegetables in the fridge so…

•approx. 1 cup fresh chicken pieces/strips for stir-frying, OR 1 cup cubed tofu
•2 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in 3 Tbsp. soy sauce (marinade for chicken or tofu)
•3 cloves garlic
•1 thumb-size piece galangal or ginger, sliced thinly or cut into matchstick-like pieces
•1 cup or more fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
•1 red bell pepper, sliced
•2-3 cups fresh bean sprouts
•8 oz. very thin dried rice noodles (“vermicelli” OR “vermicelli rice stick”)
•1/2 cup chicken stock (or simulated chicken stock for vegetarians)
•handful of fresh coriander
•wedges of lime for garnish, and Thai Chili Sauce served on the side
•2 1/2 Tbsp. oil
•1 Tbsp. soy sauce (or wheat-free soy sauce)
•1 tsp. dark soy sauce (gluten-free diets substitute 1 Tbsp. wheat-free soy sauce)
•1 Tbsp. fish sauce (vegetarians substitute 1.5 Tbsp. soy sauce)
•1 tsp. sugar
•1 Tbsp. lime juice
•1/4 cup chicken stock (or simulated chicken stock)
•1-2 tsp. chili sauce, OR 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (to taste)
1.Marinate the chicken or tofu by pouring the cornstarch/soy sauce mixture over and stirring well. Set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
2.Soak rice noodles in a pot of hot water for 5-12 minutes, or just until noodles are soft enough to eat, but still firm (they will finish cooking later, so try not to over-soften them now). The timing will depend on how warm or hot your water is – the hotter, the faster the noodles will soften.
3.Drain and briefly rinse noodles with cold water (to keep them from sticking). Set aside.
4.Combine all stir-fry sauce ingredients, mixing them together in a cup. Set aside.
5.Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add 2 Tbsp. oil. Swirl oil around, then add the garlic, ginger, chicken or tofu (together with the marinade), mushrooms, and a few tablespoons of stock.
6.Stir-fry 5 minutes, or until chicken or mushrooms are cooked. When wok or pan becomes dry, add a little more chicken stock, 1-2 Tbsp. at a time – enough to keep the ingredients frying nicely.
7.Add the red pepper. Stir-fry another 1-2 minutes. The red pepper should still retain some of its crispness. Again, add stock when pan becomes dry.
8.Now add the noodles plus the stir-fry sauce. Using two utensils, lift and turn the noodles or use a tossing motion, like tossing a salad. Stir fry in this way until the sauce is well distributed throughout the noodles (1-2 minutes).
9.Finally, add the bean sprouts, continuing to stir-fry another minute. Remove from heat.
10.Taste-test the noodles for salt, adding 1-2 tsp. (or more) fish sauce or soy sauce if not salty enough. If too salty, add another squeeze of lime juice.
11.To Serve: Lift noodles out of the wok or frying pan and mound on a serving platter. Sprinkle with fresh coriander, and garnish with wedges of fresh-cut limes. Serve with extra Thai chili sauce on the side.