Monday, February 8, 2010

Asian Noodles with Chicken and Shrimp

Ever heard of a Chinese-Caribbean person? Well for those of you who are not from Guyana (a small country in South America) you would probably be surprised to know that we really are a fusion culture. There are people of African, Indian and Chinese descent that reside in this beautiful tropical country. Africans and Indians make up most of the population in our present time, but today I want to bring light to the Chinese settlers of Guyana and how they have helped to influence our wonderful cuisine.



When slavery was abolished in Guyana (1834), the workforce underwent a positive change. Africans were free and could actually earn a small payment for their hard work. However, not many former slaves chose to continue to work on the plantations, resulting in a reduction in the labor force. Contracts for indentured servitude were underway. Most of the indentured servants were brought from India, but a small portion had also come from China. If I remember my Guyanese history correctly, there were about 10,000 Chinese indentured servants back then but now the Chinese population in Guyana is somewhere around 300. When I went to Guyana last April, I purchased this book edited by Arif Ali, which really allowed me to revisit my country's history briefly: http://www.stabroeknews.com/images/2008/09/20080903hansib.jpg



The Chinese have contributed immensely to Guyanese cuisine. Guyanese food has become more of a fusion food than anything else because of them. Amazing fried rice and dried meat dishes, stir-fry veggies, chicken-in-the-rough, and delicious sauces! Not to mention the ever-so-popular chow mein and lo mein entrees.



I love making this dish because its really easy and I get lots of left overs.  Since I am a student, it's really hard to cook often, so this works great for a few days for dinner or even for a get together with lots of friends. It is especially wonderful if you have left over vegetables in the fridge and need  to use them up before they spoil. I have made this dish a few times with Chinese soba noodles as well as spaghetti noodles.

Bora, also known as Chinese long bean- a must in Guyanese-Chinese noodle dishes


This dish is really filling and absolutely tasty. I usually make the entire box of pasta but I realize it will be A LOT to work with so I am cutting the recipe in half so it would be manageable for those of you who are not used to cooking for lots of people. I hope you enjoy this one! Cheers to the Chinese Settlers of Guyana who helped to influence this wonderful dish!



Ingredients:
  • 1/2 box of Barilla whole grain thin spaghetti noodles
  • Salt and Black Pepper
  • 1 Chicken breast chopped up
  • 10-12 Pieces of frozen shrimp (tails off and deveined)
  • 1/2 cup of Sesame Oil (you may not use all of it)
  • A few dashes of Mushroom Sauce
  • 3 Tbsp Hoisin Sauce
  • A few dashes of Soy Sauce (if you don't have any, just use the packets from the Chinese restaurants that you may have left over in your kitchen somewhere)
  • 1 tsp Cornstarch
  • 1 tsp dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 of a pepper thinly sliced (Use whichever you have on hand I had green, red, yellow and orange so I used a little of all of them)
  • Chinese Long bean (These are hard to find, they are essentially a really long string bean. I found them at a local Chinese grocery store here in Rochester, but if you can't find them you can substitute snow peas instead)
  • Zucchini or Broccoli (I usually always use broccoli but only had zucchini on hand and it tasted just as awesome!)


Directions:

1. Boil half the box of noodles according to directions on the box and add a few dashes of mushroom sauce to the water to give it a nice dark color while cooking. Add 1 Tsp of any oil you have on hand (olive, canola etc)

2. When the noodles are done, strain them and place noodles in a shallow dish, something like a 9X13 baking pan will work well here. You will be mixing these noodles with sauce and veggies so you need lots of space to work with so find a shallow pan :)

3. From the 1/4 cup sesame oil, use about 2 tbsp and drizzle over the noodles, with a fork mix noodles back and forth to spread oil evenly. Add salt and black pepper I would say abotu 1 tsp each, but not too much because everything else we will be cooking will have salt. Swirl around again with your fork to get all the salt and black pepper spread evenly. Set aside.

4. Season chicken with salt/black pepper a few dashes of soy sauce and 1 Tsp of sesame oil. Saute chicken with the peppers and set aside. Saute the shrimp and then add the shrimp and chicken to the noodles. Mix these proteins in with the noodles.

5. Prep all your veggies. Slice zucchini (chop broccoli if using) and leave snow peas whole. If using Chinese long bean take about 10 long beans and chop them into 1 inch lengths.

6. Saute zucchini and snow peas together in a little bit of sesame oil and soy sauce. Snow peas should still have a crunch by the time the zucchini is done. Remove and add to the noodles. If you are using broccoli you will have to cook it separately because it takes longer to cook than the zucchini.

7. Add all the veggies to the noodles and mix in thoroughly. As you are adding, taste the noodles and veggies together to see if you would like more salt or not.

8. In a sauce pan, add 1/4 cup of water, add Hoisin Sauce, 2 tsp of mushroom sauce, brown sugar, and a few dashes of soy sauce, and 1 tsp of sesame oil. Let it boil for 3-4 minutes at least until the the sugar has dissolved. IN THE MEANTIME.....

9. .....In a cup or small bowl add 3 tbsp cold water and 1 tsp cornstarch mix together until cornstarch has dissolved (the reason you have to do this is b/c if you had cornstarch directly to a hot liquid it will not dissolve and thicken your sauce). Now add this mixture to the sauce mixture and stir until it the sauce looks thick. Now pour this sauce over the noodles and mix thoroughly. You are done!




3 comments:

  1. Do you have a recipe for Guyanese style fried rice and chow mein?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I wanted to ask the same thing as the person above.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I wanted to ask the same question as the person above.

    ReplyDelete