This a fragrant and homey dish.
Sweet soy sauce, called for in this recipe, is slightly thicker than regular soy sauce. It is made with white sugar and, most likely, corn syrup, and is not to be confused with kecap manis, which is a very thick Indonesian version of soy sauce flavored with palm sugar.
- 12 ounces fresh thin won ton egg noodles, such as Twin Marquis brand
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil, for sauteing the chicken
- 1 1/2 to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat, then cut into bite-size pieces
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small red onion, cut crosswise in half and then into very thin slices
- 2 medium cloves garlic, cut into very thin slices
- 1 small Thai red chili pepper, cut crosswise into very thin slices (not seeded)
- 1-inch piece peeled ginger root, cut lengthwise into very thin slices
- 1/2 cup minced lemon grass (tender inner white and light-green layers only)
- 1 large carrot, cut crosswise into very thin rounds
- 1 chayote, peeled and cut crosswise into very thin slices (see TIP)
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms (optional)
- 1 cup sweet soy sauce, such as Lee Kum Kee brand (see headnote)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon hot chili sauce, such as Sriracha
- 1/2 cup canned coconut juice (may substitute water)
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped or torn Thai basil leaves
- 1 cup fresh bean sprouts
- 1/2 cup crisped shallots (store-bought or homemade)
Boil a large saucepan of water over high heat. Add the noodles and boil for 1 minute, then drain.
Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat until a few wisps of smoke rise from it. Place a large plate close to the stove top.
Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper. Carefully add about 1/3 of the chicken to the hot oil and cook without disturbing for 3 to 4 minutes, until slightly browned. Use tongs to turn the chicken to brown for 1 to 2 minutes on the second side, then transfer to the plate. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
Drain the oil from the wok or skillet (leaving just a coating), then return to high heat. Add the onion, garlic, chili pepper, ginger and lemon grass; stir-fry for about 1 minute, until the mixture is fragrant. Add the vegetables and mushrooms, if using, and stir-fry for 5 minutes.
Add the sweet soy sauce, sugar, fish sauce, chili sauce and coconut juice, then add the chicken and stir-fry for 2 minutes, until slightly caramelized. Add the noodles and stir-fry for 5 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced slightly. Add the cilantro, Thai basil and bean sprouts, tossing just to combine. Remove from the heat.
Divide among individual shallow bowls. Top each portion with the crisped shallots. Serve hot.
From chefs Spike Mendelsohn and Mike Colletti.
Tested by Spike Mendelsohn.
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