I love Asian inspired food. There's something so alluring about the exotic ingredients, fragrant spices, and the spices. I had some defrosted chicken breasts left over from another recipe, and I needed to cook them right away. I wanted to cook something with an Asian flavor and decided this was the perfect time.
I used coconut aminos and garlic as a marinade, and let the chicken sit in it for about 10 minutes. Feel free to marinate the chicken longer for a more intense flavor. I tend to get overwhelmed when I'm cooking too many things at once, so I grilled the chicken first. I let it cool while preparing the other ingredients, then sliced it and added it to the stir-fry just before it was ready.
Some of the ingredients may seem exotic. But they're actually super easy to find in a local supermarket. Here's what I like to use:
· Sesame oil - this can be found right in the cooking needs aisle, with the other oils. If you can't find it, feel free to use extra virgin olive oil or any other kind that you prefer.
· Ginger paste - I like to use Gourmet Garden's brand. It comes in a tube that squeezes, making it a lot easier to use. You could also use regular ginger root, but I find that very hard to peel and chop, and it's time consuming.
· Chili paste - I also use Gourmet Garden brand. Like the ginger, it squeezes right out of the tube and isn't too spicy.
· Ramen - I prefer brown rice ramen. The brand that I use is linked below, and I love it because it only has one ingredient: brown rice flour. It's not processed, and it is a lot healthier than the packaged ramen many of us ate in our younger days. They're also naturally gluten free, which is an added bonus.
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Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 25 min
Ready in: 35 min
Yields: Serves 4
· 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut aminos or tamari sauce, divided
· 1 tablespoon garlic powder
· 4 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
· 2 cakes ramen noodles
· 1 package (8 oz.) sliced mushrooms
· 2 zucchini, diced
· 2 bell pepper, any color, diced
· 1 package (8 oz.) baby spinach
· 1 tablespoon ginger paste
· 1 tablespoon chili paste
· 1 tablespoon sesame oil
1. Place the chicken breasts into a Ziplock bag. Add 1/4 cup of the coconut aminos and the garlic powder. Seal the bag and smoosh it around to ensure that the chicken is covered. Let sit for a minimum of 10 minutes.
2. Grill the chicken over medium heat. I used very thick chicken breasts, which were grilled for 20 minutes, flipping twice. If you have thinner chicken breasts, cook for 10 minutes and flip once. Set them aside to cool a bit before slicing.
3. Pour sesame oil into a large skillet over medium heat. Add the peppers and zucchini. Sauté for about 2 minutes.
4. While the veggies are sautéing, boil water for the noodles. Once the water comes to a boil, turn off the heat and place the noodle cakes into the water for about 2-3 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
5. Add the mushrooms, the rest of the coconut aminos, the ginger and the chili paste, and turn the heat down to medium low.
6. Slice the chicken into bite sized pieces and add to the skillet.
7. Add the spinach to the skillet and mix until the spinach wilts. Serve and enjoy!
I love garnishing foods. It adds a little hint of extra flavor and a pop of color and texture. Some garnish ideas I thought of are:
· A sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes for some heat.
· A dash of hot sauce for a little extra kick.
· A sprinkle of sesame seeds just to make it look pretty.
· A handful of diced green onions for a bright color and fresh flavor.
Asian inspired foods are one of my favorites to cook since it's so incredibly easy to customize for picky eaters or special dietary needs. Here's some ideas I came up with:
· Vegetarian or vegan? Leave the chicken out of the recipe. You can enjoy it without the chicken or you can substitute with tofu or any other plant-based protein. For even more protein, swap the ramen for quinoa.
· Gluten-free or dairy-free? No changes needed!
· Low-carb? Leave out the ramen, or swap it for something else, like cauliflower rice or spaghetti squash. If you choose this, make sure to add whatever you decide to use to the skillet so it can absorb the flavors.
· Following Paleo or Autoimmune Protocol (AIP)? Leave out the ramen and the peppers. You can add any other vegetable you like, and can even use the cauliflower rice as listed for low-carb.
If you are following the 21 Day Fix, the container counts for the recipe as written above are:
· 1 yellow container
· 1 red container (2 if you used a thicker chicken breast)
· 2 green containers
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