Tracy Lee Karner
The Way I Was

Yummy, Quick, Asian-inspired meal

Tracy Lee Karner
Asian noodle lunch with satay chicken, peanut sauce and slaw

When I want to whip up a quick meal, I first set the stage by assembling my ingredients, and I get the measuring and cutting/chopping out of the way.  Sometimes I do this prep-work an hour (or half-a-day) ahead of cooking time. Then, when I go back into the kitchen, I can cook a tasty meal in 20 minutes.

Here are the recipes for my Asian lunch inspired by the good cooks at Lotus Pepper Food Truck.

To whip this up in a flash, first gather all your ingredients…

  • 6-8 ounces Vermicelli rice noodles (available at Asian markets)
  • 1/4 cup rice wine
  • 2 cups chopped/julienned veggies for the slaw (choose from carrots, cabbage, lettuce, bell peppers, cucumber, summer squash, radish, onion…)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (for slaw dressing) + 1 tablespoon (for peanut dipping sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons super fine sugar (for slaw dressing) + 1 teaspoon (for peanut dipping sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil (for slaw dressing) + 2 tablespoons (to sauté the chicken)
  • a couple dashes hot pepper flakes
  • one pound boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into strips or tenders (approximately 1-1/2 x 4 inches)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour blended together with 2 tablespoons Penzey’s Saté seasoning
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter (without added sugar)

Now bring the meal together in 9 quick steps:

  1. Put a large pot of water to boil on the stove, on high heat.
  2. While the water is coming to a boil, mix the sweet-hot-salty-sour slaw (for that recipe, click here).
  3. Add 1/4 cup of rice wine and 6-8 ounces of rice-vermicelli to the boiling water. Cook approximately 3 minutes (or until noodles are soft but not mushy) stirring frequently.
  4. Dip into the pot with a ladle or long-handled heat-proof cup and reserve some of the cooking liquid (you’ll need between 1/4 and 1/3 cup).
  5. Drain and rinse the vermicelli under very cold water and set aside.
  6. Quickly make a dipping sauce by mixing together 1/4 cup of all-natural peanut butter, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes and enough of the reserved water to make a smooth, dippable consistency. Whip it with a fork (the way you’d scramble an egg) to bring it all together; set aside.
  7. Dredge the chicken in the seasoned flour mixture (shake it all up together in a sealable plastic bag),
  8. and heat 2 tablespoons of peanut oil in a large skillet over medium high heat for 1-2 minutes until it shimmers (stay close and be attentive–don’t let it start smoking!)
  9. Arrange the chicken pieces in a single layer, cover and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then turn the chicken every 1-2 minutes. Repeat turning and covered-cooking until all sides are nicely browned and the chicken is no longer pink in the middle. This will probably take 6 minutes total (more or less depending on the size and thickness of your chicken pieces, the temperature of your heat and the conductivity of your pan). Test a piece by cutting into it.

Plate and serve your yummy light meal for 4 good people.

When you want to whip up something tasty in a flash, what do you make? (please post a link to your recipe, if it’s online….)

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10 thoughts on “Yummy, Quick, Asian-inspired meal”

    1. It’s simple food, not fancy. I like the contrasting flavors (spicy chicken, bland noodles, sweet-sour slaw, umami peanut sauce) and textures/temperatures (crip/creamy, chewy/soft, hot/cold). A mini-feast on a plate! (and thank you for stopping by!)

    1. Thank you for commenting, Heather. I’ve played around with the dipping sauce and never got it quite right–until I had a sudden inspiration to smooth it with the pasta water. Maybe the starch in the water acted like a binder? The bonus is, this is a nutrition and low-cal meal if served in moderate portions. 🙂

    1. For my taste, 4 little flakes in the whole recipe is the perfect amount of heat (yes, I count them, and I remove any seeds!). For Ken, a teaspoon full is barely enough (ouch!)

      Black pepper is a fine (and plenty-hot) substitute for a sensitive northern European palate. 😉

  1. Damn, catching up with your blog! You’ve been busy, girl!! Good to see…I knew this recipe sounded great when reading it made me hungry and crave it. Despite having just returned from Asia and being in the mood for Western food…well done. Will need to make this.

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