Today's Paper Digital FAQ Coronavirus Updates Latest Obits HER Jobs Classifieds Newsletters Puzzles Circulars
story.lead_photo.caption Lo mein noodles tossed in a spicy peanut sauce get an extra boost from tender chunks of chicken. (Gretchen McKay/Post-Gazette/TNS)

I live in a noodle household. Thick, thin, fresh or dried, I probably could eat them every night and never be bored because there are so many sauces and preparations to make them shine.

This spicy, Thai-inspired lo mein is a winner because it comes together in a flash, and is so full of flavor. I make it with creamy peanut butter but you could substitute any nut butter. Boneless chicken breast adds protein, but vegetarians could swap in extra-firm tofu. The noodles also play nicely with shrimp or thin strips of beef.

If the sauce is too thick or peanuty, add a little more vinegar or a couple tablespoons of water. Sambal oelek, an Indonesian chile paste made with hot chilies, salt and vinegar, adds a gentle heat. You may want to taste as you go, adding more or less to achieve the desired spiciness. I'm a chili diehard, so I also like to add a little crunchy garlic with chili oil to both the sauce and on top of the noodles.


PG tested

For sauce

1/3 cup smooth peanut butter

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon honey

1 inch piece of ginger, finely minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 heaping tablespoon sambal oelek

For noodles

12 ounces sliced or cubed boneless chicken breast

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

3 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks

1/2 pound red cabbage, sliced thin

2 or 3 scallions, thinly sliced and divided into white bottoms and green tops

8 ounces fresh or dried lo mein noodles

Fill a medium pot about three-quarters full with water, and bring to a boil.

While water is heating, make sauce: In medium bowl, whisk together peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, honey, ginger, garlic and sambal oelek.

Add about 1/4 cup water and mix to combine; you can add a little more if you like a thinner sauce. Set aside.

Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.

Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to a large nonstick pan, and heat over medium-high heat until hot. Add chicken and sliced carrots in an even layer, and cook 3- 4 minutes without stirring, or until well browned.

Add sliced cabbage and white portion of sliced scallions. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the veggies are softened and the chicken is cooked through.

Add cooked noodles and peanut sauce and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes, or until the noodles are coated and the sauce has thickened.

Remove from heat, and season with a little salt and pepper, if desired.

Serve noodles with sliced green tops of the scallions.

Serves 4.

— Gretchen McKay, Post-Gazette

©2021 PG Publishing Co. Visit at Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

COMMENTS - It looks like you're using Internet Explorer, which isn't compatible with our commenting system. You can join the discussion by using another browser, like Firefox or Google Chrome.
It looks like you're using Microsoft Edge. Our commenting system is more compatible with Firefox and Google Chrome.