I have a deep infatuation for Asian cuisine.
Seriously. It potentially borders on the line of obsession. The last week that my husband and I spent in Denver we had some type of Asian food at least 4 times in the 10 days before we left. There was actually a day that we ordered Chinese for lunch and then went out for sushi for dinner.
I personally love Asian cuisine so much because one of its main focuses – regardless of the specific region or iteration of cuisine – is on the blending of the five tastes of food. Probably one of the greatest culinary techniques, in my opinion, is learning how to create, balance and enhance a dish using those five flavors: bitterness, sweetness, sourness, saltiness, and umami. Learning how to utilize ingredients to, for a lack of better words, bring out the best in each other is the best tool that a cook can aspire to have.
Another reason that attracts me to Asian cuisines is the relevance of tradition and family. I grew up in a very close family and a lot of my memories evolved around food. Some of my favorite memories growing up are of those where I was cooking with and for my family: making Christmas treats to pass out to the neighbors with my Mawmaw each year, preparing the desserts and bread for stuffing the night before Thanksgiving with my mom and sister, making fried egg sandwiches for my cousins when I was only 8 years old, the intoxicating smell of chicken ‘n’ dumplins when I walked into my great-grandmothers house on Christmas morning, and so much more. Traditions in food are carried out through generations, and many classic Asian dishes are made this way – techniques and recipes that are tried and true.
When I first set out to create this recipe I was inspired by the basic concept of chicken lo mein. My husband and I both love chicken lo mein. I knew that I wanted to include the basic flavors of ginger, garlic and soy but put my own twist on this classic noodle dish. I chose a different combination of vegetables incorporating some seasonal veggies, but also some traditional ones. This dish has a spicy teriyaki-like flavor, and I hope it makes it to your dinner table soon.
- 1 medium zucchini, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, sliced
- 1 ½ cups shredded carrots
- 1 pound chicken breast tenders
- 8 ounces soba noodles
- 2-3 tbsp. cooking fat (butter, ghee, coconut oil, etc.)
- ½ cup coconut aminos
- 1 tbsp. fish sauce
- ½ tsp. ground ginger
- ½ tsp. garlic granules
- ½ tsp. onion powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- dash cayenne pepper, optional