Quick Dinners: Udon Salad with Shredded Chicken & Gai Lan

This easy dinner idea combines rotisserie chicken, fresh veggies and udon
noodles. (Photo: A Little Yumminess)


This recipe is the most recent from our “rotisserie chicken magic” series for the San Jose Mercury News’ “Fast and Furious Weeknight Cooking” column. It’s perfect for summer! Get the recipe here:

Here’s a light and flavorful noodle salad that is enthusiastically endorsed by my two young noodle slurpers: chewy udon noodles, crunchy gai lan (or your favorite green veg), and shredded rotisserie chicken all tossed in a tasty soy-mustard-sesame dressing, with just a kick of chili ;).

Slurper 1 (9 years old): “I loved this dish because it has all different flavors and when they come together they taste great. (I like to add fish sauce to  this dish.)”

Slurper 2 (6 years old): “I would put this on a kids’ menu at a restaurant.”

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Noodle Bird!

An excursion for ramen inspired the first page of a comic about a new angry bird named, what else but….. Noodle Bird!

Noodle Bird is definitely my kind of super hero. 🙂

Noodle Bird

Authors of Noodle Bird

Noodle Bird’s authors hard at work.

Laksa, A Taste of Home

Laksa is one of things that reminds me of home.  Having grown up in South-east Asia I cannot stop talking about how the region has the best food.  Laksa described simply, is noodles in a curry soup.  But what an amazing curry soup!  I have not had a good laksa outside of Southeast Asia.  Even as a child I loved it and would load up on the sambal (chile paste). It is quite a mild curry without the addition of chile and suitable for children.  Unfortunately, Ria has only had Laksa out of a box (pre-made curry paste bought when we travel to Asia) and loves it.  I cannot wait to have her try the real deal and watch her slurp and make a huge mess with noodles and curry.  If you have had a good laksa outside of Asia please tell us where and if you have a tried and tested recipe from scratch that works – please do send it our way!

I recently gave Stacie a packet of the pre-made laksa curry paste to try…and here’s how it went…..

With excitement I opened my package and mixed all the various bits and pieces together. I guess you would call this convenience food since it came out of a box, but I was struck by how how many flavor components there were… say compared to good old Mac and cheese, the reigning convenience food of most kids around these parts. Coconut creamy-ness, the salty tang of fish sauce, bit of heat even before adding the optional sambal. Picturing kids in Singapore happily slurping their Laksa kind of makes you think about what we’ve programmed ourselves to think about kid food and it inspires me to be a little bolder in pushing the boundaries. I can also easily understand how these kind of flavors would make you homesick once you moved far away.

Laksa was a fun thing for my family to discover. Now that I’ve had my starter taste out of a box, I’m hungry to go searching for the real thing. Since we have no travel plans to Singapore in the near future, I guess we’re going to have to figure out who makes good Laksa in the Bay Area. I looked at a few recipes, but I think this might be one to leave to the experts for now.

First Guest Post: Salmon Broccoli Pasta

The first anything always holds a special place.  Our first guest post is particularly special – it comes all the way from Singapore from a high school friend I have not had contact with since we graduated.  Facebook and food reunited us and it’s hard to not get the warm fuzzies about it.  It suddenly feels like the world is not such a big place, Singapore not so far away and that really not that much time has passed….

Salmon Broccoli Pasta

By Hui Ping Ho

This is one of those “save-the-day” one-pot dishes that I can always rely on when my pantry is low on supplies. Quick and healthy with the omega-3 from the salmon and the anti-oxidants from the broccoli. I also get to satisfy the constant whining from Benjamin: ‘Mama, I want to eat noodles; Mama I want to eat noodles….’ You get the idea…for Benjamin anything that is not rice, is noodles, so use any kind of pasta!

To prepare:

  • Cook pasta in salted water per directions on package
  • Microwave salmon with butter (1 tbsp of butter with about 12 oz of salmon) or pan-fry in butter.  Flake salmon with a fork.
  • Steam broccoli (yes, in the microwave as well or steamer)
  • Dice garlic, cut up onions (onions are optional but they really add to the flavor of the dish).  Dice the red chili if using.
  • Heat up the wok real hot (I confess – I use the wok for pasta…)
  • Pour in olive oil (1-2 tbsp) and throw in garlic (onions & chili if using)
  • Sprinkle some salt and pepper according to taste (use sparingly for the little ones)
  • Then add  pasta, salmon and broccoli
  • Stir fry for a bit (2-3 minutes) and serve

And that’s it! 🙂