Asian Chicken and Eggplant on Buckwheat Noodles
It had been a while since I last visited the Asian speciality stall at the indoor market and it was these beautiful little eggplants that caught my attention there yesterday. And a favorite Asian food that I had not eaten in a long time were these wonderful Japanese buckwheat noodles which also went straight into my shopping bag- and this evening straight into my saucepan!
So I already had Thai eggplants and Japanese noodles- I thought I may as well go crazy and cook them all up with Chinese spices and be done with! Yes, my beloved 5 Spice powder, along with another few spices, gave this dish its wonderful flavor and my journey around Asia was complete- this dish had got it all!
I asked the delightful young Thai vendor yesterday if there was a particular dish or cooking method she could recommend for these precious, literally egg-sized eggplants and she assured me that whatever I did with them, they would be delicious as they are so mild in flavor... and she was right. Also- she probably couldn't cook and didn't have a clue otherwise!
As the noodles cooked a lot faster than either the chicken or the eggplant, I decided to not start out with them, but much rather to get everything else finished and to then boil the noodles and have them steaming hot!
So, first things first- cut the chicken breast into bite-sized pieces and start it frying in a few drops of sesame oil. Whist the chicken is browning, cut the eggplants into quarters and add them to the pan. Season with soy sauce, 5 Spice powder, fresh ginger and some freshly ground Sichuan pepper. Keep the heat pretty high, keep tossing and add the juice of half a lime. Now add a good drizzle of honey and turn the heat down low. This is the time to pop your noodles into that saucepan to boil and whilst that is happening, to add a couple of thinly sliced Spring onions.
The noodles are done in 4 minutes and by that time, the chicken and eggplants should also be wonderfully deep golden brown, juicy, delicious and ready to be served! A final few drops of sesame oil give a nice finish to both chicken and noodles and a yummy, easy supper is born! Give it a go some time and see what you think- I think I will be making this dish again!