Use-Up-Your-Leftovers Stir-Fry Noodles
This is one of those meals that is both greater than the sum of its parts and totally customizable. Don’t have chicken? Great, use any leftover protein you want, or leave the protein out completely! Don’t like broccoli? No problemo, use literally any veggie. The combination of stir-fry noodles, homemade teriyaki-ish sauce, veggies and a protein are a sure-fire win.
This is the ultimate leftover user-upper. I fed my family of four tonight with 1 1/2 leftover teriyaki chicken thighs, the random veggies I found in our fridge and freezer, and some noodles I had picked up last time I was at the store (thanks, past me!). Everyone was happy, and that awkward amount of chicken didn’t go to waste. Here’s how you do it:
First, make the sauce. Just combine the ingredients and whisk. Easy peasy.
Next, preheat your pan over medium heat, medium-high if your stove runs cool.
Chop your onion, mince the garlic, and prepare your broccoli. I used frozen broccoli florets from Costco, because they are easy. I just heat the broccoli in the microwave for about 2 minutes, then squeeze any excess water out with a paper towel. You could also use leftover blanched broccoli, blanch some for this recipe, steam some broccoli, or use another green, substantial vegetable. Asparagus would be great, for instance. You can stir fry raw broccoli too, but it will still be quite crunchy when you’re done, due to the short cook time of this dish.
When your pan is warm, add 3 tablespoons of a neutral oil. I used grapeseed oil, but canola or vegetable oil would work just as well. When that is hot and moves around the pan easily, add your onions and peanuts. Sauté for about 3 minutes. Then add your garlic and broccoli. Cook until the vegetables are browned to your liking.
When the veggies are very close to being done, add your leftover chicken and the noodles. The noodles that I bought had me puncture the pouch they came in and microwave them for 1 minute to loosen them. I did that, and then added them to the pan. It’s critical that you have enough oil in the pan so that the noodles can stir-fry and not stick to the pan. If your pan looks dry, add a little more oil before adding the noodles. Stir the noodles and cook for about 3-5 minutes, until everything is heated through and you get yummy toasty bits on the noodles. You may have to turn up the heat a little to get some browning on the noodles, if you desire.
The last step is to whisk the sauce a final time to redistribute the corn starch, and then pour it in the pan. When you hear it boiling, use tongs to evenly coat the noodles. Then serve and enjoy!
You will need:
For the sauce:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp cornstarch
For the stir-fry:
3 Tbsp neutral oil, such as grapeseed or canola
1/2 cup peanuts
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets, prepared (see note)*
about 1 1/2 cups leftover chicken, cubed**
14-16 oz stir-fry (yakisoba) noodles
For the sauce, whisk all ingredients in a small bowl, being sure to add the cornstarch last and whisking until you don’t see any lumps.
Prepare noodles according to package directions (I had to microwave mine for 1 minute to loosen them).
Preheat your pan over medium heat. I used stainless steel, but nonstick would be just fine.
Dice the onion into approximately 1/2 inch pieces, and mince the garlic.
Prepare your broccoli. (defrost in microwave if frozen)
Sauté onions and peanuts over medium heat for about 3 minutes, or until you begin to see a tiny bit of browning.
Add broccoli and garlic to pan, and sauté about another 3 minutes.
Add chicken and noodles to pan and sauté, stirring constantly, until chicken is warmed through and noodles are slightly browned. You may have to increase the heat a little to achieve this.
Give the sauce a final whisk, and add to pan. When you hear it boil, which could be immediately, use tongs to coat everything in the sauce.
*As stated above, you will need to defrost frozen broccoli, or prepare blanched or steamed broccoli. Or use raw broccoli, knowing that it will be quite al dente.
**Seriously, use any protein. Use any amount you have that looks good to you.