Saturday, February 09, 2013

February Fabulousness: Long Life Noodles for Chinese New Year

Katie Chin is a Chinese chef, Asian food expert, food blogger (her SweetAndSourChronicles is here), marketing maven and a Karaoke star. We've known each other since we were assistants together in Los Angeles in the 80s, and she's one of the coolest women I know. Her newest book "Everyday Thai" is coming out in the Fall of 2013. As Chinese New Year is fast approaching, I asked her for a recipe that everyone could make for good luck, and she kindly obliged with her Long Life Noodles with Chicken.

Katie with her mother Leeann, whom she calls "my hero"

Long Life Noodles with Chicken

Katie's adorable twins dressed for Chinese New Year

Katie says: Gung Hay Fat Choy!!  Chinese  New Year falls on Sunday, February 10th and it’s the Year of the Snake.  The Lunar New Year meal honors longstanding traditions and celebrates a cycle’s renewal, so it is important for families to prepare dishes that symbolize luck and longevity—they ensure good fortune and health for the coming year.  Chinese people eat things like egg rolls to symbolize prosperity (because they’re shaped like gold bars) or a whole steamed fish to symbolize abundance.  I like to serve my family and friends these Long Life Noodles with Chicken on Chinese New Year because the noodles symbolize longevity.   You should prepare these noodles without cutting them (don’t break the dried noodles before you boil them) as the longer the noodle, the longer the life!  I hope you enjoy this dish with your family on Chinese New Year. 

It’s a day filled with laughter and good cheer.  Get your whole family into the act and dress everyone in red for good luck.  Other rituals include not sweeping on Chinese New Year day, so you don’t sweep out all your good luck and don’t scold your kids because only positive sentiments should come out of your mouth.  My personal favorite is making sure you step into new shoes on Chinese New Year day so you start the year off on the right foot.  Wishing you much happiness, prosperity and good health in the New Year!

8 oz. dried spaghetti or linguini
12 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch white pepper
3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 garlic clove, minced

3/4 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
1/2 cup bean sprouts
3/4 cup snow peas, blanched trimmed and julienned
1/2 cup carrots, peeled and cut into desired size


1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil

1/4 teaspoon white pepper
pinch sugar

1.  Prepare noodles according to package directions.  Rinse, drain and set aside.
2. Toss the chicken pieces with the cornstarch, salt and white pepper.  Cover and refrigerate for 10 minutes. 
3. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium high heat.  Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and swirl to coat.  Add garlic and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add the chicken and stir-fry until it turns white. 
4.  Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil.  Add the red pepper and stir-fry for 1 minute.  Add the bean sprouts, snow peas and carrots and stir-fry for 1 minute.  Add the sauce and stir-fry until blended, about 1 minute.  Add the reserve noodles and toss until coated.  Transfer to a platter and serve immediately. 

Chef Katie Chin Sizzle Reel from matthew Jonas on Vimeo.

"Eat your noodles, Katie! The longer the noodle, the longer the life!"

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