Kicked Up Ramen Noodles - Kung Pao Style


Note: The sauce in this dish may seem a bit brothy when finished, but the liquid will be quickly absorbed by the noodles when serving.

*Serves 4-5

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2-3), cubed

1 red bell pepper, cored and sliced thin

1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts

3 garlic cloves, finely minced

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (add more if you want more heat)

3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

4 (3-ounce) package ramen noodles, discard seasoning packets

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

4 scallions (green onions), sliced thin

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the canola oil over medium to medium-high heat until it is hot and rippling. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper. Add the cubed chicken to the pan in a single layer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is browned and cooked through, 5-7 minutes. Remove the chicken to a medium bowl.

Add the last tablespoon of oil to the skillet and heat until hot and rippling. Add the red bell pepper and the peanuts and cook until the pepper is softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the mixture into the bowl with the chicken, trying to leave as much oil as possible behind in the skillet.

Add the garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes to the remaining oil in the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds to 1 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth. Break the bricks of ramen into small chunks and add them to the skillet. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, tossing the ramen constantly with tongs to separate, until ramen is just tender but there is still a bit of liquid in the pan, about 2-4 minutes.

Stir in the hoisin sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil and continue to simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in the chicken, peppers and peanuts. Sprinkle with green onions before serving.