The 2-5-40 Challenge: Summer Rolls and Vegetable Chicken Noodles


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This is the final post of the series. For the rest of the series go to this link (2-5-40 Challenge)

Although I set out a plan for the week, I felt like breaking it one day. I didn’t want to make anything from the menu, instead, I improvised.

It takes some time for one to start allowing oneself to ditch the book and follow the instinct. It doesn’t always work that way. They say, while cooking you can follow your taste and instinct, but while baking, ALWAYS FOLLOW THE RECIPE. I got to understand & get convinced by that each time I messed up a recipe because I skipped or replaced or decreased/increased the amount of a certain ingredient.

I messed up muffin recipes, cakes, creams and frostings among others. But rarely did I mess up a stew, a sandwich or a savory recipe, except for last time’s bean dip.

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Where does bread fall? It’s a different category, right? *hides his face*
I messed up lots of breads. It’s part of the experimentation process anyways. *throws another burnt flat loaf of bread in the trash*

On the last day of the challenge I went off the menu, but used ingredients that are already available at home and not very expensive. I wasn’t alone in the kitchen. I had mike to participate. He’s not on good terms with the kitchen but I asked him to help with a not so easy task. I was making summer rolls and asked him to roll. That’s like making stuffed vine leaves in Lebanese cuisine but I can assure you that he did a good job.

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My favorite go-to recipe is vegetables noodles stir fry. This time I added chicken. Yes, I spoiled us. This is a recipe you can’t go wrong with. Just add everything, stir, fry and enjoy.

Stir fry noodles and Summer Rolls

Ingredients:

Summer Rolls
10 rice papers
2 carrots (julienned or shredded)
1 green pepper (julienned)
1/2 chicken breast (boiled)
More rice noodles (optional)
Mint leaves or coriander leaves
Spring onion (julienned)
Sweet & sour or soy sauce for dipping

Stir fry noodles
1 pack rice noodles (cooked according to pack instructions)
4 tbsp vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
1 chicken breast (cubed)
1 medium onion cut into chunks
2 carrots (julienned)
1 green pepper (cut into big squares)
1 stalk spring onion
1 cup water
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp corn flour
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 lemon
Few coriander leaves (optional)

Procedure

Fill a shallow pan or baking tray with warm water
Get all the ingredients for the rolls ready and around your workspace
Start by dipping one rice paper in the water
Allow it to soak for 15-20 seconds or until soft enough to roll
Be careful, it might be too thin and delicate it might break. It helps to have extra rice papers around
Place on a tray or cutting board or any surface you’re working on
Add the filling (to the third of the paper next to you): carrots, chicken, and pepper
Don’t fill it a lot. Remember we still need to roll
Start rolling by folding the part next to you then folding the sides inwards
Add spring onions and coriander/mint and continue rolling
It should stick and hold firmly
Don’t worry. The first one is a trial. Test the amount of filling you like and adjust that according to your taste
Repeat the same process, now with your assessment of the filling.
Work slowly and delicately. Make sure you wrap them firmly and get the end to stick. If it has dried out, add some water with your fingers and try to make it stick together
Put the rolls on a big plate or tray with enough distance between them so they don’t stick
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate till your hot dish is ready

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In a large pot or wok, heat 4 tbsp of vegetable oil
Stir fry the chicken til the edges brown
Add the onions and carrots and toss
Mix in the green pepper and cook for 3 minutes flipping regularly
In a small bowl mix water, soy sauce, corn flour and white pepper well until corn flour is dissolved completely (you may add ginger powder, red pepper flakes or any spice you like)
Once the vegetables reach your desired consistency (I like them to hold their shape and crunch but a little cooked on the outside) pour the liquid mixture and stir constantly
Add the cooked noodles and toss well with the vegetables until the sauce thickens
Sprinkle with chopped spring onions and a squeeze of lemon and a few coriander leaves

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