I very rarely cook Chinese food because I usually can’t help but throw some fish sauce or lime juice into anything I make in a wok. Thus, most everything veers into the Thai-food realm rather than remaining strictly Chinese. I stuck to my guns on this dish and was really glad I did.
I had the idea in my head to make Almond Chicken and then just happened to find a big bag of snap peas at my office that same morning. One of my employees lives on a farm with her husband so she brings in fresh produce when they have too much to eat themselves or sell in town. Lucky for me, these little beauties went perfectly with the smooth tang of the sauce and the crunch of the slivered almonds.
Did I mention that this whole bowl of chicken, veggies, and noodles is under 500 calories? Uh, because it is.
I originally had thought about serving this with rice, but since we eat so much Asian food in our household I’m kind of sick of it lately. Instead, I cooked up some whole wheat angel hair pasta until it was al dente, then fried it in some sesame oil and soy sauce to give it a little texture. It turned out somewhat similar to lo-mein. They worked perfectly to soak up the sauce and bulk up the dish – I don’t think it would have been the same with plain old rice!
Here’s the recipe:
Makes: 4 Servings
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1″ cubes
- 2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. soy sauce, divided
- 1/4 c. chicken broth
- 1 Tbsp. sweet rice wine (Mirin), or substitute sherry
- 2 tsp. cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. sesame oil, divided
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 2 Tbsp. grapeseed oil (or vegetable oil)
- 2 tsp. minced ginger
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 c. sugar snap peas, rinsed
- 1/4 c. dry-roasted salted almonds
- 1/4 c. chopped scallion for garnish
- 6 oz. whole wheat angel hair pasta (or any long noodles – just follow package directions for al-dente)
- Place the chicken in a medium bowl with 2 Tbsp. soy sauce and the minced ginger, then toss to coat evenly.
- In a large pot, boil 6 cups of water with some salt. Add pasta and cook for 3 minutes, or until al dente. Do not overcook the pasta, as it will continue to cook when you stir fry it.
- In a small bowl make the sauce: combine the chicken broth, sweet rice wine, cornstarch, 1 tsp. sesame oil, and sugar, and stir well. Set aside.
- When the pasta has finished cooking, drain the noodles and return the pan to low heat. Add 1 Tbsp. sesame oil and 2 tsp. soy sauce to the pan.
- In a wok or large, deep skillet, heat the vegetable oil over high heat. Add the ginger and chicken mix and spread it out into a single layer. Let it cook for 1 minute then stir.
- Add the onion and sugar snap peas and cook, stirring now and then, for 3-5 minutes or until the chicken has cooked through.
- Meanwhile, return your al dente noodles to the pot containing the warm oil and soy sauce. Turn the heat up to medium-high and let the noodles fry, tossing them with tongs occasionally to prevent burning.
- Add the pre-mixed sauce to the work and toss well to mix everything together. Once the sauce has thickened, add the almonds and toss to coat. Serve over the pan-fried noodles and garnish with chopped scallions.
Nutrition (per serving):
488 calories, 20 g. fat, 30 g. protein, 43 g. carbs, 5 g. fiber. WW PointsPlus: 12