This incredibly tasty Asian-inspired pasta dish is packed with colourful vegetables and elevated by a delicious sauce, and can be made a vegetarian meal by substituting tofu for the chicken

I spent the Christmas holidays in Victoria with my husband, parents, brother and his girlfriend. All of us squeezed into my parents' beautiful little condo and shared many, many wonderful meals. 

On a previous trip to Victoria I had lunch at Rebar, a legendary vegetarian restaurant, with my parents and devoured one of the sample Rebar cookbooks while we waited for our meal.

The cookbook, called the Rebar Modern Food Cookbook, is full of healthy, vibrant recipes, and when I saw my brother leafing through a copy in a bookstore during one of our many strolls through town, I knew it would make the perfect birthday present.

His birthday falls right after the holidays so I gave it to him before our family group disbanded and returned to our respective cities – but not before I copied a few of the recipes, including the delicious-looking Kung Pao noodles.

This is my version of the original recipe. The original is a vegetarian recipe and calls for more vegetables and no meat. I omitted four heads of bok choy (because the bok choy at the grocery store looked really sad and wilted) and a small can of water chestnuts (that I bought but forgot to add). I also omitted the star anise and sambal oelek (red chili).

Ingredients

This recipe serves 4

  • 450 g fresh Shanghai noodles
  • 3 chicken breasts, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 bunch broccoli, chopped
  • 180g snow peas (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 carrots, sliced (the recipe called for 6 but that seemed like a lot)
  • 1 can baby corn, drained
  • 1/2 bunch green onions, chopped (the recipe called for a whole bunch but that seemed like a lot)
  • Cilantro to garnish (the recipe called for half a bunch but that seemed like a lot)
  • 4 tbsp roasted peanuts, chopped
  • Sauce
    • 2 tbsp minced ginger
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/4 cup soy sauce
    • 1/4 hoisin sauce
    • 1 tbsp brown sugar
    • 2 tbsp dry sherry
    • 2 tsp sesame oil
    • 1/2 tsp cracked pepper
    • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
    • 1 tbsp cornstarch

Instructions

  1. In medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine all sauce ingredients except cornstarch, stirring well to combine.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  3. In a small container with a tight-fitting lid, vigorously shake cornstarch with 1 tbsp water.
  4. Add cornstarch mixture to sauce, whisking to combine well.
  5. Cook until mixture begins to thicken, about 10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, in large frying pan over medium heat, cook chicken until no longer pink in the middle, and set aside in a small bowl.
  7. Heat oil in wok over high heat.
  8. Stir-fry onion for about 2 minutes, then add carrots and cook for another 3 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, and then add noodles, cooking for just enough time for noodles to separate and become soft, about 1 to 2 minutes. Drain noodles.
  10. Add broccoli to onion and carrots, and cook for another 2 minutes, and then add peas, corn and green onions.
  11. Add noodles, sauce and chicken to vegetable mixture, stirring well to combine.
  12. Garnish noodles with cilantro and chopped peanuts, and serve immediately.