Looking for a quick & easy yet great-tasting dinner idea for your weeknights? This spicy stir fry noodles with shrimps & broccoli fit the bill perfectly!
After sharing many stir fry noodles recipe from my kitty, just when I was wondering that I have run out of any new variation, these cute little mini shrimps and broccoli presented me with the brand-new idea of this spicy stir fry noodles with shrimps and broccoli! Stir fries are always good for hectic weeknights and since they are very customizable, you can decide what to put in it and what not. I kept this spicy stir fry noodles very simple – the dominant ingredients were of course shrimps and broccoli and only because I happened to have some cooked chicken at hand, I threw them in too but that was of course optional. Noodles is my go-to alternative when I want to take a break from our regular Indian meal; plus, these mini shrimps and broccoli made it look no less fancier than a fine diner which is an added advantage of this quick and easy weeknight meal. Keeping a stock of shrimps in your freezer always proves to be handy specially for us working couples when we want to whip up a tasty meal within minutes!
This spicy stir fry noodles got its name from its spicy sauce which hits the right note of heat, sweetness and tartness. Oriental cuisine is all about balancing these tastes right and spiking one of these wherever appropriate. In my spicy stir fry noodles, I hiked up the heat quotient which is obvious thanks to our spice-loving taste buds! I used spicy sriracha sauce for the spicy element, but you are welcome to use any hot sauce of your choice. Sriracha sauce has really proved to be a keeper in our pantry thanks to its strong flavor and it gives tough competition to our earlier favorite Schezwan sauce which is another hot sauce but each having very different flavor profiles. If you want a sweeter hint in your stir fry noodles, you may cut down the hot sauce amount and double the amount of sugar or add about a tablespoon of honey which will not only add sweetness but a very appetizing gloss to your stir fry noodles.
While making noodles I used to run into few challenges at the beginning of my culinary journey. Primary difficulty was that I used to over-boil the noodles and they become sticky while stir frying. After few trials, I have finally resolved this problem. I cook them exactly for 5 minutes in boiling water and drain them immediately without even checking if they have boiled or not; then rinse the noodles under running cold water thoroughly which stops the overcooking of noodles, plus wash away the extra starch which is the main culprit for noodles being stuck to one another. At this point, the noodles strand will seem uncooked which is exactly what you want. While you stir-fry them on high heat, it will cook completely without being sticky and reward you with the perfect bowl of non-sticky stir fry noodles with your favorite ingredients which, in my case, are shrimps, broccoli and chicken! Since my childhood, I am hooked to a good bowl of noodles and even today I can solely survive on it. After making this spicy stir fry noodles, I am convinced that with so many variations to make, I will hardly ever get out of options! If you browse through my blog, you will get at least 8! Need I say more?
Another challenge you may face while making stir fry noodles is seasoning the dish right. The problem happens because of the sauces we use. Mostly all the sauces, soy sauce, oyster sauce, chili sauce or whichever sauce you add to your stir fry noodles, each of them contains fair amount of salt in it. So, when we add additional salt to the dish, it leads to over-seasoning. The best way to season the noodles is to add large amount of salt in the boiling water while cooking the noodles, e.g. about 4 tablespoons of salt into 2 liters of water. This will infuse saltiness into the noodle strands and excess will be drained out. While stir frying all the elements together, do not add extra salt. Once you are ready to serve, do a taste test. Only if you feel the need to additional seasoning, sprinkle a little bit of NACL, else leave it out. Under-seasoned dish is still preferable over over-seasoned as you have the option of adding salt to your own bowl while eating, but you can never take out extra salt which would eventually ruin the whole experience. Hope I made some sense there! Do try this spicy stir fry noodles at home and let me know how it turned out! Enjoy!
- Egg noodles – 400 gms
- Vegetable oil – 8 tbsp
- Garlic – 10 to 12 cloves, minced
- Ginger – 2-inch piece, julienned
- Dry red chili – 4, broken
- Onion – 1, large, sliced
- Mini shrimps – 300 gms, peeled
- Boneless chicken cubes – 200 gms, cut into bite sized pieces
- Broccoli – 1 head, medium, cut into bite sized florets
- Carrot – 2, medium, julienned
- Light soy sauce – 2 tbsp + 1 tsp
- Sriracha (or any hot sauce) – 2 tbsp
- White vinegar – 1 tbsp
- Sugar – 1 tbsp
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Spring onion greens to garnish
- Heat a large pot of water (about 2-3 liters) with 4 tablespoons of salt in it. Once the water starts boiling, add the dry egg noodles to it. Cook the noodles in boiling water until just soft; it would not take more than 5 minutes on high flame. Drain the water out and transfer the noodles to a colander and rinse thoroughly with cold water; then leave the colander over a bowl to let the excess water drip off.
- Wash the shrimps thoroughly. The mini shrimps are usually sold peeled and deveined with the heads removed and that makes it very handy to use in such stir fries.
- Heat a wok keeping the flame on high and add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to it. Once the oil is hot, drop the shrimps in and cook them on medium high for 4 to 5 minutes stirring frequently until they change color and turn opaque. Season them with salt and transfer the cooked shrimps to a bowl and set aside.
- Steam the broccoli pieces for 8 to 10 minutes or until they are tender as per your liking. I like them a bit crunchy. Set them aside.
- In a small bowl, mix soy sauce, hot sauce, vinegar and sugar. Stir to mix well and set it aside.
- Wash the chicken and drain all the water out. Add a teaspoon of light soy sauce and salt to taste. Mix well.
- Heat about a tablespoon of vegetable oil in the wok. Once the oil is very hot, tip in the chicken cubes and stir fry them on medium high for 6 to 8 minutes or until they are cooked through. The chicken pieces should turn golden on the edges and should be completely opaque. Take them out in a bowl and set aside.
- Now its time to stir fry, but before starting please ensure that you have your sliced onions, minced ginger & garlic and julienned carrots ready by the side of your wok.
- Heat the remaining vegetable oil in the same wok. Once the oil is very hot, reduce the flame to low and add minced garlic, minced ginger and dry red chilies. Stir fry them until they become fragrant, about a minute.
- Now crank up the heat to medium-high and drop in the sliced onions. Stir fry them on high for couple of minutes or until they are soft. Next add the julienned carrots and continue stir frying them on high for a minute.
- Now, if you are like me and prefer tender carrot juliennes as opposed to crunchy carrot pieces, then you can apply this trick to soften carrots quickly without losing their bright color. Keeping a lid ready, drizzle couple of tablespoons of water around the veggies in the wok and quickly cover the wok with lid, then turn the flame to medium low. This will produce steam which the lid will help keeping trapped inside the wok and this steam will eventually soften the carrots beautifully as well as quickly without sacrificing their color. I really love this technique and swear by it! Do give it a try!
- Once the veggies are softened to your liking, add the boiled egg noodles to the wok. Crank up the heat and stir fry the noodles for good 8 to 10 minutes. If the noodles seem dry, drizzle some of the prepared sauce on top and continue stir frying. The sauce will loosen up the noodles making the stirring easy.
- Season the noodles with pepper to taste and continue stir frying until the noodle strands are little firmed and have absorbed the sauce beautifully. Add salt, only if needed, at the very end of cooking after doing a taste test.
- Finally drop in the steamed broccoli, sautéed shrimps & cooked chicken cubes and drizzle the remaining sauce all over. Stir fry for couple of minutes more to mix everything well. You may need two stirring spoons or you can use a tong to mix everything easily and effectively.
- Your spicy stir fry noodles with shrimps and broccoli are ready to serve. Transfer to individual serving bowls, sprinkle some sesame seeds and green onions on top. Serve the shrimp & broccoli stir fry noodles warm with ketch up or your favorite stir-fried side dish. Enjoy!