Happy New Year y’all!
How were your celebrations? I took some unexpected/unplanned leave from work between Christmas and New Year, so let’s just say I may have ‘indulged’ a little more than I had probably expected to. But as I am one to rarely ask for permission and instead, seek to just apologise later, I have no regrets for the two-week-long period of culinary debauchery from which I am now recovering. That being said, I am also a firm believer in ‘everything in moderation’, so that means putting the breaks on that behaviour – if only for a little while!
I’m starting the new year off with my Mango, Sriracha and Lime Chicken Noodle Bowl with Sweet Chilli Dressing. Loaded up with fresh delicious nuts, noodles and vegies, with crowning glory mango-infused chicken breast, it’s not only healthy, but also plentiful and filling. It is literally a bunch of really yummy components having a party together in a bowl, while their sweet, tangy and spicy flavours mingle and tease your palate. It walks a fine line between tropical summer comfort food and a kick-off to a cleanse – perfect for me right now when by body wants a reset but I’m not overly fond of ‘clean eating’. Seriously, my heart wants me to forever twirl pasta and creamy sauces and absolutely forgo the gym on the daily. Oh and New Years Resolutions? They get a solid ‘no’ from me.
So since it’s a new year, let’s kick it off right with a big bowl of goodness that’s not only healthy, but delicious to boot. I call this the first day of ‘Healthy January, 2019’ – but please don’t let that alarm you. I am still down with aaaaall the indulgent things, and by no means am I taking this blog in a keto-fodmap-gluten free-clean eating-paleo direction! I like a good salad, but by no means am going to bombard you with recipes for them, and stirfry.. while they look pretty on a plate, aren’t something I am down with as a daily staple. But this noodle bowl? Well, it had me a little too excited not to share it with you asap.
So here it is.
This noodle bowl is by no means a featherweight! It’s packed with so much that you will find yourself full pretty quickly – which isn’t a bad thing, because it doesn’t leave you feeling heavy either (even if you do go on to eat the whole thing). It is the quintessential good meal – it will keep you feeling full, but not so much so that you feel like you’ve overdone it.
Oh, and did I mention that the star of this dish is mango? Exciting for those of us here in North Queensland, when at this time of year, mangoes are eeeeeeeeverywhere! Mango, while in abundance, has some exclusivity about it. I’m not sure if it is because it arrives just once a year, or because it is just perfectly delicious – either way, there is something to be said about a fruit that can be collected from the side of the road by the bucket load (quite literally), yet still costs a bomb to purchase at the market. I love summer time, because when I get my hands on this fruit I can’t help but experiment with it to create something finger-lickingly awesome.
So not only is this recipe delicious, but it also comes together in a snap, with a whole bunch of elements that are flavour bombs in their own right – Mango for sweetness and some lime juice for tang. Add in some fish sauce for that beautiful umami note, some Sriracha for zing and some brown sugar to tie the whole lot together and bring on the caramelisation… and that’s just the marinade! It just begs to engulf some fresh chicken breast and make its way onto your bbq plate as soon as it possibly can.
But then, we add it to a salad of fresh Hokkien noodles, refreshing red capsicum and sunny mango cheeks. Slather the whole lot in a beautiful sweet chilli dressing and add some salted cashews for crunch and some flecks of dried red chilli and a squeeze of lime to really gild the lily and awaken that bright mango flavour… tell me, what’s not to love?
Also, can I just say that the chicken on it’s own is enough to send you to the giddy heights of a scyscraper in the centre of Yumtown? It’s way too awesome to restrict just to these noodle bowls and will do you just as well in salads or rice dishes. When it’s thrown onto a screaming hot grill, all the flavours lock in and the exterior caramelises like a dream… do yourself a favour and make extra!
I really can never get enough of the sweet/spicy combo, and it’s super fun to play around with the elements of hot, sour, salty and sweet… all with a bit of spice. Balancing these is something I always try to keep in mind when creating Asian-inspired recipes, and getting it right is what takes a dish from ‘gee that’s nice’ to ‘can I have thirds, please?’! This salad is my way of mixing things up a bit, an experiment in balancing both complementing and opposing flavours, all with a light and tropical twist. So while the addition of mango may make it sound sweet, the ginger, garlic, lime juice, soy and zest, counter that and turn things back to the savoury side.
Reflecting on 2018, I’ve come to notice what an amazing year it was. This little blog turned 1 (I thought I would give up after a couple months), and in that time, has seen a huge amount of growth, with some new opportunities popping up at the tail end of the year. I have developed a really great connection with other Aussie food bloggers, for which I am hugely grateful, and I look forward to continuing to collaborate with and support them well into 2019 and beyond. I am really excited for what 2019 has in store for Nosh – including a possible relocation announcement in the coming weeks. Starting with good, no, great food, I have a really good feeling about this year! Here’s to a new year and bright, sunny bowls of feel good cuisine.
Mango, Sriracha and Lime Chicken Noodle Bowl with Sweet Chilli Dressing
Loaded with fresh and delicious nuts, noodles and vegies, with crowning glory mango and Sriracha infused chicken breast, this chicken and noodle salad is not only healthy, but bursting with bold flavours while being plentiful and filling.
- For the Chicken + Marinade:
- 4 skinless chicken breasts, cubed
- 1 cup mango, cubed
- Juice of 2 limes (approx. 3 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons Sriracha
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- For the Dressing:
- ¼ cup sweet chilli sauce
- 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- For the Salad:
- 440g fresh Hokkien noodles
- 4 mango cheeks, thinly sliced
- 1 red capsicum, deseeded, thinly sliced
- 3 spring onions, sliced
- 50g snow pea sprouts
- ¼ cup cashews
- 1 tablespoon dried chilli flakes
- Lime wedges (to serve)
- Fresh coriander (to serve)
In a blender or food processor, combine the mango, lime juice, fish sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, Sriracha, garlic and salt – blending until smooth. In an airtight container or zip-lock bag, add the chicken and coat well with the mixture. Seal and refrigerate overnight (or at least 4 hours).
When ready to cook, preheat grill or pan to high.
Remove chicken from marinade and grill for about 5 minutes, before flipping the pieces and spooning remaining marinade on top. Grill for a further 5 minutes or until cooked and firm. Discard any remaining marinade.
Meanwhile, place the noodles in a large heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to stand for 2 minutes. Use a fork to separate the noodles before draining well.
To make the dressing, place the sweet chilli, lime juice and sesame oil in a jar or bottle with a screw top lid. Seal tightly and shake until well combined.
Transfer the noodles to a large bowl and drizzle with half the dressing. Toss gently to coat.
Assemble the salad by dividing the noodles between 4 bowls. Add the chicken, mango, capsicum and sprouts. Sprinkle with the cashews and chilli flakes (to taste).
Serve with lime wedges, fresh coriander and the remaining dressing on the side.