Wish Upon A Dish: Stir-Fried Noodles with Chicken, Mushrooms & Sugar Snap Peas {+ a lowdown on Noodle Nutrition}

October 18, 2013

Stir-Fried Noodles with Chicken, Mushrooms & Sugar Snap Peas {+ a lowdown on Noodle Nutrition}

After a week of testing, eating, reworking and re-eating sweet potato dishes, I was craving pasta. I guess The Nudge was on the same wave length, but still managed to take me by total surprise when he asked for lasagna. The surprise was over when in the same breath, he also tried to slip under the radar, sloppy joes, nachos and a pizza. Men!

Not that I don't crave a sloppy joe every once in a while, but for today I found a simple stir-fry recipe of noodles, chicken, snap peas and mushrooms with an easy but vibrant sauce. Nothing exotic, but it got me thinking about noodles....which dishes go with which noodles, and, which ones are best for a Diabetic? While the original recipe calls for wide rice noodles, right now (and always) in my pantry are udon, ramen, soba, rice, mung bean and semolina noodles.

Soba - These noodles are made from buckwheat flour and have a correspondingly strong, nutty flavor. Many buckwheat noodles also have some wheat flour in them, which means they're not gluten-free.  Dried soba looks like thin spaghetti and is usually light beige to dark brown-gray in color.
One cup cooked has 113 calories, 25 carbohydrate and 6g of protein.

Udon - Chewy and soft, these thick wheat noodles are best when you can find them fresh. Udon has a neutral flavor, so they make a good choice for strongly-flavored dishes.
Two ounces dried has 190 calories, 37g carbohydrates and 8g of protein.

Ramen - Also made of wheat, ramen noodles are much thinner and longer than udon and have a nice chewy bite when cooked, just throw that flavor packet in the garbage.
One ounce dried has 130 calories, 17g carbohydrates and 2g of protein.

Bean Threads - These are also sometimes called cellophane noodles, glass noodles, or mung bean threads. They are made from mung bean starch, and look like little bundles of very thin, translucent threads. These noodles are fantastic in summer rolls or as a substitute for vermicelli rice noodles.
One cup cooked has 160 calories, 39g carbohydrates and less than 1g of protein.

Vermicelli Rice Noodles - Vermicelli noodles are made from rice flour and have a very similar texture to angel hair pasta. The dried noodles come in packets of long, very thin, translucent threads.
Two ounces dried has 200 calories, 46g carbohydrates and 3g of protein.

Rice Noodles - These are also made from rice flour, but flatter and softer when cooked. These are the traditional noodles in Pad Thai.
One cup cooked has 192 calories, 44g carbohydrates and 1.6g of protein.

Semolina Pasta (boxed pasta): This is the dried pasta found in every supermarket in the US. Most are made using semolina flour. Today you can also find pastas made with artisan flours. For now, we will investigate plain semolina pasta.
Two ounces dried has 210 calories, 43g carbohydrates and 7g of protein.

My dish uses noodles as the main ingredient so switching out the rice noodles for dried thin linguine pasta was the best choice. If I was using the noodle in a side dish, I would have gone with the soba noodles. I bet you think the ramen was the better choice. Ramen noodles are high in fat and have no nutritional value. I prefer foods that have something to give to the party.
As with most foods in the medium GI level, eat in moderation and bulk with vegetables. You can never go wrong with that plan.

The Nudge thought it looked blah, but once he took a bite, he polished off the whole plate. I might suggest adding a spoon of chopped pimentos for color.

Stir-Fried Noodles with Chicken, Mushrooms and Sugar Snap Peas
Serves 2
Loosely adapted from Fine Cooking

* 4 oz. cooked thin linguine
* 4 oz. sugar snap peas
* 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
* 1 tablespoon minced garlic
* 6 oz. of cooked chicken, shredded
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* 2 tablespoons fish sauce
* 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
* 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
* 1 teaspoon minced red or green chili
* 2 oz. mushrooms, sliced
* 1 teaspoon (or more) chicken broth
* 1/4 cup chopped basil
* 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
* 1 lime, cut into wedges for serving

Cook noodles for half the time suggested on the package. During the last minute, add the snap peas.
Drain and cool.
Prep the rest of the ingredients.
Heat the oil in a large skillet and add the garlic and chicken. Stir for 1 minute and add the fish sauce, ginger, sugar and chile. Fry for another minute. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes or until they are limp. Add the noodle/pea mixture and sauté for another minute or two. Add broth or water if the mixture gets too dry. Transfer to plates and garnish with basil and mint. Place the lime wedge on the side.
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