What’s your favorite type of cuisine? My all-time favorite is Chinese food (though admittedly, it is the American version of Chinese food). But I have a growing love for all types of Asian cuisine, as well. Thai food, for example, has some of the brightest and most exciting flavors out there (fresh basil, lemongrass, yum!). And I started craving sushi when I was pregnant with Darah and haven’t stopped.
In all the examples listed above, I have found that making my own version of these types of foods usually doesn’t end very well. Because I lack the right ingredients and the right cooking techniques, I’m rarely satisfied with the end result. I had pretty much reached the conclusion that if I wanted Asian food, I should just pay the price for someone else to prepare it for me.
Annie Chun’s is an Asian foods brand found in most supermarkets, and they want to change the perception that preparing Asian food at home is difficult by providing some of the tools that kitchens like mine really need. Annie Chun’s offers a variety of really delicious cooking sauces, noodles, soups and a whole slew of convenience foods for when you are REALLY stretched for time and can only manage to get something in the microwave (been there!).
We have been sampling a few different products over the last month, and I have to say, I have been really impressed. The Annie Chun’s line has 6 different types of noodle bowls. I tried a few of them, and the one that I’m really eager to stock up on is the Peanut Sesame Noodle Bowl. In just a few minutes I can have a VERY flavorful dish ready to serve, and the portion is generous. I have actually used this as a quick side dish for Tim and I to share alongside a piece of chicken. But it is also terrific on its own.
The other products I wanted to highlight for you are the Kung Pao Sauce and the Soba Noodles (also known as buckwheat noodles). I actually came up with a recipe using both ingredients and simply by cleaning out my fridge and freezer! You can make lots of substitutions as you see fit; simply see this recipe as an inspiration!
Kung Pao Crab with Soba Noodles
- 16 oz crab (I used frozen)
- 8 oz frozen peas
- 1/2 – 1 red or orange bell pepper, cut into short strips
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1/4 cup Annie Chun’s Kung Pao Sauce
- greens of choice, such as bok choy or kale
- Annie Chun’s Soba Noodles
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp vegetable stock (can substitute chicken stock or water).
Ingredients for noodle sauce:
- 1/4 cup Annie Chun’s Kung Pao Sauce
- 1/2 tsp ginger paste (can substitute with 1/4 tsp ground ginger)
- 1 heaping tbsp peanut butter or almond butter
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp soy sauce
At first glance, this recipe may seem to have a lot of ingredients and be a bit cumbersome. But it really is the result of me trying to use up what I had on hand in the fridge and freezer and grabbed what I knew I could throw together. You can substitute the crab for another meat, or swap out some of the veggies with whatever you have on hand or like.
I began by cutting the crab into bite-sized chunks. I used my Kitchenaid Professional Shears to make this work a bit faster! I use these for SO much in my kitchen. If you don’t own a pair of kitchen shears, let me STRONGLY recommend that you put them on your wish list!
Then I cut up bell peppers and your onions. I happened to have small bell peppers on hand. Next, add peas. I only had about 2 oz of peas, which is why they don’t look very prevalent in the dish. I would have used more if I had them on hand! I then mixed everything together.
The dish looked decidedly lacking in the green department, but then I remembered that I had some kale. I washed, dryed and then chopped up the leaves (remove the stems from the kale, as they are a bit tough to eat). Then I added the Kung Pao sauce. It was ready to go!
Next, I heated up the skillet on med-high with 1 tbsp oil (I used olive) and 2 tbsp vegetable stock. I added the stock because I knew the kale was going to need a bit of moisture to help it wilt. As I waited for the skilled to warm, I also got a pot of hot water boiling for the noodles. Quick tip: put a lid on your pots and pans while they are heating to get them hot faster!
Once the skillet was ready to go, I added my crab mixture, gave it a good stir, and then put the lid on and set the timer for 5 minutes. I opened the lid twice during the cooking process to stir everything around. If you think your mixture is starting to stick too much, just add another tablespoon of stock.
When the water for the noodles was boiling, I added the entire box of them, gave them a stir, and let them cook for 5 minutes, also. Drain and rinse under cold water once the noodles are done.
While the crab mixture and noodles were cooking, I made noodle sauce by combining all the noodle sauce ingredients listed above together in a bowl. I poured the sauce over the cooked, drained and rinsed noodles and coatedthe noodles evenly with the sauce.
Then I placed the noodles in a serving bowl, and topped with the crab mixture. What a healthy, colorful and packed-with-flavor meal!
Want to hear my opinion on the dish after trying it? I thought the noodle sauce was AMAZING and the soba noodles were surprisingly yummy. Will definitely be buying them again. In fact, I’ll make some version of this recipe again sometime this summer. I think I’d like to try the Kung Pao sauce with some chicken next time. The crab tasted good (no regrets!) but I bet the chicken will taste even better.
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I received complimentary products for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are strictly my own. This post contains affiliate links.