If you were expecting a white guy who portrayed an Asian detective bathed in pasta, sorry to disappoint you, but that’s not this recipe.
If you want that, I could attempt to create it for you, but things could get awkward very quickly!
No, This recipe is about attempting to recreate one of my wife’s favorite pastas. Yellow Cab Pizza’s Charlie Chan Pasta. This is described directly from Yellow Cab as:
Chicken Strips, Shitake Mushrooms, roasted peanuts, sautéed in a spicy Oriental Sauce.
Just for visual comparison..
Now this is pretty straight forward, right? Obviously it involves chicken breasts, shitake mushrooms and roasted peanuts. The part when it gets tricky is the “spicy oriental sauce”. There are many, many Asian condiments and sauces.
My first attempt to replicate the sauce failed, basically because I used a recipe I found on the internet. This recipe can be found by simply searching google for “Charlie Chan pasta” however, those sauces all require Oyster Sauce (9 tablespoons, mind you).
There is nothing wrong with Oyster Sauce, In fact it’s very amazing with steamed Bok Choi. I’m drooling just thinking about it! Ahem.. but that’s another time..
As you’ll see with my recipe, Oyster sauce is absent. Also, Sesame oil IS present, I think that this is an ingredient that’s over looked for this recipe.
What You’ll Need:
3 Cloves of Garlic
12 ounces of mushrooms
1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 pound Spaghetti, cooked
1/2 Roasted Peanuts
3 tablespoons Peanut butter
1/2 cup Hoisin Sauce
2 tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 tablespoons Sesame Oil
3 dried red chiles
4 stalks green onions
For the Misenplace:
Mince 3 cloves of garlic, and slice about 1 cup of shiitake mushrooms. (I used Portobello mushrooms, because my supermarket sucks, and never stocks shiitake.)
Rinse about 1 pound (1/2 kilo) of chicken breasts, then using a very sharp knife, slice the chicken into strips.
Cook 1 pound of spaghetti as directed, drain, coat with olive oil and set aside.
For the recipe:
In a large saute pan, heat 4 tablespoons of Olive Oil, and add the minced garlic.
(Do not allow your garlic to burn.)
Add the chicken slices and cook until they begin to turn white and partially cooked.
Add your sliced mushrooms and allow to cook for about 5 minutes. The mushrooms should reduce in size.
At this point there was a considerable amount of liquid in the pan. I poured off (save it, you’ll need it later) about 1/2 of this because with that much liquid in the pan, it will cause the chicken and mushrooms to boil, not saute. After pouring off the liquid, add 3/4 cup of roasted, salted peanuts. Allow to cook on low temperature for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Mix together 2 tablespoon of sesame oil, 3 tablespoons of peanut butter, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, and 1/2 cup of hoisin sauce. The mixture will be thick, that is okay. That’s why we set aside the liquid we poured off earlier. Add the sauce to the pan, and stir to coat everything. If the mixture is too thick for your tastes, add some of the reserved liquid.
Add 3 minced, dried red chilies.
At this point, the sauce is finished.
As stated before, I never add pasta to a cooked sauce, but rather use another saute pan, and cook the pasta and sauce together as needed.
Serve, topped with green onions and drizzle with sesame oil.
If I had to offer a percentage as to how close this is to the original, I’d say it was about 90%. I can’t really remember the exact taste of the pasta. Maybe someone will attempt this and let me know how close I am. *cough* Lily *cough*
Even if it’s not exactly Charlie Chan Pasta, I promise you this: It’s Good. That’s more than I need to hear before trying a recipe.