Monday, January 2, 2017

Asian Bolognese

Bolognese usually conjures up dinner tables of Italy, especially Milan, where bolognese is king. Italian versions are ground meat cooked in red wine, milk or stock. Tomato is pulped into most bolognese, but my invention veers through another continent. The Orient calls and I move past Italy, all the way to South East Asia. 

Chicken replaces ground beef. Kecap manis and soy sauce in place of milk or San Marzano tomatoes and chile garlic paste and tomato ketchup in place of pepperocini and passata. Lots of ginger and garlic add punch. The sauce is poured over HongKong noodles, a thin chewy pasta. Borrowing from Burmese and Thai cuisines, the noodles are sprinkled with crunchy fried onions and fresh cilantro.

Serves 4

1 pound ground Chicken 
2 tablespoons Olive Oil 
1 Onion
4 Garlic cloves 
1 inch piece of Ginger
4 tablespoons Kecap Manis
1/4 cup Tomato Ketchup 
1 teaspoon Soy Sauce 
2 teaspoons Chile Garlic paste
1/2 pound Hong Kong Noodles or Spaghetti 
Fried Onions

Cut onion into small dice.

Mince garlic cloves finely.

Peel ginger and mince finely.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven.

Add minced onions, garlic and ginger. Stir. Let the onion turn translucent. Let the ginger and garlic turn aromatic.

Add ground chicken and stir fry till chicken darkens and browns. 

Add kecap manis, tomato ketchup, soy sauce and chili garlic paste to chicken. Stir fry well so sauces are well blended.

Pour 1/2 to 3/4 cup water into chicken. Bring to a low boil, cover and cook chicken for 10-15 minutes.

Boil 4-5 cups water in a deep saucepan.

When boiling, add noodles or spaghetti and cook as per package instructions. Drain and rinse in cold water. 

To serve, heap about a cup of noodles in a bowl. Top with ladlefuls of chicken sauce.
Garnish with fried onions and fresh cilantro. Dig in and enjoy!


Keep in mind these are small portions, to be eaten as part of an Asian meal. Double up ingredients for a hearty one bowl meal.

We love the strong unexpected flavors. Accompanied by the clickety-clack of chopsticks, the meal travels through Asia at a fast pace!