Does your family prefer spaghetti noodles over all other kinds? I mean, there are so many cute and functional pasta shapes out there, but I find myself serving the same, plain and classic noodles the most.
My family doesn’t care about how well some noodles hold the sauce better or have a slipperier mouthfeel required for some sauces. And god forbid they certainly don’t care about the aesthetics of serving a certain dish with the “right” pasta because it’s prettier. They are hungry and just want to eat it and prefer thin, long strand noodles. For myself, I might have chosen soba noodles for this dish but, that’s just me being fancy.
For the record, this dish was fabulous with plain ole’ spaghetti…a family win.
Did I mention the chicken only needs to sit in the marinade for 30 minutes, making it a quick weeknight dinner.
I used chicken tenderloins for this meal and cut them into smaller, more bite-sized pieces. An easy way to cut up chicken tenderloin is with your kitchen scissors, so much easier than a knife.
There are some options when it comes to cooking the meat. Because I wanted a browned, caramelized look, I used my large stainless steel skillet to brown the chicken. This does lead to some extra clean up work as the bottom of the pan does get pretty sticky and thick. Other options might be to grill the chicken or make it in a nonstick skillet. With the nonstick option you will not get the pretty browning you see going on here..
Maybe I’m being dramatic about the cleanup, but for some people I know washing dishes can be a nightmare. Since I’m always doing dishes it really doesn’t bother me. When I have to clean up a sticky mess on the skillet, I leave the flame going once I’ve removed my meat and immediately add hot water to the pan (stand back). I let it boil while using a wooden spoon to scrape/remove most/part of the crud. I then let it soak with some dish soap and use an SOS pad to help me remove any residual burnt pieces.
My son loved this dish. It really is kid-friendly if your little ones have a taste for Asian flavors. Give it a try soon!
Sticky Asian Chicken Spaghetti
- 1 lb chicken tenderloins, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon vodka*
- 1 Tablespoon Mirin (Aji-Mirin, Sweet Cooking Rice Seasoning, available everywhere)
- 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger (not chopped)
- 1 clove garlic (not minced)
- 2 cups broccoli, blanched or steamed (small florets)
- 12 oz spaghetti (uncooked)
- green onion for garnish, sliced
- In a large bowl, combine chicken, hoisin, soy sauce, vodka, Mirin, toasted sesame oil, ginger and garlic. Let sit for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare broccoli (you don't want this mushy so be mindful not to overcook) and spaghetti. Keep warm.
- In a large skillet, over medium-low heat, add chicken to the pan using a slotted spoon. Allow the marinade to drip through the slotted spoon back into bowl, reserving it for later use. I cooked the chicken in two batches, carefully turning each piece and evenly spacing them out to get the desired brownness; about 3-4 minutes.
- While the last of the chicken is cooking pour the reserved marinade into a small saucepan (you will not have a lot, but it will be enough). Bring to a boil and simmer over heat for 5 minutes.
- Stir cooked, reserved marinade into spaghetti noodles and top each serving with chicken, broccoli and green onion.
- Serve immediately.
- *Why add vodka to a marinade (I almost always do)? Just like salt, alcohol brings out the flavor in food. Alcohol does this by evaporation and molecular bonding. Food is also the beneficiary of alcohol's ability to bond with both fat and water molecules. In this way, alcohol bridges the gap between our aroma receptors (which respond only to molecules that can be dissolved in fat) and food (which consists primarily of water). This is very important because most of the great "flavor" in food comes from aromas in the nose rather than tastes in the mouth. In terms of a marinade or a brine with both water and fat soluble ingredients, by taking the flavor compounds in certain aromatics such as garlic, herbs or other fat soluble ingredients, alcohol helps carry those compounds into the meat that's soaking in the marinade or brine. But alcohol also helps carry water soluble flavor compounds into the meat as well. Water soluble flavors would include sour, sweet, salty and bitterness. With alcohol's effort, the result is more flavor and aroma into the marinated food. Even one tablespoon of a neutral-tasting vodka considerably improves the flavor penetration of any given marinade. (Trust me on this one, it's my profession.)
Food Lover says
Serves: 2 ? Really ? That makes the nutrition facts a whopping 1,142 calories, over 21 grams of fat – 2,336mgs of sodium.
Sorry about that, should be 3-4. It’s really going to depend on your portion size. Pasta calories really add up in dishes like these. (Please note, I have not verified your nutrition information to be correct.) However, please be aware this was not created as a healthy or diet-friendly dish.
Darby K says
Food Lover…sticky Asian dishes are not going to be low-cal, especially with pasta. I mean, that’s a given. Some of us eat for the decadence!!
Food Lover says
Hi again…..recalculated at 4 servings – drops to 572 calories per serving and 10 grams of fat – 1169 grams of sodium. I definitely could live with that, and will try it too !!! 🙂
BTW, the site I use to calculate the calorie and nutritional count is: http://caloriecount.about.com/cc/recipe_analysis.php
Angie | Big Bear's Wife says
That looks amazing! It reminded me of a dish I had at the Polynesian resort at Disney! Love the tip about cleaning the skillet too!
Jamie | Jamie's Recipes says
This sounds like a perfect dinner for my family. I like how the noodles aren’t swimming in sauce like they are when you pick up take-out.
This looks fabulous, and yes, my go to pasta is thin spaghetti. I don’t like heavy tubular pastas. Thanks for the cleaning tip too!
kristy @ the wicked noodle says
You had me at sticky! Love this dish – pinning!
I’m not a fan of hoisin sauce. Is there something I can substitute?
Hmmmm, that’s a good question.
I believe Oyster Flavor Sauce would be a great substitute.
[email protected] says
Love this Cathy! I’m definitely making this in the next week :0)
Jeremy Norton says
I haven’t tried this recipe. I’m sure the kids will love this.
Ok this is mouthwatering and so worth the extra bit of cleanup. I clean my pans the same way, it works so well! (But yes, stand back lol)
Christine from Cook the Story says
That sticky hoison sauce sounds seriously delicious!
Nancy Jay says
This one is going to be a must try. My husband is not found of broccoli but loves chicken and pasta. Sooo I will have more broccoli and he more chicken. I also use scotch when making a cream sauce it just adds that little something no one knows what it is but its so good.
Barbara @ Barbara Bakes says
What a great, quick, easy meal. I like to clean up my pans right away too.
Oh, I think I want this for dinner tonight! Looks amazing, even with spaghetti noodles! Haha!
Heather Blake says
I feel the same way as you. I always end up with a box of spaghetti! This looks delicious!
I am smitten with this recipe. What a great way to eat broccoli! I always have Hoison sauce, and usually add dry sherry to my Asian marinades/sauces. Vodka? Well, heck, I’m in! My first thought was “I’d use Soba noodles”, and then I read your comments. LOL. Already pinned and shared. I’m always scouting for quick and flavorful work night dinners. Love this one.
Jo Wake says
Looks delicious. Might give this one a try in the near future.
I recently tried adding some baking soda (tbsp or so) and a glug of vinegar to the simmering water of the sticky pan mess. Works wonders! Looking forward to trying this recipe soon!
Going on this week’s menu! YUM!!!!
NEW ORLEANS HONEY says
THANK YOU FOR THIS RECIPE. I STUMBLED UPON THIS SITE BY ACCIDENT. LOVE THE LOOK OF THIS RECIPE. THANK YOU FOR THE INFO ABOUT THE ADDITION OF VODKA.CAN’T WAIT TO GET TO STORE FOR INGREDIENTS ASAP.
I WILL BE BACK TO VIEW MANY MORE OF YA’LL RECIPES.THANKS AGAIN
Jennifer Dunlop says
Try this trick for hard to clean pans…add water and a laundry dryer sheet (like Bounce). It loosens the food like magic!
Check out my fb page for more tips. Dine at Ease
Paula Halket says
Don’t think we can get Morin in the UK do you know what the British substitute would be. Thank you
Mirin, a sweet rice wine used in Japanese cooking. It doesn’t just flavor food. The sweetness also gives luster to sauces and glazes and can help them cling to food.
If you don’t have mirin, there are many common suggestions for substitutions. You can just use dry sherry or sweet marsala, for instance. Or you can dissolve a small amount of sugar in a little white wine or sherry, perhaps a 1/4 teaspoon of sugar to 1/4 cup wine wine
Paula Halket says
Thanks so much for your help im going to go to the Chinese supermarket to see if they can help me too, it just looks too Delicious not to try it.
This looks delish and I want to try but I’m a little concerned about re-using the marinade after raw chicken soaked in it…normally I would pour out used marinade. Is it safe to eat because of boiling and simmering after chicken is removed?
As long as you bring it to a complete boil it will be fine. Remember, food borne bacteria dies at 165 degrees F.
Ok so i just got back from getting all of the ingredients but I couldnt find the hoisin sauce, or the Mirin. How horrible is this gonna go wrong if I go forward without it?
I just read this for a sub for Hoisin Sauce: If you do not have Hoisin Sauce, which is an Asian Barbecue sauce, it’s a simple fix. Just mix about 1 teaspoon of soy sauce with some barbecue sauce, a touch of ground ginger, and a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce. That will get you as close as possible without having actual Hoisin Sauce.
But ground ginger is already in the recipe. Imma try this anyway.
Paula Halkin, mirin is available in most larger UK supermarkets. I get mine in Sainsburys in the ‘specialist’ section
I made this tonight, fabulous!
Paula Halket says
Thanks to everyone for your help ibam off to Saibsburys now to get all of my ingredients. Again thanks.
Paula Halket says
Hy sorry I just noticed that the garlic clove says not minced so do you put the garlic whole into the marinade if so then what do you do with the whole clove once the marinade has been used thanks
Press the garlic with a garlic press.
three feathers says
Long time reader, 1st time commenter here. My fam prefers either thin spaghetti as well….or the small shells. This was the bomb around here, and I didn’t even use vodka, lol. Used a locally produced wine b/c it’s what I had….must’ve worked, as there was nary a speck of leftovers.
Thank you for making me look good LOL
Will definitely try this but since we are all dieting will substitute regular spaghetti with white yam noodles (Zero calories per serving compared to 220 for spaghetti!)
This looks really nice .. but I’d just as soon leave out the spaghetti .. the chicken and broccoli by themselves would be perfect !! <3
CAROLE Siskind says
Delicious recipe. Also good with rice
Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles says
This looks SO GOOD, Cathy. Can’t wait to try it on my family!
My first thought (for Christmas and if you like color) add some red pepper!!
Stratford Miller says
Do you chop the garlic?
You just don’t want it finely minced so that it ends up being cooked with the chicken and burns. Should only be cooked in the marinade later.
Claudia Ellis says
made this today for lunch, absolutely delicious! The whole family loved it. Beautiful combination of flavors!
Janelle G says
Do you think I could substitute spaghetti squash for the noodles? I am trying to cut carbs.
Hmmm, that would really throw off the texture but you are welcome to try.
Bobbie W. says
I’m allergic to broccoli. What can I substitute for it ?
Any veggie you like.
Shayla D says
How funny! I just made this independently the other day. I had meant to grab a bottle of teriyaki sauce at the grocery store and got sweet and sour instead. So i tossed together some hoisin, a few packets of soy sauce, fresh garlic, and fresh ginger, but instead of mirin, i used five spice powder which gave it a really nice flavor. Also some red pepper flakes. While stir-frying the chicken and some fresh vegetables, I also tossed in a teaspoon or two of Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base. I was really pleased with the results and next time plan to pick up some mirin and give this a go. I’m a sucker for anything based on hoisin sauce. =)
This looks really good. But, what should I use instead of the vodka? Something NON alcohol.
Sarah Christensen says
Help a non-drinker out: any particular brand(s) of vodka that is more -or less- “neutral-tasting” that I should be looking for?
Vodka is pretty much all neutral tasting unless you buy a flavored vodka.
Shannon hall says
In recovery, so little leary about buying a bottle of vodka, so I’ll just try one of the little airline bottles you can buy, the alcohol burns off right?????
If you are in recovery (as with people in my household) I would not recommend it at all even if the alcohol cooks off. I just used a lil extra mirin n it came out just fine 🙂
Do you think you could cook ckicken in the crackpot?
You won’t get the crispy edges which you really want here.
I am going to make this and was wondering what you think it would taste like with chunks of pineapple added to it? I kind of like that in other dishes like this that we ate in Hawaii.
Hmmm, honestly it doesn’t sound good and I love pineapple. But try it and let me know.
Cheryl Noxel says
I think this recipe is a keeper. Everyone is mentioning the pasta and a thinner noodle. spaghettini would be a great substitute. How about a Vermicelli noodles?
You can absolutely try it. I am fine with the spaghetti so try it any way you like and enjoy!
Erin Belzile says
Made this yesterday, used skinless/boneless chicken thighs. My only complaint was it was a bit too dry for our tastes. I doubled the marinade sauce and saved half for pouring over the noodles before serving. I also added some chillies and next time think I’ll try adding sweet chilli sauce and maybe some crunchy peanut butter too! It was even better the next day after the flavors had a chance to soak into the noodles. Thanks for a great recipe!!
I’m making this tonight!! I’ve had it in my bookmarks for months now. Only my marinade is a lot darker than your. Could it be the type of hoisin sauce? I folowedthe directions exactly only I added more garlic because I love garlic!!!! This look so delicious My daughter loved all of this stuff to <3
Also I was wondering how you prepared the broccoli? It looks blanched in the picture.
Yes, I always blanche my broccoli.
My sauce is pretty dark.
Made this tonight. We are loving it! I had to sub a tablespoon of dry sherry with a half tsp. of sugar for the Mirin because I didn’t have any (it’s on my list!). Just so you know, that works! 🙂
You can use soba noodles and make it a true Asian dish.
Once your chicken is done, try putting water in the hot pan and bring to a boil should help loosen the sticky from skillet.
Karen Miller says
Do I leave the clove of garlic whole? “Not minced” I’m curious. Thanks…
the Pasta looks amazing, never tried these flavors before with pasta, i’m making it tonight, thanks!
Made this last night and it is definetly good, I thought it might be weird with the noodles but I was wrong, I’m glad I didn’t use rice like I was thinking. Stop being p***ys, clean up is easy!
Patricia Getch says
If you use ‘SKINNY PASTA” brand name, made from Konjac root your calories are 10 per serving and 5 carbs. I only use the Fettuccine and Spaghetti shapes for ALL my Italian and Asian dishes.
Lyn Michael says
Have not tried this yet , but I certainly will, looks great. I loved the explanation about the vodka, and how it enhances flavor, that was very interesting and I had never heard or read an explanation for using liquor in things, but I will try it. Thank you for this recipe.
This looks wicked good, I must make it. I’ve found anodized aluminum is a good comprise between stainless steel and nonstick, you get good browning and a much easier cleanup. It’s just delightful.
Vera Lynn says
First time to your blog! So glad to find you!
This was so much easier than I thought it would be, and so amazingly delicious! Smelled so yummy cooking. I didn’t have vodka, so used some tequila, figured any alcohol would do 😉
I put the spaghetti in the skillet after cooking the chicken so as to not lose one drop of that yummy sauce! Thanks for posting such a great recipe! Can’t wait to try some of your others!
So glad you loved it.
Kiri Forney says
I made this tonight for the first time and it was AHMAZING! I wish I could post a picture because it was so pretty plate. We will definitely be maiking this again!