This chicken and noodle stir-fry dish, tallarín saltado, is a classic Peruvian dish. According to Milk Street, simple stir-fry dishes like this are a staple of the Chinese-influenced cuisine known as chifa. Chifa cuisine combines South American and East Asian flavors and ingredients.
This recipe was adapted from Milk Street, contributed by Malcolm Jackson. Jackson uses balsamic vinegar in place of the more traditional red wine vinegar and substitutes a jalapeño or Fresno chile for the ají amarillo chile that would be used in Peru. The dish was fresh, fast and fabulous. We loved it!
We ate the stir-fry with roasted broccoli- a strange combination- but it was ultimately a nice compliment. 🙂
Yield: Serves 6
- 12 ounces spaghetti (I used whole wheat)
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 1/2 T oyster sauce
- 3 T light soy sauce
- 3 T balsamic vinegar
- 4 T grapeseed oil or other neutral oil
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 5), trimmed and cut into 3/4 strips
- 1 large red onion, halved and sliced into 1/2-inch wedges
- 6-7 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 large red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
- 1 Fresno or jalapeño chile, stemmed, halved, and thinly sliced lengthwise
- freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime, plus wedges to serve
- 1/4 cup plus 2 T lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
- In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts water to a boil. Meanwhile, prep all remaining ingredients.
- Add the pasta and 1 tablespoon salt to the boiling water; cook, stirring occasionally, until just shy of al dente. Reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain. (I cooked my pasta for 5 minutes.)
- In a small bowl, stir together the oyster sauce, soy sauce and vinegar; set aside.
- In a 14-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until barely smoking. (I used a stainless steel skillet.)
- Add the chicken, onion, and garlic, distributing the ingredients evenly, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, without stirring, until the chicken is well browned on the bottom and releases easily from the pan, about 4 to 5 minutes. (See Tip)
- Add the oyster sauce mixture and cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits, until the sauce is syrupy, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the bell pepper and chile; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 2 minutes.
- Add the pasta and stir to combine. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water and cook, tossing constantly, until the noodles are al dente, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Off heat, stir in the lime juice. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Place half of the stir-fry in a serving bowl and sprinkle with half of the cilantro. Repeat with the remaining stir-fry and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges on the side, as desired.
Tip: Don’t stir the chicken too soon after adding it to the skillet. Left undisturbed, it forms a fond, or browned bits that stick to the skillet. The dish’s flavor develops when the oyster sauce mixture deglazes that fond. After adding the pasta water, stir vigorously; this helps the sauce come together.