Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Thai-Inspired Noodles (with chicken) + Flashback to Japan

I think I'm Asia-sick.

It's like homesickness. But Asia.

One year ago today I was flying from home to Japan.

We got there in the middle of the afternoon, their time, but it felt like 2am or something like that, to our bodies.

We persevered.

We watched the sun set behind Mt. Fuji from our bus.

We ate dinner at a little cafe in downtown Narita where no one spoke a word of English.

I learned how to use chopsticks at that meal.

We bought "small" coffees, not realizing exactly how small coffees are actually capable of being made.

We ran as fast as we could when we thought we were going to miss our bus back to the hotel. We talked American politics with Australians on the bus. It took like an hour and a half but we finally did make it back to the hotel.

And we slept. Hard. For like four hours. Then jet lag kicked in.

But it was the best. We spent most of the next morning at the airport and feasted on soba noodles and took pictures in all of the gift shops. And then we flew out for Myanmar.

(Origami displays in Japan's international airport.)

I remember being so scared getting on that plane for Rangoon. Not because of my actual self. The plane looked safe enough to me. (And we had a couple very sketchy ones later on in the trip.) But the last word I heard from my family before boarding the plane was that they were all sitting in the guest half-bathroom (yeah, all eight of them) because there were tornadoes in the area.

Ding ding! "Now boarding non-stop to Yangon, boarding group C, please."



I'll quit now. Because, my family was fine. ;)

But memories are kind of funny, don't you think? When I got home from Thailand after being gone for almost a month, I was so overwhelmed with stories, I could hardly spout even one. Now, though, if you'll lend me your ear, I could literally cover every day of the trip in detail. I mean, it would take hours and hours, of course, and it's hard to remember everyone's names anymore, but I know it better now than I even did then.

I was telling Janan the other day how amazed I am at myself for being able to get up in front of 1,800 Kachin people and sing a song in Kachin. And I wasn't even nervous! I didn't even know, really, what I was doing when I was doing it! I think I did it purposefully, and with the right heart, but I didn't get the enormity of exactly how amazing that experience was... until it was gone.

In the spirit of feeling Asia-sick, I made this Thai-inspired noodle dish for dinner last night. If you like Asian food, but don't have access to the very specific ingredients Asian foods often call for, I find this a very good substitute with normal ingredients they sell even at my Walmart. :)

If you want to try it out yourself, I hope you enjoy it! My family does! (P.S. If you're feeding fewer or greater than a Snyder-sized family, it's super easy to divide or multiply the numbers to fit what you need! I made a box and a half of pasta last night, just to make sure everyone was satisfied.)

Thai-Inspired Noodles (with chicken)

Serves: 6-8
Cook time: 40 minutes

Chicken (amount optional; 2 breasts makes it very meaty, but vegetarian is good, too)
1 box of noodles, preferably Thai rice noodles or thin whole grain spaghetti noodles
1 Tbsp crushed red pepper flakes (less if you/your kids don't like spicy; more if you're one of those crazy guys who goes to the ghost pepper competitions) 
1/8 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sesame oil
6 Tbsp honey
6 Tbsp soy sauce
1 egg per serving
Suggested garnishes: cilantro (fresh preferable, but dried works) and peanuts


1. Boil your noodles and drain. 

2. Cube your chicken into bite-sized pieces and sear over medium heat with a dash of salt. 

3. Heat pepper flakes and both oils over medium-high heat, stirring with a whisk. When it gets hot and the pepper flakes start to burn in the oil, turn it to simmer for a few minutes. 

4. Take your oil mixture off the heat and add the honey and soy sauce, whisking well. 

5. Combine noodles, chicken, and oil sauce. I recommend either serving hot or cold, not lukewarm, so if you're going hot with eggs and garnishes, keep warm in a pot while frying the eggs, one for each serving. (Scrambled eggs also work, but I like the slightly runny yoke to mellow out the spice of the noodles, personally.)

6. Garnish. Document to Instagram (like a real Asian! Ha!). Enjoy! 

It saves well in the fridge for a day or two—I wouldn't know past that because it's never lasted that long! Once someone finds out I've made a batch, it's all downhill from there. 

If you want to read my official blog posts about that trip to Asia from last year, check them out here

Have a lovely day!


  1. Wow,I just realized how y posts I hadn't commented on yet,and the fact that something about the blog is different. (I know, I know,I'm very observant. How long have the polka dots been here?? ;)

    This post was very fun to read...I've never been Asia sick,but that's probably because I've never been to Asia! I hope you get to go back there some day!

  2. Haha! The polka dots! Someone noticed! Hmmm... I think about a month, now? Do you like them? I think I'm going to change again when I find something I like. I thought I liked the dots but they're a little distracting on the full PC screen, I think...

    I know I'll get back there someday! You should come with me!


I love comments almost as much as I love dark chocolate (and that's a lot!), so be sure to leave your thoughts for me!!

All comments are moderated, so if you don't see your comment right away, don't worry, just give it a couple of hours to be published.

Thanks so very much for reading!

01 09 10 01 09 10