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[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

Why go to the trouble of boiling noodles, draining them in a colander, rinsing them under cold water, draining them again, and then stir-frying them? Sure, sometimes I love making things needlessly difficult for myself, but this is not one of those cases. Instead, I was after a crunchy noodle base, one which maintains its integrity even after toppings and a strong sauce are poured on top.

I first encountered this terrific method three years ago with Hong Kong Style Pan-Fried Noodles. In that recipe, I advised browning the noodles in a wok, which sounded great until my first batch of noodles attached themselves to metal and refused to let go. More oil could have gone in, but I decided instead to retreat into the comfortable arms of my non-stick skillet. It was a great move.

I didn't do much to the savory sauce. But I did completely change up the toppings, picking out a mix of bright green snap peas, crunchy carrots, and plump shrimp. But before any those hit the skillet, I tossed in a heap of minced garlic and ginger, which made the dish far more fragrant and lively than I had imagined.

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Pan-Fried Noodles with Shrimp, Snap Pea, and Carrot ยป

About the author: Nick Kindelsperger is the editor of Serious Eats: Chicago. He loves tacos and spicy food. You can follow him as @nickdk on Twitter.

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