This year, February 14 marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year, this year being the Year of the Tiger, and to celebrate we'll be sharing a few recipes from Chinese cooking expert Helen Chen's newly released Easy Asian Noodles.
Easy Asian Noodles covers noodle preparations from all over the continent, from Singaporean curried rice sticks to Japanese udon, along with many of Chen's beloved Chinese noodle dishes.
In Chinese culture noodles are symbolic of long life and commonly served on special occasions. These stir fried Five Shreds Longevity Noodles are popular for birthdays and New Years celebrations and are a great intro into the world of wok-cooked noodle dishes. As is the case with all stir fries, it is important to have all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go since the cooking happens fast. This quick cooking technique is a great way to incorporate more fresh vegetables into your daily cooking routine. The snow peas, peppers, and bean sprouts in this recipe are basically flash cooked so that they keep all of their sweetness and crunch.
- 12 ounces Chinese wheat or egg noodles, or vermicelli or thin spaghetti
- 6 medium dried black mushrooms
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
- 1/2 cup lean pork, shredded (about 1 cup)
- 4 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 5 tablespoons canola oil
- 3 slices unpeeled fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 medium red bell pepper, cored and shredded
- 2 cups bean sprouts
- 4 ounces snow peas, ends snapped off, strings removed and shredded on the diagonal
- 5 scallions, bulbs split and cut into 1-inch lengths
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
In a large pot of boiling water, cook the noodles until a little softer than al dente, about 3 minutes. This should take no more than 2 minutes if the noodles are the pre-cooked variety. Drain, rinse in cold water, drain again, and set aside.
Soak the mushrooms in hot water for 15 minutes to soften. Drain and squeeze dry, reserving 1/4 cup of soaking liquid. With scissors, trim off and discard the woody stems and shred the caps.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk the cornstarch and wine together and add the pork. In another bowl, combine the oyster sauce, soy sauce, and mushroom soaking liquid. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
In a wok, heat 3 tablespoons of the canola oil over high heat. Swirl the oil around the pan and when the oil is hot, but not smoking, toss in the ginger and garlic, and stir them around the pan for a few seconds until fragrant. Stir up the pork again and add it to the pan. Cook, stirring constantly, until the meat separates and is partially cooked, about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and pepper and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds. Add the bean sprouts and snow peas and cook, stirring constantly, until the snow peas turn a darker green, about another minute. Remove and discard the ginger, if desired. Transfer to a flat platter.
In the same pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of canola oil. Add the noodles and toss for about 1 minute, or until heated through. Pour the oyster sauce mixture over the noodles, return the vegetables and meat to the pan and cook, stirring, until the sauce is evenly absorbed into the noodles. Sprinkle with scallions and sesame oil and toss well. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately.