Cold-Dressed Noodles, Yibin-Style

[Photographs: Chichi Wang]

Note: Preserved mustard greens can be found canned at most Chinese markets.

About the author: Chichi Wang took her degree in philosophy, but decided that writing about food would be much more fun than writing about Plato. She firmly believes in all things offal, the importance of reading great books, and the necessity of three-hour meals. If she were ever to get a tattoo, it would say "Fat is flavor." Visit her blog, The Offal Cook.

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Cold-Dressed Noodles, Yibin-Style

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About This Recipe

Yield:serves 4
This recipe appears in: Chichi's Chinese: An Ode to Chinese Cold Noodles

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup chili oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 8 ounces pea shoots or spinach (about 4 loosely packed quarts)
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup Sichuan ya cai or preserved/pickled mustard green (see note above)
  • 1 pound dried Chinese noodles
  • 1/4 cup toasted chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup toasted chopped peanuts
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 3 scallions, green parts only, chopped

Procedures

  1. 1

    Combine chili oil, sesame oil, and soy sauce in a small bowl. Set aside. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Blanch the pea shoot or spinach just until leaves are wilted, about 5 seconds. Immediately transfer to a bowl of cold water. Wring out excess moisture, then divide greens among 4 small bowls. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to each bowl

  2. 2

    Heat one tablespoon oil in a large wok over high heat until shimmering. Add the preserved vegetable and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

  3. 3

    Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the package. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Divide the noodles among the serving bowls. Drizzle each bowl with a quarter of the chlii oil/soy mixture. Sprinkle stir-fried mustard greens, walnuts, peanuts, sesame seeds, and scallions evenly between the bowls.

  4. 4

    Serve immediately, allowing your guests to mix their own noodles at the table.

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