Crispy Pan-Fried Noodle Cakes With Seafood

[Photograph: Shao Z.]

Crispy and a little saucy, egg noodles pan-fried until they form a crispy-on-the-outside, tender-in-the-middle cake is a classic Hong Kong and Guangzhou dish. A nest of egg noodles are fried in a wok until golden brown and topped with a combination of stir-fried meat, seafood, or vegetables. Here's how to make my favorite version, topped with seafood in a light gravy.

Why this recipe works:

  • We use par-cooked noodles so there's no need to boil them, a gently fry in a moderately hot wok is all it takes to get them crisp, browned, and ready for saucing.
  • Giving the extra-moist seafood a brief plunge into boiling water causes it to expel excess moisture, making it easier to stir fry.
  • Stir-frying in batches ensures that all ingrediets&mdashl;the scallops, shrimp, fish balls, and squid—are cooked perfectly before finishing in a light gravy.
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Crispy Pan-Fried Noodle Cakes With Seafood

About This Recipe

Yield:Serves 3 to 4
Active time:30 minutes
Total time:30 minutes
Special equipment:Wok
This recipe appears in: Chinese Noodles 101: Crispy Pan-Fried Noodle Cakes With Seafood

Ingredients

  • ¼ pound shrimp
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper powder
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoon oyster sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper powder
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 pound choy sum or other Chinese greens
  • 4 Chinese fish balls, cut in half
  • 1/4 pound bay scallops
  • 1/4 pound squid
  • 8 ounces Hong Kong Style Pan-Fried Noodles
  • 8 fresh shiitake mushroom, about 1/2 lb

Procedures

  1. 1

    Combine shrimp, baking soda, 1 teaspoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon white pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Cover with cold water, stir to combine, and set aside.

  2. 2

    Combine stock, garlic, oyster sauce, soy sauce, white pepper, sesame oil, and cornstarch in a medium while. Stir to combine and set aside.

  3. 3

    Heat 2 cups of water in the wok until boiling. Add choy sum and cook just until tender, about 30 seconds. Remove with tongs, run under cold running water to stop cooking, then set aside to drain.

  4. 4

    Add fish balls to water and simmer for 30 seconds. Add scallops and squid and continue to cook for 30 seconds. Drain and run under cold water to halt cooking.

  5. 5

    Gently break apart the noodles with your fingers to separate any large clumps. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok over high heat until shimmering. Add noodles and cook, swirling gently, for 30 seconds. Reduce heat to medium, add 1/4 cup of water, and cook, swirling pan occasionally until beginning to brown. Gently peek under noodles by lifting the edges with a spatula and pushing the edges in towards the center. Continue cooking, swirling, until golden brown underneath, about 5 minutes total.

  6. 6

    Slide noodles out onto a large plate. Top with a second plate placed upside down. Grasp both plates by their edges and flip, transferring the noodle cake to the second plate with the crisped side facing up. Heat another tablespoon of oil in the wok until shimmering. Slide noodle cake into wok and continue to cook, swirling regularly, until golden brown on second side, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer to a large plate and keep warm.

  7. 7

    Heat another tablespoon oil in the wok over high heat until smoking and add mushrooms. Cook, stirring regularly, until browned and tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.

  8. 8

    Carefully drain shrimp. Heat another tablespoon oil in the wok over high heat until smoking and add shrimp. Cook, stirring regularly, until barely cooked through, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl with mushrooms and set aside.

  9. 9

    Heat another 2 teaspoons oil in the wok over high heat until smoking and add seafood. Cook, stirring regularly, until barely cooked through, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl with mushrooms and shrimp and set aside.

  10. 10

    Return wok to heat. Stir sauce mixture and add to wok. Cook until simmering and lightly thickened, about 30 seconds. Return seafood and mushroom mixture to pan and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt. Pour mixture over noodle cake, surround with choy sum, and serve immediately.

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