Instead of noodles, the base of this vegan dish is stir-fried bok choy (cooked in a super-heated cast iron wok to get some nice, smoky wok hei into it) along with flowering chives, Chinese chives, and leeks in a savory fermented black bean and soy-based sauce. The noodles are still great—perfect for adding a bit of textural and flavor contrast—but now their ratio is more akin to the marshmallows in the Rice Krispies.
Note: You need a supply of fresh steamed rice noodles for this recipe. Check your local Chinatown or a good Asian grocery. Steamed rice noodles need to be used the day they are made. Do not refrigerate them or they will become brittle/stale very rapidly. If you can't find chow fun noodles, any cooked vegan Chinese noodle will work.
- 1/2 cup Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
- 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons fermented black bean sauce (or 3 tablepoons whole fermented black beans, mashed with the back of a fork)
- 1/2 pound fresh chow fun noodles
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 pounds bok choy (about 1 medium head), cut into rough 2-inch lengths (about 4 quarts packed pieces)
- 1/4 pound Chinese chives or scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths
- 1 large leek, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch lengths
- 2 cups mung bean sprouts
Combine Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, and black beans in a small bowl and stir. Set aside. If noodles are cold, transfer to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave under high power for 1 minute.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil over high heat in a large wok until smoking heavily. Add bok choy and toss to coat in oil. Cook, stirring and tossing occasionally, until bok choy is charred in spots, bright green, and tender-crisp, about 2 minutes total. Transfer cooked bok choy to a bowl and wipe out wok with a paper towel.
Add remaining tablespoon oil to wok and heat over high heat until heavily smoking. Add chives and leeks and cook, stirring and tossing occasionally, until charred in spots, about 1 minute. Add bean sprouts, noodles, bok choy, and sauce. Cook, carefully flipping and turning until noodles and vegetables are evenly coated in sauce. Transfer to a large serving platter and serve immediately.