Chinese Home-Style Soft Fried Noodles

This is a versatile noodle recipe that allows for a multitude of substitutions and additions. Instead of the pork use chicken, or beef, or leave the meat out entirely. In addition to the cabbage you may add a couple of ounces each of spinach leaves and bean sprouts, or some shredded carrots, zucchini, and red bell pepper. Keep the vegetables to a total of about 4 to 5 cups and adjust the seasoning by increasing the soy sauce and salt. My mother used to serve this to us as a simple lunch dish when we were children. Our favorite condiment? Ketchup. Try it, or vinegar, and you’ll be amazed how this brightens up the flavor! Even today, I still enjoy these noodles with a dollop of ketchup mixed in.

Recipe courtesy of Easy Asian Noodles by Helen Chen; Copyright Wiley, 2010

Chinese Home-Style Soft Fried Noodles

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    1/2 pound Chinese wheat or egg noodles, or vermicelli or thin spaghetti 3 medium dried black mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes until soft
    1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry 3 tablespoons canola oil
    1 teaspoon cornstarch 2 cups shredded napa cabbage
    1/2 cup shredded pork, chicken, or beef, about 8 ounces 1/2 cup sliced canned bamboo shoots, drained
    2 tablespoons light soy sauce, or to taste 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
    1/2 teaspoon sugar


    Prep: 20 min Total: 30 min (Quick)
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    • 1

      In a large pot of boiling water, cook the noodles until a little softer than al dente. Drain, rinse in cold water, and set aside to drain again.

    • 2

      In a mixing bowl, stir together the wine and cornstarch, then add the meat and stir again. In a separate bowl, mix together the soy sauce and sugar. Drain the mushrooms and squeeze dry. Cut off the stems with scissors and discard. Shred the caps.

    • 3

      In a wok or stir-fry pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the meat mixture and cook, stirring, until it separates and changes color, about 1 minute. Add the cabbage, bamboo shoots, and mushrooms and stir until the cabbage begins to wilt, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the salt.

    • 4

      Sprinkle the noodles with a few tablespoons of water to loosen them up, drain, then add them to the pan. Pour the soy sauce mixture over the noodles and stir until evenly colored, about 30 seconds. If more vegetables are desired add the spinach and bean sprouts with the noodles and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are wilted, yet still tender-crisp, about 3 minutes. Transfer the noodles to a platter and serve immediately with (or without) ketchup and vinegar.

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