I realize that I can thank the new gas stovetop for my newfound enthusiasm for cooking. When we moved into the Little Blue House, it came with a glass-top electric stovetop. A terrible, terrible electric stovetop that made me wreck dishes I used to cook (figurately!) blindfolded. Couple that with my growing reliance on Mulch Boy’s cooking, and I realized that I have completely lost my confidence as a cook over the last few years.
|Well used but not well bound.|
Pan-Fried Noodles with Mushrooms Mushrooms Mushrooms
(Adapted from the Crispy Pan-Fried Noodles recipe in Jean Yueh’s Dim Sum & Chinese One-Dish Meals)
1 lb fresh thin Chinese egg noodles½ cup cooking oil, preferably peanut because of the high smoking point
8 oz (?) package of fresh wood ear mushrooms
1 bunch of scallions
1 tablespoon oyster-flavored sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon sugar
1 ¼ cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon sesame oil
- Cook noodles in boiling water for 2 minutes, then quickly drain well in colander and rinse with cold water. Let stand in air until ready to fry. The original recipe says the noodles will be even better if you do this a couple of hours ahead of time; mine “rested” for probably a half hour in the colander on a plate on the counter.
- Rinse mushrooms; slice shitakes. Slice scallions (the entire things, white and green) into 1-inch sections. Mushrooms and scallions can all wait together in one big bowl till needed.
- Mix together all the sauce ingredients in a bowl.
- Heat your wok or giant fry pan to fiery, then heat ½ cup of oil until it’s beginning to haze. Drop a bit of noodle or scallion in; if it sizzles, you’re ready.
- Gently drop half the noodles in the hot oil, spread out like a pancake, and fry until golden and crisp on one side (depending on your stove, 5-10 minutes). Flip the noodle “pancake” (a big spatula and some tongs are helpful here) and fry the other side until it, too, is golden and crispy. Remove noodles and drain on paper towels, then transfer to an old cookie sheet and keep warm in a low oven. Repeat the process with the other half of the noodles.
- Heat a couple of tablespoons of cooking oil in the wok to the same sizzling stage, then throw in the big bowl of mushrooms and scallions. Stir-fry for about 2-3 minutes.
- After giving it a good stir, add the sauce mixture to the wok and stir the whole thing until the sauce is thick and translucent. (This will happen quickly.)
- Drizzle the sesame oil on top of everything, give a stir and taste. For more salt, sprinkle some extra soy sauce.
- Have your spouse transfer the fried noodles to a serving plate, then pour delicious mushrooms and scallions and sauce on top. To serve more easily, consider cutting the noodles into portions. The noodles will be crispy outside and tender inside, and the sauce will soak in and make them a little chewy, too.
What I Will Do Differently Next Time
The proportions were a bit off because the original recipe called for 8 ounces of noodles, whereas I picked up a 16-ounce package--thus, not quite enough sauce. Still, we ate it all, much to our shame. Therefore, rather than just make the correct amount of noodles next time, my plan is to increase the sauce by 50%, plus add a tad more soy sauce at the end to taste. I may also substitute spicy sesame oil for regular, just to see how the extra bite shakes things up.