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Stir-Fried Noodles

This recipe can wear many different hats because you can change the protein and vegetables according to what you have on hand. Since my kids have opposite food aversions, I sometimes make the noodles and sauce first , then stir-fry the protein and vegetables separately so that I can layer them on the noodles strategically. This way, no one has to spend the first few minutes picking stuff out. That said, presenting the vegetables and meat atop a mound of noodles does create a lovely visual.

3/4 pound dried Chinese noodles

1/2 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 tsp. soy sauce

2 tsp. cornstarch

For the sauce:

1/2 cup water

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 tsp. minced fresh ginger

1 stalk green onion, finely chopped

1 large clove garlic, minced *****

1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. vegetable oil, divided

1 stalk green onion cut into 2-inch segments

1/2 medium carrot, julienned (about 1/2 cup)

3 to 4 cups roughly chopped greens, such as baby bok choy, yu choy or Chinese broccoli

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1/2 tsp. sesame oil

Kosher salt (optional)

Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. It’s not necessary to salt the water since the sauce is quite savory. Add the noodles and cook for 9 to 11 minutes or until the noodles are soft but not mushy on the outside and have a little chew on the inside. The cooking time will depend on the thickness of the noodles.

Put the shrimp and the soy sauce in a small bowl, and mix well. Add the cornstarch and mix well again. Set aside.

To make the sauce, in a small bowl put the water, soy sauce, ginger, onions and garlic, and stir to combine. Set aside.

Drain the noodles and set aside. If you are not using the noodles within five minutes, to prevent sticking, add 1 tablespoon oil to the noodles and incorporate with tongs.

Preheat a wok over high heat until wisps of smoke rise from the surface. Add 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil and heat until it starts to simmer. Add the shrimp in a single layer to the bowl of the wok and sear for 30 to 40 seconds or until the shrimp have begun to turn pink. Flip the shrimp and sear for 30 to 40 seconds more. Remove the pan from the heat, transfer the shrimp to a small bowl and set aside. If there are any charred bits in the wok, gently scrape them out.

Return the wok to the stove over high heat. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil, immediately add the onions and stir for about five seconds. Add the greens and continue stirring and scooping to mix for about one minute. Add the shrimp and the sauce, and stir to combine. Add the noodles and carefully stir and scoop to mix. It may be helpful to use tongs. Once well combined, drizzle on the sesame oil. Remove the wok from the heat. Add a dash more soy sauce or salt to taste. Serve.

From “Chinese Soul Food” by Hsaio-Ching Chou

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