I love Chinese noodles in just about any form.
This wonderful side dish recipe is from a cookbook called Feeding the Dragon: A Culinary Travelogue Through China with Recipes by brother and sister Nate and Mary Kate Tate.
Nate and Mary Kate studied, worked and traveled extensively throughout China. They have written about their journeys and the fantastic food they learned to cook along the way.
This is what Mary Kate and Nate say about the fried Chinese noodles they learned to make in Shanghai:
“Shanghai life is notoriously fast paced – commuters fight traffic-congested streets and ride on crowded subways, business people work long hours at demanding jobs, and the city’s young professionals are ambitious, stylish, and competitive. For meals, people often grab xiao chi, or “small eats,” from the many small restaurants and street vendors that can be found in every nook and cranny of the city. Xiao chi is a catchall term that means anything that can be eaten on the go: fried stinky tofu cubes drizzled with hot sauce, guo-tie pot stickers, kebabs, soup dumplings, and spicy chicken wings.”
“Our favorite Shanghai xiao chi are undoubtedly Shanghai Fried Noodles. The best we had were at Wujiang Road, a pedestrian paradise of dozens of stalls selling cheap, good eats. The chewy noodles came bathed in a dark and savory sauce mixed with flash-fried crispy snow peas and garlic slivers.”
This recipe for Chinese noodles can be served with so many things. Obviously it will work wonderfully with other Chinese recipes, but you can certainly serve it with non Asian recipes as well.
This recipe would also be great with grilled chicken or beef.
You can buy star anise in most grocery stores. It is also a main ingredient in Chinese 5 spice powder.
Give it a try. I think you will add it to your list of yummy comfort foods you want to make over and over again.
Chinese Noodles: Shanghai Fried Noodles
- 12 ounces noodles, fresh thick round noodles or Japanese udon noodles
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon cold water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 3 green onions, white parts only, chopped
- 1 star anise
- 2 cups snow peas, trimmed
- 2 cups napa cabbage, shredded
- Prepare the noodles according to their package instructions or boil until al dente. Rinse the noodles under cold water to get rid of any starch and then drain really well. Toss the noodles with the sesame oil until they are evenly coated and shiny.
- Combine the dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, sugar, and cornstarch slurry in a small bowl.
- Heat the vegetable oil over high heat.
- Add the ginger, garlic, green onions, and star anise and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Add the snow peas and cabbage and stir-fry for 1 minute, or until the snow peas are cooked but still a little crunchy. Add the soy sauce and cornstarch slurry mixture and stir for 20 seconds. Toss in the noodles and stir until all the noodles are coated with the sauce and heated through.
- Serve immediately.