I don’t make many dishes that I would call “fusion,” but this is one of them: a noodle dish I came up with one lazy Saturday using Chinese and Thai ingredients. I stir-fry fresh Shanghai noodles with garlic, onions, chilies, and a sweet and sour soy-based sauce, topping the whole thing with a Chinese-style egg crepe. The noodles come out just how I like them; nice and spicy, garlicky, savory, and sweet.
The key ingredient here is Thai black soy sauce, which is syrupy and sticky and sweet. Find some along with some fresh noodles on our Chinatown shopping tour or buy it here, or otherwise substitute something else sweet like hoisin sauce. I combine the black soy with the savory flavors of light soy and shaoxing rice wine (or dry sherry) and balance it all with a hit of rice vinegar, which cuts the sweetness a bit and rounds out the flavors. For heat I use bird’s eye chilies, but you can use any source of heat.
The egg crepe is basically a thin open-faced omelet rolled up like a rug and sliced. It’s pretty that way, but feel free to scramble the egg instead, or leave it out. Chicken or another protein would be a nice addition.
Sweet and Spicy Stir-Fried Noodles
1/2 pound fresh Shanghai noodles (or other Asian noodles)
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 red onion
3 garlic cloves
A few garlic chives or scallions or a bunch of Thai basil
2 tablespoons black soy sauce
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons shaoxing rice wine (or dry sherry)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
3-4 bird’s eye chilies (Thai chilies)
|Black Soy (Center) and Other Sauce Ingredients|
1. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions. Under-cook them a little, because they will cook again later. Drain and toss with a teaspoon of sesame oil to prevent sticking.
2. Meanwhile, do your prep. Slice the onion and chop the garlic. Finely slice the chives or scallions. In a bowl, mix together the black soy, light soy, rice wine, and rice vinegar with a tablespoon of water. Leave the chilies whole.
3. Make the egg crepe. Heat a well-seasoned or nonstick wok over medium heat. Meanwhile, beat the egg with a whisk or fork. When the wok is hot, add 2 teaspoons of sesame oil and tilt the wok around to coat the bottom. Add the egg and tilt the wok around in a circle so the egg spreads out into a single thin layer. When the egg sets, carefully fold the end of it over and continue folding until it has rolled up. Then slide it out of the wok onto a plate or cutting board. Slice it into thick strips with a sharp knife and set it aside.
4. Heat the wok over high heat. When it is hot, add the remaining oil and the chilies. After 30 seconds, add the onion and most of the chives (reserving a few for garnish) and stir fry for a few minutes until the onions start to brown. Add the garlic and stir for another 30 seconds.
5. Add the noodles to the wok and toss to combine with the other ingredients. Let them cook for a few minutes, tossing not too often so that they get a nice sear. Don’t worry if they stick a bit to the wok because you will deglaze with the sauce. After a few minutes, add the sauce ingredients. Scrape the bottom of the wok with a wooden spatula or other non-abrasive tool to release any bits that have stuck to the surface. Toss the noodles for about 30 seconds to a minute until the sauce reduces. Remove to a serving bowl and garnish with the remaining chives or scallions. Enjoy.
Total time: 30 minutes
Makes 2 servings