Monday, February 19, 2007

Shanghai Noodles

I’ve been a little busy lately with work and winter cold blahs, but I am still eating. Not a lot, but I’m still eating.

I remembered a little last minute yesterday that it was the Lunar New Year, the Golden Year of the Pig. I have not figured out yet what extra blessings the golden part means, or how the Year of the Pig affects me, a cow, or Tony who is a rat (he always snickers about that but is proud of it because the rat won the race- by sitting on the cow’s nose).Growing up, my mother always prepared a feast for Chinese New Year, but remembering to prepare a Chinese at all for the new year is only something I’ve started recently. Even if I didn’t have Chinese ancestors (who, I think, I’m supposed to honour at the new year…oops), it’s still a pretty cool celebration.

Ideally, we should eat a whole bunch of special foods for the Lunar New Year and set off fireworks for a month. But we settle for a few things we can manage. We managed Shanghai Noodles for dinner last night. I found it in the Joy of Cooking, but I made a few changes to reduce the oil, and also because I screwed up the fried fingers of Chinese eggplant that was supposed to lie on top. Oh well, it was still pretty tasty. Here’s what I did.

Shanghai Noodles
4 dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked in water; stem snipped off and the caps sliced
1 baby bok choy, bottom trimmed, all the leaves should be independent
12 snow peas (I recommend more)
¼ C sliced bamboo shoots
3 scallions, cut into 2 inch pieces
¼ C roasted chicken stock
2 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 Tbsp dark soya sauce
1 ½ tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
½ C bean sprouts
7 oz. durum semolina spaghetti noodles
1 tsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp vegetable oil

1. Cook the spaghetti according to al dente (yes the Chinese also prefer toothsome pasta, or sonng)
2. Drain and toss with the sesame oil.
3. Combine the chicken stock, oyster and soya sauces, sugar and salt together.
4. Swirl the 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil in a heated wok. Add the bok choy, snow peas and scallions. 5. Toss to coat with the oil.
6. Pour the chicken stock mixture into the wok. Stir, and cover with a lid to allow the vegetables to steam a little bit, until wilted.
7. Add the noodles and toss to mix everything together.
8. Add the bean sprouts. Toss and stir fry to make sure everything is warmed up and well distributed.

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