Shanghai Stir-Fried Chunky Noodles
"Land of Fish and Rice: Recipes from the Culinary Heart of China"
"This Shanghainese dish is made with thick, bouncy noodles like fresh Japanese udon, which are given a dark caramel tint by soy sauce and freshened up with barely cooked greens. Pork slivers make a delicious addition, but vegetarians may omit them and still enjoy the dish. In Shanghai, the greens will be the tenderest little sprouts of green bok choy, known as “chicken feather greens”; at home I often use baby spinach because the leaves need to be tender enough to wilt quickly in the heat of the wok. According to some accounts, the recipe was developed by Shanghainese immigrants in Hong Kong." — Fuchsia Dunlop
- 4 ounces lean pork
- 1/2 teaspoon light soy sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
- 2 teaspoons potato starch
- 1 tablespoon beaten egg or 1 tablespoon cold water
- 15 ounces fresh Shanghai noodles or Japanese udon
- 2 1/2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 9 ounces baby green bok choy or 2 large handfuls of baby spinach
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- Salt and ground white pepper
Cut the pork evenly into thin slices, then into slivers. In a bowl, mix together the light soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, potato starch, and egg or water. Add the pork slivers and mix well.
Bring a pan of water to the boil. Add the noodles and cook for 2 minutes (fresh Shanghai and udon noodles are already halfcooked when you buy them, which is why this doesn’t take long). Turn the cooked noodles into a colander and cool under the cold tap. Shake them dry. Drip over ½ tablespoon oil and stir in thoroughly to prevent sticking.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a seasoned wok over a high flame. Add the pork strips and stir-fry swiftly to separate them. When they are just cooked, remove from the wok and set aside. Clean and re-season the wok if necessary, then return it to a high flame with the remaining oil. Add the noodles and stir-fry until piping hot, adding both soy sauces and seasoning with salt and pepper. Add the bok choy or spinach and continue to stirfry briefly until wilted. Finally, stir in the pork. Serve.
Excerpted from Land of Fish and Rice by Fuchsia Dunlop (W. W. Norton & Company). Copyright © 2016. Photography by Yuki Sugiura.