PAN FRIED NOODLES WITH TOFU AND VEGETABLES (for four)
8 ounces fresh thin Chinese egg noodles (shi dan mian, also called Hong Kong noodles; not wonton noodles)
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
½ cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons canola or peanut oil
6 ounces firm tofu, cut into cubes
1 carrot, julienned
2 cups small broccoli florets
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
½ cup roasted cashew nuts
- Bring 8 cups unsalted water to a boil in a 6 to 8 quart pot, then add noodles, stirring to separate, and cook 1 minute. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water until the noodles are cool, then shake colander briskly to drain excess water. Scatter on a clean kitchen towel and let dry for 1 hour, then toss the noodles with 1 teaspoon sesame oil.
- In a 12-inch non-stick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Tilt the pan and move it around so that the oil coats the bottom. When the oil is hot, add the noodles and push them into the bottom of the pan with a spatula. Cook the noodles until they are golden brown on the bottom, about 6 minutes. Press down on the noodles with a spatula during cooking — this helps form them into a nest shape and makes sure they cook evenly. Rotate the noodle cake with a spatula to brown evenly and lift edges occasionally to check color.
- Flip the noodles frittata-style: Place a plate over the noodles and then invert the pan so that the noodles fall onto the plate, browned side up. (Flip the pancake well away from any open flame. Any oil left in the pan may spill and, if it comes into contact with a flame, catch fire.) Add another tablespoon vegetable oil to the pan and tilt pan to lightly coat the bottom. Slide the noodles back into the pan. Cook until they are golden brown on the bottom, usually about 5 minutes. Again, press down lightly on the noodles during cooking. (The exact cooking time may vary depending on the type and even the brand of noodle that you are using. If, after browning both sides, the noodles aren’t quite as crisp as you like, you can fry either side for a bit longer, but you shouldn’t need to add extra oil to the pan.) Transfer drained noodle cake to a platter and loosely cover with foil to keep warm.
- Mix together the soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Stir until smooth, then stir in the vegetable broth.
Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat, add 2 tablespoons canola or peanut oil and stir-fry the carrot and broccoli for 2 minutes. Add the tofu and stir-fry for 4 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the sauce mixture and cashews and mix until well combined, heated through and slightly thickened. Pour over noodles.
adapted from Gourmet Magazine, September 2005