Friday, March 1, 2013

Weeknight Dinner: Shanghai Noodles

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I love pasta, always have, and it was always a staple in our house.  Most of the time though, our pasta was served with tomato sauce.  I got the occasional clam sauce, vodka sauce, alfredo sauce, but the majority of the time red sauce.  My favorite was when meatballs would accompany the dish!

So imagine my surprise when I went off to college and there was a Thai restaurant down the street.  Everyone, apparently except me, had lived unsheltered lives where they all “loved” Thai food (now who knows if this is normal just trying to fit in behavior, or if I really was just a little Italian-American girl who only knew red sauce…I don’t think I’ll EVER be sure). 

The first time we went though, everyone seemed so self-assured.  They ordered these strange sounding dishes and then it was my turn.  I saw “pad thai” described as a noodle dish and was sold.  Of course the noodles weren’t exactly like my pasta back home, but they were good in their own right.  Since then, asian noodles and I have had somewhat of a love affair – see my delicious udon noodle soup if you don’t believe me.  This new dish, Shanghai Noodles, is just the next reminder that when east meets west in loving harmony, everyone wins!
Shanghai Noodles (adapted from Daring Gourmet)
Serves:  4
NOTE:  I used fresh Asian noodles so we halved the sauce recipe.  Feel free to double it if you use egg noodles, but I found half of the sauce to be plenty!
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup of soy sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 pound pork (we used 3 pork chops), thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic
1/2 head Napa cabbage
6 green onions
1 pound fresh round noodles (you can find them in any Asian store)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon pepper

Make the marinade:  Whisk soy sauce, hoisin, sugar, and ginger, until the sugar has dissolved.  Slice the pork into thin slices and add it to the marinade.  Let sit for at least 20 minutes.  Reserve the marinade. 

Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the meal.  Thinly slice the garlic and cabbage and set aside.  Cut the green onions into 1 inch pieces and then cut lengthwise.  Separate the green and white parts.  Dissolve the cornstarch into the chicken stock.

Cook the noodles according to package directions (most fresh noodles take very little time to cook).  Drain.

Add the oil to a wok (or heavy skillet) over high heat.  Fry the pork for 1 minute, until browned.  Add garlic, cabbage, and the white parts of the green onions. Cook about 30 seconds, until cabbage is tender.  Add reserved marinade, sesame oil, pepper, chicken / cornstarch mixture, and the green parts of the green onions.  Cook for 30 seconds.  Add the noodles and stir until combined. Divide evenly amongst 4 bowls and serve immediately.
Until the next time my oven is on…

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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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