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Long Life Noodles

January 16, 2012

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Planning a forthcoming trip to China has me dreaming of Dim Sum and thinking about my own forays into Chinese cooking.

Among the few Chinese foods in my hits column: Spring Rolls. It certainly helps that I rely on a recipe from one of the cookbooks my sister-in-law’s parents wrote — The Encyclopedia of Chinese Food and Cooking (and also look for their other book, The Northern Chinese Cookbook ) — as well as Spring Roll skins my sister-in-law sometimes personally helps me select in Chinatown.

This recipe is another hit. Written down by me, while my sister-in-law, a truly excellent cook, prepared it.

While my version only manages to approximate the WOW of her dish, it’s still mighty tasty.

And all it takes is prep time, some Chinese take out, and just a little cooking.

You’ll Need:

2 cups Chinese roast pork from your local Chinese restaurant, slivered into thin strips

1/2 box linguine, cooked al dente

2 Tbs Soy Sauce

1 Tbs Sesame Oil

3 Tbs Canola Oil

8 scallions, tops and bottoms removed, and the remainder sliced

1 cup frozen French cut green beans, thawed

2 Tbs minced fresh ginger

2 Tbs minced garlic

2 cups cabbage, shredded

1 celery stalk, thinly sliced on the bias

1 carrot, peeled & slivered
with the vegetable peeler to get lovely long strands.

1 generous handful mung bean sprouts

2 Tbs chicken broth
1 tsp corn starch
Mix together to create a kind of slurry. Note that the broth needs to be cold, not hot, when you mix it with the corn starch for the slurry to do its thickening job later.

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp ground pepper

A large stock pot to cook the pasta

A wok or large fry pan to stir fry the rest
If you don’t have a wok & wok ring, I recommend the calphalon flat bottom wok — it’s a work horse! Durable & versatile, it’s a staple of my kitchen that I use almost every day, even when I’m not preparing Chinese food.

A colander and bowl to drain the pasta

A large platter for serving

Steps

1. Have all your ingredients fully prepped and all your implements set out before you start to actually cook. This mis en place system is helpful in other cuisines, but essential in Chinese cooking.

2. Put water on the boil for the pasta. No need to salt it, as the overall dish gets well salted.

3. Put the oil in the wok or fry pan.

4. When the water is boiling, turn the wok or fry pan on high and start heating the oil.

5. Put the pasta in the water, set the timer to the package recommendation for al dente.

6. When the oil is hot (it should be moving in the pan) toss in the string beans, scallions, garlic & ginger and stir fry for about 1 minute.

7. Then toss in the cabbage, carrots & celery and stir fry for about 2 minutes.

8. Then add the roast pork and stir fry another minute or so.

9. Then add the sprouts, the stock & corn starch slurry, and the salt & pepper. Stir fry just until a shiny glaze forms on it all. Then turn off the burner. (If you’re working on an electric stove, move the pan off the burner as well.)

10. By this time the pasta should be done. Drain it, toss with the soy sauce & sesame oil and put it on the large platter.

11. Top with the pork and vegetable mixture, toss gently and serve immediately.

Easily serves 4 as a one dish meal, many more as part of a multi-dish meal.

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