Crisp Cooked Noodles
Note: These recipes have been adapted from 'Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragon Boats' by Nina Simonds, Leslie Swartz, and The Childrens Museum, Boston. Text copyright 2002 by Nina Simonds, Leslie Swartz, and The Childrens Museum, Boston. Illustrations copyright 2002 by Meilo So. Reprinted by permission of Harcourt, Inc.
- Yield: Serves 6
- 10 dried Chinese black mushrooms
- 2 cups hot water, plus 1 cup room temperature water
- 3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, plus more for coating cake pan
- 3/4 pound thin Chinese egg noddles, Hong Kong-style or fresh angel hair or vermicelli
- 3 tablespoons sake or rice wine
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons safflower or corn oil
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 4 leeks, ends trimmed, halved, well washed, and julienned
- 3 large carrots, peeled, trimmed, and grated (4 cups)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine, or sake
- 4 cups bean sprouts
Place mushrooms in a medium bowl. Cover with 2 cups hot water. Let soak until soft, about 20 minutes. Drain. Strain liquid through a fine sieve; reserve 2 cups liquid. Remove, and discard mushroom stems. Slice caps into thin strips; set aside.
Lightly coat an 8-inch round cake pan with sesame oil; set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles, and cook until just tender, about 4 minutes for fresh and 7 minutes for dried. Drain. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil, and toss to combine. Transfer noodles to prepared cake pan; let stand until cool.
In a medium bowl, combine remaining cup water, reserved mushroom liquid, 1 1/2 tablespoons sake, oyster sauce, soy sauce, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil, and pepper. Whisk to combine. Add 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixture. Stir to combine; set aside.
Heat a wok or large skillet. Add 1 tablespoon safflower oil, and heat until hot, about 20 seconds. Add noodles, maintaining their shape, and cook until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip noodles, and cook until the other side is browned. Transfer to a platter, and keep warm.
Add remaining tablespoon safflower oil, and heat about 20 seconds. Add the reserved mushrooms, the garlic, and ginger and stir-fry until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the leeks and carrots. Stir-fry for 1 minute.
Add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sake, and cook 1 minute more. Add the mushroom liquid mixture, and bring to a boil. Stir in about half of the remaining cornstarch mixture, and cook, stirring, until thickened. If needed, add additional cornstarch mixture until desired consistency is achieved. Stir in bean sprouts. Spoon vegetables over noodles; serve immediately.