Thursday, November 10, 2011

Chin Chin Chinese Noodle Salad

Chinese food came in my life long before I was introduced by the world's other delicious cuisines. In India, Chinese food takes on a whole other meaning. Authentic Chinese wasn't very popular here 10 years back but slowly its making its way in. Before then, Chinese food meant a lot of Chili sauce for heat, soy for that dark brown colour and vinegar for the tangy sourness. In most of the Indian street food, Chinese still is the same because God knows how much we love chili in our food! But as the tastes evolve and people keep learning more about good food, their way of making Chinese also improves. 



Now I'm not saying that if you serve what I'm making in a Chinese house, the people will say its authentic fare, but they sure will like it cuz its tasty! And I'm just talking bout making some noodles - Chinese style. I mean come on, how hard can that be?! Give this a try- so easy! And this is probably the healthiest noodles you'll eat because its got a ton of veggies and the stir fry technique doesn't let them lose their nutrients. Just packs in a punch of flavour  for your taste buds. 



Serves: 4

Time: 30 mins

Complexity: ** 

You'll need

Bell peppers (any colour/s available), Cut in thin strips length-wise
1 large Carrot, julienned
4 Scallions/ spring onions, cut into thin slices; greens separated
2" pc of ginger julienned
5-6 garlic cloves (use less if you don't like a strong garlicky aroma)
Shredded cabbage. Use bok choy or lettuce if you feel like. 
2 Onions thinly sliced
250 gms dried egg noodles
Handful of roasted peanuts
2-3 tbsp peanut oil (if allergic, use sesame oil or any other veg oil)
2 tbsp Dark Soy sauce
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp hoisin sauce (Optional)
1 tbsp red chili flakes or two whole red chilies sliced finely
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
A pinch of love

Method

First have all your vegetables thoroughly rinsed, dried and chopped. You can add veggies of your choice. Keep them almost similar in size so they take almost the same time to cook. 



Take a big pot of water and bring it to a boil. This is for cooking the noodles. It should be boiled by the time we are almost done with the vegetables. The noodles tend to stick and become mushy if kept cooked and unattended for a long time, so I prefer to make the simultaneously along with the stir fry. 

Have a wok ready for stir fry. Keep it on a medium high flame for about 30 secs before you add in the oil. Let the oil shimmer a little before you start to add in the garlic and ginger. They should sizzle as soon as you add them in. 

Give it a stir for about 15 secs before adding in the sliced red onions. We don't want the garlic to burn. These are the aromatics for most Chinese foods. It smells fantastic, doesn't it?! Stir this for a minute till you see the red onions going slightly paler. 


Add in the white portion of the scallions and the julienne of carrots. Stir fry this for another minute till you see the carrots soften a little. Increase the flame to high if required. You should always here a sizzling sound when you add something new to the pan. But be careful and don't let anything stick at the bottom of the wok. 

Now add the bell peppers and cabbage and cover to steam this for around 2 mins. We just want the veggies to tenderize a little. I don't like them all raw. If you like them crunchier, don't steam, just stir fry for a minute. 

While the veggies are steaming, have a pot of boiling water ready. The water should be on a rolling boil. Add in the dried egg noodles to it and add a tsp of salt to season. They should take a couple of minutes to cook or as per the instructions on the packet. Make sure you read those carefully. Drain them as soon as they are done and add to the vegetables. 

Now add the salt, pepper, soy, hoisin, vinegar, chili flakes and the ground peanuts in. Give it a good toss and combine everything well. Add your pinch of love to it. 



Time for a taste test for the seasonings. Everything ok? Now serve piping hot. Garnish with the green portion of the spring onions and some peanuts and eat even faster! Yummy Chin Chin Chinese Noodle Salad for you to Indulge! :)) 







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