Thursday, September 19, 2013

Spicy Buckwheat Noodles (Suan La Qiao Mian)

I adapted this spicy Szechuanese dish from Fuchsia Dunlop's cookbook Every Grain of Rice. It makes for a great side or appetizer dish as it can be served hot or at room temperature. The chicken is optional, but if you happen to have some left-over rotisserie chicken on hand, it would be a great addition. Prior to coming across this recipe, I didn't even know that buckwheat noodles were utilized in Chinese cuisine since I've only eaten them in Japanese restaurants as cold Soba noodles with julienned nori, sliced scallions, and a soy-wasabi-mirin-sake-sugar dipping sauce. Go figure. Anyways, incredibly easy to make and really yummy. 

12 oz. buckwheat (soba) noodles
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 cup diced cooked chicken meat (optional)
5 scallions, sliced
5 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 fresh red chiles, sliced
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp. regular soy sauce
5 tbsp. Chinkiang (brown) vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. chile oil

Fresh cilantro for garnish

1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add the noodles. Cook over medium heat 6-8 minutes or until noodles are just done.

2. Pour noodles into a strainer and toss with 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil (this will prevent the noodles from sticking together).

3. Place the noodles into a bowl and toss with all the remaining ingredients. 

4. Serve immediately at room temperature garnished with fresh cilantro, or can also be served cold. 

Soba (buckwheat) noodles.

Red chiles, garlic, scallions, chile oil, soy sauce, sugar, and Chinkiang brown vinegar. 

Cook the buckwheat noodles.

Drain the noodles in a colander and add 1 tbsp. of oil to keep the strands from sticking together.

Chinkiang vinegar, light soy, regular soy, chili oil.

Toss in the chili oil.

Toss in the remaining ingredients.

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