Saturday, August 26, 2017

Chinese Noodles with Spicy Soy & Black Vinegar Sauce (adapted from Barbara Tropp's Orchid's Tangy Cool Noodles)

Barbara Tropp, once dubbed the "Julia Child of Chinese cooking" by the San Francisco Chronicle, ran her famed Bay Area restaurant, China Moon, from 1986 to 1997. She had a fascinating background: she was born and raised in a Jewish community in Springfield NJ, studied Chinese at Barnard, got her PhD at Princeton, was fluent in Mandarin and, after spending two years in Taiwan, fell in love with and learned the art of Chinese cuisine from the family she stayed with there. The rest is history. Sadly, she passed away in 2001 at the age of 53 from ovarian cancer 

I adapted this recipe from her 'Orchid's Tangy Cool Noodles' recipe from her 1992 China Moon cookbook (I reduced the amount of sesame oil, chili oil and kosher salt and increased the amount of black vinegar with suggested optional ingredients of cilantro, jalapeños, sesame seeds, shredded cooked chicken)

1 lb. fresh Chinese egg noodles or ramen noodles

3 tbsp. sesame oil
3 1/2 tbsp. dark soy sauce
2 tbsp. black vinegar
2 tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp. chili oil

2 scallions, thinly sliced (not more, or may be too bitter)

Optional garnishes/ingredients: chopped cilantro, thinly sliced seeded jalapeños, white sesame seeds

1. Cook the noodles according to package instructions (fresh noodles generally take 3-5 minutes); drain and rinse with cool tap water; shake dry.

2. Combine all the sauce ingredients together in a bowl; cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

3. Place the noodles in a large bowl; pour in the marinade ingredients and toss well to mix. Stir in scallions and garnish with cilantro, sliced jalapeños, and/or sesame seeds, if desired. For a heartier version, you can stir in some shredded cooked chicken. Serve at room temperature.

Cook the noodles and rinse under cool tap water to stop the cooking; 
shake to drain as much water as possible.

Black vinegar, dark soy sauce, sesame oil, chili oil, and minced scallions.

Combine all the sauce ingredients together and set aside.

Add the sauce to the drained noodles.

Toss in the scallions and any of the optional garnishes. 

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