Spicy Asian Noodles
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A quick Asian noodle recipe with lots of flavor and a kick of spice. This could be an easy dinner, lunch, or a late night snack.
I recently had the pleasure of reading Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl, a renowned food writer who served as Editor-in-Chief of “Gourmet” magazine, and as a restaurant critic for the New York Times.
I love the way Ruth writes about food, but the best thing about her books is that she includes recipes for some of the dishes she describes.
In one chapter, she talks about a night when her son was up late and hungry. She was exhausted from her crazy work schedule, but she headed to the kitchen to whip up his favorite spicy noodles. As she described the “scent of ginger, scallions, and black beans” rising around them in the kitchen, my mouth was watering. I really wanted those noodles!
Thankfully, she provided the recipe on the next page, so that I COULD have those noodles.
I was at the nearest Asian grocery store the next day hunting ingredients, and it turned out to be a little trickier than I thought it would be. Not because the ingredients weren’t available, but because they were described differently on the labels than she described in the book.
So I decided to document the recipe and ingredients here, so that I can help you track down the right ingredients.
I had to spend some time reading labels in the aisle of our local H-mart (Asian grocery store) before I found what I was looking for: Chili Bean Sauce and Black Bean Garlic Sauce
Once you find the two Chinese pastes you need, it’s really one of the easiest recipes in the world. And SO good! It’s worth it to make the trek to the Asian grocer to find this stuff!
I also purchased Chinese noodles there.
All other ingredients can be found at a regular grocery store. One quick hack I want to tell you about — frozen ginger! If you can find this in the freezer section at your grocery store, buy it.
It’s fresh ginger, but the peeling and grating has been done for you. This is a big time saver (not to mention a knuckle saver).
Once you’ve bought the pantry ingredients for this dish, you’ll be able to make it over and over again really quickly.
It’s really addicting, and if you love spice, you’ll want to drizzle a little chili oil on at the end. It adds just the right amount of heat.
RELATED —> If you’re a fan of spicy Asian food, be sure to also check out my recipe for Spicy Asian Chicken Stir-Fry too.
Spicy Asian Noodles
- 8 oz Chinese noodles
- 2 tbsp peanut oil
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- 2 scallions
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp Chinese black bean garlic sauce
- 1 tbsp Chinese chili bean sauce
- 1/2 lb ground pork
- 1/8 tsp hot chili oil, optional
- Cook noodles in boiling water according to package instructions. Remove from water when al dente and set aside, tossing with a dash of peanut oil.
- Peel and mince the ginger (if using fresh ginger – see notes).
- Chop scallions and separate into white and green parts.
- Mix the sugar and bean sauces and set aside.
- Heat wok (or large skillet) until a drop of water skitters across the surface. Add a tbsp of peanut oil, add the ginger, and stir fry until ginger is fragrant.
- Add pork and white scallions and stir try until pork is no longer pink.
- Add bean sauce/sugar mixture and cook and stir for about 2 minutes.
- Add noodles and green scallions to the pan and toss until noodles are evenly coated with sauce.
- Add chili oil (if desired), and toss again.
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