Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Sichuan Style Noodle Soup

When I was growing up, I know noodles can have two main types of flavors-spicy and non-spicy. Of course, in Sichuan cuisine, there are hundreds of different flavors based on how you mix the seasoning. The spicy noodles are called “Hongyou Mian” (red oil noodles) and the non-spicy noodles are called “Qingtang Mian” (plain soup noodles). I loved Qingtang type when I was little, but as I grew older, I started to love Hongyou more. The noodles can be either mixed with chicken, pork or beef, or they can be simply vegetarian. It’s quite common to have noodles on the streets in Chengdu on a regular day, but in the US, I have to make it myself if I want to have a taste of hometown. The good news is it’s easy and fast to make with the right recipe. Last Sunday, I decided to make a bowl of Qingtang Mian since I have been having Hongyou Mian in the past. The key recipe is still the same except it doesn’t have the red pepper oil. Here is recipe of the Qingtang Mian for one serving:
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1. Two green onions chopped as thin as possible;
2. Two tablespoons of honey;
3. One tablespoons of Chinese dark vinegar;
4. Three tablespoons of Chinese soy sauce;
5. Three tablespoons of olive oil (red pepper oil for Hongyou Mian).
The steps are easy:
1. Boil the water till it’s boiling;
2. Put a handful of Chinese noodles in the pot;
3. Let the water to boil for 10 minutes with the noodles and stir the water from time to time (depending on the thickness of the noodles, thinner noodles are faster to cook);
4. Add vegetables you prefer (baby kale or spinach for me) in the pot till they are soaked in hot water for 1 minute (Brussels sprouts take longer to cook);
5. Ladle and drain the noodles and vegetables in the bowl WITHOUT hot water to mix with the recipe;
6. Add one or two cups of cold water in the bowl.
Now it’s ready.
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Based on my experience in the past 7 years, this type of noodles are very addictive. My mouth can easily be watering when I am hungry thinking about it.

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