In the local neighborhoods or markets of Shanghai, you will run into fried noodles vendors frying up a pile of Shanghai noodles in a round flat griddle, using long wooden chopsticks to constantly toss and stir the glistening noodles. The cooking process is as fascinating to me as the taste of the noodles. Shanghai noodles are usually thicker and chewier than other noodles providing a great texture when stir-fried with the simple ingredients of pork and vegetables. While most Chinese or Cantonese-style noodles are often fried with minced garlic, authentic Shanghai fried noodles go without it. My Shanghainese friend who runs a restaurant told me that Shanghainese are not big fans of garlic but they like their food greasy, sweet and salty with bold flavors. For my recipe, I cut down on the grease to ensure a healthier dish. You can get the noodles from Chinese food stores where they are labeled as Shanghai noodles. If you can’t find Shanghai noodles, you can use any thick noodles or even udon as a substitute.
Serves 2 as a main dish
- 4 oz (100 g) pork, cut into thin strips
- 1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine or sherry
- 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
- Water, for boiling
- 1 lb (500 g) fresh Shanghai noodles or thick noodles
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 4 oz (100 g) fresh spinach, stemmed and washed
- 1 green onion (scallion), trimmed and cut into small rounds
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 dashes white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
- Marinate the pork with the rice wine or sherry, soy sauce, and cornstarch for 10 minutes.
- Mix all the ingredients for the Seasonings in a small bowl and set aside.
- Bring the water to a boil in a pot. Boil the noodles for 5 minutes, drain and run cold water over the noodles for 30 seconds. Set aside.
- Heat 1/2 tablespoon of the oil in a wok or skillet over high heat. Add the pork and then stir-fry for 1 minute. Dish out and set aside.
- After cleaning the wok or skillet, use it to heat the remaining oil over high heat. Add the noodles and the Seasonings and stir to blend well.
- Return the pork to the wok or skillet. Add the spinach and then stir-fry until the spinach combines well with the noodles and becomes wilted, about 1 minute. Add the green onion, stir and remove from the heat. Serve immediately.
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