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The Secrets to Great Chinese Stir-Fried Noodles 肉絲炒麵

Great stir-fried noodles have texture: The noodles are chewy, the vegetables crisp, the meat tender. We'll show you how to achieve this.
By Published July 19, 2022

What's the secret to great Chinese stir-fried noodles?

Timing, timing, timing.

Why? Great stir-fried noodles have texture: The noodles are chewy, the vegetables crisp, the meat tender. Nothing is clumped together.

The way to ensure this is to not dump everything in the wok at once. It's a careful choreography of cooking ingredients separately, and at the last moment, combining everything into something truly delicious.

In this episode of Hunger Pangs, we'll show you exactly how to achieve restaurant-quality stir-fried noodles at home.

Watch the step-by-step instructional video below, then cook through the written recipe.

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Pork Stir-Fried Noodles 肉絲炒麵

Serves 4

BEFORE YOU BEGIN

  • When shopping for Shaoxing wine, look for one that is amber in color; if not available, dry sherry may be used as a substitute.
  • If no hoisin sauce is available, substitute 1 tablespoon of sugar.
  • If boneless pork ribs are unavailable, substitute 1½ pounds of bone-in country-style ribs, followed by the next best option, pork tenderloin.
  • Liquid smoke provides a flavor reminiscent of Chinese barbecued pork.
  • In the absence of lo mein noodles, we found that dried linguine worked beautifully here. It is important that the noodles are cooked at the last minute to avoid clumping.


INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 1 pound boneless country-style pork ribs, trimmed of surface fat and excess gristle and sliced crosswise into 1/8-inch pieces
  • ¼ teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
  • ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 4½ teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
  • ½ pound shiitake mushrooms, stems trimmed, caps cut in halves or thirds (about 3 cups)
  • 2 bunches scallions, whites thinly sliced and greens cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1 small head Napa or Chinese cabbage, halved, cored, and sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch strips (about 4 cups)
  • 12 ounces Chinese egg noodles (fresh) or 8 ounces dried linguine
  • 1 tablespoon Asian chili-garlic sauce


INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven over high heat.
  2. Whisk soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, and five-spice powder together in medium bowl. Place 3 tablespoons soy sauce mixture in large zipper-lock bag; add pork and liquid smoke, if using. Press out as much air as possible and seal bag, making sure that all pieces are coated with marinade. Refrigerate at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour. Whisk broth and cornstarch into remaining soy sauce mixture in medium bowl. In separate small bowl, mix garlic and ginger with ½ teaspoon vegetable oil; set aside.
  3. Heat 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in wok, 12-inch cast-iron or nonstick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add half of pork in single layer, breaking up clumps with wooden spoon. Cook, without stirring, 1 minute. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons wine to skillet; cook, stirring constantly, until liquid is reduced and pork is well coated, 30 to 60 seconds. Transfer pork to medium bowl and repeat with remaining pork, 1 teaspoon oil, and remaining 2 tablespoons wine. Wipe skillet clean with paper towels.
  4. Return wok/skillet to high heat, add 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, and heat until just smoking. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until light golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Add scallions and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until scallions are wilted, 2 to 3 minutes longer; transfer vegetables to bowl with pork.
  5. Add remaining teaspoon vegetable oil and cabbage to now-empty wok/skillet; cook, stirring occasionally, until spotty brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Clear center of skillet; add garlic-ginger mixture and cook, mashing mixture with spoon, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir garlic mixture into cabbage; return pork-vegetable mixture and chicken broth-soy mixture to skillet; simmer until thickened and ingredients are well incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat.
  6. While cabbage is cooking, stir noodles into boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until noodles are tender, 3 to 4 minutes for fresh Chinese noodles or 10 minutes for dried linguine. Drain noodles and transfer back to Dutch oven; add cooked stir-fry mixture and garlic-chili sauce, tossing noodles constantly, until sauce coats noodles. Serve immediately.