Noodles With Meat Sauce
Noodles are combined with a flavorful meat sauce in this warming dish from Northern China.
- 1 pound Chinese egg noodles or spaghetti
- 6 dried black Chinese mushrooms
- 1/2 pound ground beef or pork
- 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1/4 cup water or mushroom soaking liquid
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon chile paste
- 1 8-ounce can baby corn
- 8 water chestnuts, fresh or canned
- 2 green onions
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 tablespoons oil for stir-frying, or as needed
- 2 tablespoons bean sauce
- 1 cup shredded cabbage or other green vegetable
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, or to taste
Fill a large saucepan with just enough salted water to cover the noodles. Bring to a boil. Add the noodles and cook until they are al dente, using chopsticks or a wooden spoon to separate the noodles. Drain thoroughly.
Soften the dried mushrooms by soaking in hot water for 20 to 30 minutes. Squeeze out any excess water. Thinly slice.
Combine the ground pork or beef with the rice wine and cornstarch, using your fingers to mix together. Marinate for 20 minutes.
Rinse the baby corn under warm running water to remove any "tinny" taste. Drain thoroughly. If using canned water chestnuts, do the same. If using fresh, peel. Finely chop the water chestnuts. Cut the green onion on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces. Peel and finely chop the garlic.
Heat the wok over medium-high to high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the ground pork or beef. Stir-fry until it loses its pink color and is nearly cooked through. Remove from the wok.
Add 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the bean sauce and garlic. Cook briefly, then add the water chestnuts, followed by the baby corn and the cabbage. Stir-fry all the vegetables, seasoning the cabbage with soy sauce or salt during stir-frying if desired.
Push the vegetables up to the side of the wok. Add the sauce in the middle and bring to a boil. Add the meat back into the pan. Cook for a few more minutes. Stir in the sesame oil.
To serve, place the noodles on a large serving platter or in individual serving bowls. Pour the sauce over top.
Yield: 4 Servings