I've been taking care of Tran, my cousin's wife who recently gave birth to a beautiful little girl. After I pick up little Aria from preschool, I drive directly to Tran's home. Last night's dinner was a one-dish meal. I stir-fried egg noodles with sliced carrot, sugar snap peas, baby spinach and ground turkey.
I love the sizzling sound of stir-fry vegetables and noodles in the wok. There was no need to add liquid to the dish as I cooked the ground turkey first and returned it to the wok with its drippings at the last minute to add extra flavor to the soft noodles.
Servings: 12 servings
2 (14-ounce) packages fresh fine egg noodles
4 tablespoons canola oil (or any neutral oil)
1 pound ground turkey
4 tablespoons fried onions
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 cup leeks (green part only), finely chopped
1 yellow onion, cut in small wedges
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup sugar snap peas, cut on the bias in half
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 bunch baby spinach, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons black bean sauce
1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce, to taste
1 tablespoon sugar
½ cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil (optional)
For the noodles:
On a large platter, untangle and separate the noodles. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Place the noodles in the boiling water, return the water to a boil then lower the heat to medium-low. That way the pasta will cook evenly all the way through. Salt the water half-way through the cooking process (it will bring out the natural flavor of the noodles and they will be softer) and keep stirring every now and then so the noodles don't stick to the bottom. Cook for about 3-4 minutes. When the noodles are cooked (tender but still in shape and firm), drizzle about 1 tablespoon of canola oil, then drain the noodles. Discard the liquid. Set aside.
For the turkey:
In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey, 2 teaspoons sugar, fried onions, 1 tablespoon oil and leeks. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
For the veggies:
Blanch the carrot for 2 minutes in boiling water, add the sugar snap peas and continue boiling for 2 minutes, then transfer into an ice bath. Drain thoroughly, then pat dry on a paper towel. Do not overcook, as the sugar snap peas will continue to cook in the thick sauce later; they should be still tender and crisp or you'll have depleted all the healthy nutrients.
In a wok, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add 1 clove garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the spinach and stir fry until wilted. Transfer to a plate and set aside. In the same wok, add 2 tablespoons oil. Once it's hot, add the ground turkey. Let cook until caramelized on one side. separate the meat into chunks, then stir fry until cooked through. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
In the same wok, add the rest of the oil. Add the remaining garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the black bean and chili garlic sauce, oyster sauce and soy sauce. Stir-fry for about 3-4 minutes. Add the cooked noodles. If necessary, cut them with kitchen shears. Add all the vegetables, green onions and onion wedges. Return the turkey with its drippings; that way the noodles don't stick to the bottom of the wok. Stir constantly. Cook for about 3-5 minutes.
Sprinkle with black pepper. Drizzle with sesame oil (if using).
Serve immediately. Eat with chopsticks .
You can use store-bought black bean and chili garlic sauce like the one from Lee Kum Kee. It's just that every year, my husband grows so many habanero and Thai chiles during the summer, so I make batches of chili garlic sauce. You can check for the recipe of the tướng ớt (literally, spicy dipping sauce in English); it's ultra easy.
A fast and easy way to shred carrots is with this wonderful gadget from Messermeister. It's THE best utensil for making julienne.
The addition of the sesame oil at the end is the perfect finishing touch to the noodles.
Here are a few tips to guarantee a non-soggy chow mein:
- Always stir-fry the ingredients at the highest setting of the stove (always high heat).
- All the vegetables, should be cut the same size for even cooking.