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Spicy Sichuan Noodles
(make the Steamed Brocolli with Soy and Ginger recipe to go along with this one)
This rich, flavorful Chinese dish can be made without exotic ingredients. If you cannot find Asian noodles, linguine may be substituted. If you are using natural peanut butter or Asian sesame paste that has a pourable rather than spreadable consistency, use only 1 cup of chicken stock. Also note that the amount of sauce will coat 1 pound of fresh noodles but only 12 ounces of dried noodles, which bulk up during boiling.
8 ounces tofu
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Chinese rice cooking wine or dry sherry
ground white pepper
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
4 tablespoons Asian sesame paste or peanut butter
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 1/4 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth (see note)
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 inch piece fresh ginger , minced (about 1 tablespoon)
6 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 tablespoons)
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
12 ounces dried Asian noodles or 1 pound fresh Asian noodles (width between linguine and fettuccine) or 12 ounces linguine
3 medium scallions , sliced thin (about 1/3 cup)
2 cups bean sprouts (about 6 ounces) (optional)
1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns toasted in small dry skillet until fragrant, then ground (optional)
1 tablespoon hot chili oil (optional)
1. Combine pork, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, sherry, and pinch white pepper in small bowl; stir well with fork and set
aside while preparing other ingredients.
Whisk together oyster-flavored sauce, remaining soy sauce, peanut butter or sesame paste, vinegar, and pinch
white pepper in medium bowl. Whisk in chicken stock and set aside.
2. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large stockpot over high heat.
3. Meanwhile, heat 12-inch skillet over high heat until hot, about 2 minutes. Add peanut oil and swirl to coat
Stir in ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add peanut butter/chicken stock mixture; bring to boil, whisking to combine, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer to blend flavors, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Stir in sesame oil.
4. While sauce simmers, add noodles to boiling water and cook until tender (refer to package directions, but use them only as a guideline and be sure to taste for doneness). Drain noodles; divide noodles among individual bowls, ladle a portion of sauce over noodles, sprinkle with scallions, bean sprouts, and ground Sichuan peppercorns, if using; serve immediately.