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Kung Pao Noodles with Peanuts and Wok-Fried Vegetables

Kung Pao Sauce

2 tbsp minced ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp dry sherry
2 tsp sesame oil
1 pod star anise
2 tsp sambal oelek (hot sauce)
1/2 tsp cracked pepper
1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
1 tbsp cornstarch

Noodles and Vegetables

1 lb (450 g) fresh Shanghai noodles
2 tbsp peanut oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 bunch broccoli (3 stalks), in florets
6 oz (180 g) snow peas, string and leave whole
3 carrots
4 heads baby bok or Shanghai choy
1 small can water chestnuts, drained
1 can baby corn, drained and sliced in half
1 bunch scallions
4 tbsp roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

1. Begin by making the sauce, which can be done several days in advance. Combine all of the ingredients, except cornstarch, in a pot and gently bring to a boil.

Reduce heat, cover partially and simmer for 15 minutes. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with 1 tbsp water and whisk the slurry into the simmering sauce. Cook until mixture thickens slightly (10 minutes).

Remove the star anise and set the sauce aside, or refrigerate, until ready to use.

2. Before beginning preparation of the vegetables, put a large pot of water on to boil the noodles.

3. Just before starting the stir-fry, begin cooking the noodles and have a colander ready in the sink for draining them.

Heat the wok over high heat, swirl in the oil and add the onion. Fry, stirring constantly, until golden.

Add the carrots and broccoli; stir-fry for 3 minutes. Then add the peas, baby corn, water chestnuts, green onions and the sauce.

Stir well and cover until the vegetables are cooked but still crisp (about 5 minutes).

Serve immediately over hot noodles and garnish with roasted nuts.