Ok, I admit it. I know nothing about authentic Chinese food. Nothing. What I do know is that I have enough Asian ingredients in my pantry to make anything “Chinese”. If it starts with GingerGarlicScallions and ends with soy sauce, I’m callin’ it Chinese. Also, there are nearly ZERO calories in all of those ingredients and they make for very flavorful food. Nothin’ wrong with that!
So a couple of nights ago, I was poking around my fridge and pantry, seeing if I could concoct something resembling dinner without making a trip to the grocery store. Nooooo problem! There were some veggies in the fridge, shrimp in the freeze, noodles in the pantry, soy sauce in the cabinet. Ok, so there was a little more to it than that… but not much!
Here’s what I used:
- Hong Kong Style Egg Noodles
- Water Chestnuts
- Soy Sauce
- Rice Vinegar
- Sesame Oil
- Sesame Seeds, toasted
It’s super fast to put together and can be done with pretty much whatever veggies and/or protein combo you happen to have. This is also why it’s good to have a couple cans of water chestnuts and bamboo shoots in your pantry.
All you have to do is saute the veggies in a little oil until they’re almost done, push them aside to make a little spot in the pan for your ginger, garlic and shrimp (or thinly sliced chicken, pork, beef or what ever). Once the aromatics (ginger and garlic) are giving off their perfume, add the liquids that you’ve already mixed together and tasted for balance. (It should be salty, sweet and bright. I put too much hoisin. Be careful, it’s sweet and strong!) That will stop the browning of g&g while giving the protein a little extra time to cook and the veggies time to absorb. Now toss in your cooked noodles (the ones I used where so thin that I only had to boil them for 2 minutes) and mix it up. You want the liquid to be loose enough that the veggies and noodles will absorb it, but not so loose that you’re left with a pool of sauce in the bottom of the bowl. If it’s too sticky, add a little water. If it’s too loose, move your cooked veggies/noodles to your serving bowl(s) and let the sauce reduce some before pouring it over the rest.
It looks like this:
Now all that’s left is to drizzle it with a touch of sesame oil and sprinkle on the seeds. You’ll only need about a teaspoon of oil per bowl since it’s so fragrant. A little goes a long way! The spice lovers out there can grab for the sriracha, too!
Pretty simple, huh? Yeah, that’s how I like it. Simple, tasty, healthy.
What would I do differently next time? Heavier on the ginger (about 1 tablespoon for 2 people), lighter on the hoisin (1 tablespoon instead of 2!). And I probably didn’t need the leeks since I had scallions, but it was still OK. Over all, pretty yummy for dinner in 15 minutes!