Shanghai, China. The most populated city in the world. Bustling with tourists, it is also a major port town, financial hub, business and commerce center, and cultural hotspot. Amidst the ever-changing dynamics of this global city, one thing remains constant: Noodles are the way of life. Plump, handmade noodles are the preference and have been for centuries. Watching Chinese noodle-makers at work in food stalls along the streets of Shanghai, pulling dough and chopping with cleavers at lightening speed is truly awe-inspiring. And whatever variations of noodles are served, the most popular remain ones based on rich brown sauces such as the one featured in this authentic recipe. Not encumbered with a lot other ingredients, the central feature of this dish is, of course, the noodles. Simple, quick, and satisfying…just what a large city dweller needs.
This Shanghai Noodles recipe uses pork, but you can substitute chicken, beef or shrimp. First you marinate the pork for at least 10 minutes.
Then cut up the green onions and Napa cabbage (keeping the green parts and firmer white parts separate. They’re going to be cooked separately so the more tender parts aren’t over-done). Thinly slice the garlic.
Fry the pork in a wok or heavy pan on high heat for a couple of minutes, setting the reserved marinade aside.
Remove the pork and set aside. Next cook the white parts of the green onions and cabbage along with the garlic for about 30 seconds or until tender. Then add the green parts of the cabbage and green onions and cook for another 30 seconds.
Return the pork to the pan along with the reserved marinade, the sesame oil, and the chicken stock/cornstarch mixture. Stir to combine and cook for 30 seconds.
Add the cooked noodles and stir to coat.
- ½ cup dark soy sauce
- ¼ cup oyster sauce (inexpensive and can be purchased in any Asian store) (vegan: use hoisin sauce)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1½ tablespoons fresh ginger, finely minced
- 1 lb pork tenderloin, sliced thinly (vegetarian/vegan: use tofu following directions from Kung Pao Chicken recipe at http://www.daringgourmet.com/2013/01/08/30/)
- 1 lb thick round egg noodles, cooked according to package instructions (fresh noodles are even better, in which case cut the sauce in half because the fresh noodles weigh more) (vegans: use wheat noodles)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
- 6 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces and then julienned lengthwise (keep green and white parts separate)
- ½ head Napa cabbage, thinly sliced (white and pale green parts kept separate)
- 1½ tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 1 cup chicken stock
- 1½ tablespoons sesame oil
- Ground white pepper to taste
- To make the marinade, combine the soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and ginger and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Place the pork in the marinade and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a wok or heavy skillet on high heat and fry the pork for one minute or until done (set the reserved marinade aside). Remove the pork and set aside. Next fry the white parts of the cabbage and green onions along with the garlic for 30 seconds or until tender. Return the pork to the pan along with the reserved marinade, the sesame oil, chicken/cornstarch mixture and the green parts of the cabbage and green onions. Cook for 30 seconds. Add the noodles and stir until combined. Add white pepper to taste. Serve immediately.