Chinese egg noodles stir fry recipe
Stir-fries don't have to mean just vegetables and rice — they can mean noodles, too! In fact, noodle stir-fries are one of my favorite weeknight comfort foods. Whether made with lo mein noodles or rice noodles, these stir-fries are quick to prepare, and serve as the perfect backdrop for everything from sliced chicken breast to tender bok choy.
A Simple Noodle Stir Fry
This stir-fry is both "simple" in the sense that it is easy to make using basic ingredients, and also in the Chinese sense: a simple stir-fry is one where ingredients get added to the hot wok one right after the next. As Grace Young, author of Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge, explained to me, "This is how you’d see someone doing it at a hawker stand on the streets in China."
First you stir-fry aromatic ingredients like garlic and ginger in the hot wok — these aromatics will season the whole dish with subtle flavor. Next, you stir-fry any meat, like chicken or beef, followed by vegetables, like bok choy or red bell peppers. Finally, you add the noodles and the sauce or liquid stir-fry ingredients. Young likes to use a flexible metal spatula in one hand and bamboo chopsticks in the other hand to toss the noodles with the other ingredients, "like tossing a salad, ” or you can use two spatulas.
If your wok seems like it's getting crowded or if you feel like the meat is starting to overcook, you can transfer ingredients to a plate and then toss everything together at the end. Otherwise, just make the entire dish all at once in the same wok.
Which Noodles to Stir Fry
Any noodle can be a stir-fry candidate. If this is your first noodle stir-fry, stick with standard lo-mein egg noodles — preferably fresh noodles, if you can find them. They are easy to work with and make a great stir-fry. Once you get more comfortable, branch out to rice noodles, udon noodles, soba noodles, or even, in a pinch, regular Italian spaghetti noodles. You can also use fresh or dried noodles. This is a weeknight dinner, so use what you have and don't feel like you have to stick too close to the recipe.
Prepare your noodles so that they are al dente and still have some bite. For most noodles, this means cooking them for a few minutes in boiling water, but thinner noodles, like cellophane rice noodles, usually just need to be soaked.
Young also notes that you'll get a better stir-fry if you shake the noodles after draining them in the colander until they're as dry as possible. They should no longer be wet to the touch and should feel dry. To keep them from sticking and also make them easier to stir-fry, return the noodles to their pot after draining and toss the with sesame oil or cooking oil.