Orchid's Tangy Cool Noodles

This is a favorite potluck/buffet dish of mine. It's fast and easy to make and it can be served cold or at room temperature. The recipe is from Barbara Tropp's classic cookbook, The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking. You can check out the Notes at the end of the recipe if you have any questions about ingredients and brands to buy.

Orchid's Tangy Cool Noodles adapted from The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking by Barbara Tropp
Serves 8-10 as part of a buffet or multi-course meal

Bring a pot of unsalted water to a rolling boil over high heat.

To release any tangles, fluff:
1 lb thin Chinese egg noodles, fresh

Add noodles to pot of boiling water, stirring gently with chopsticks to separate the strands. Cook for approx. 2-3 minutes; you want the noodles to be pleasantly firm to the bite. Drain immediately in colander, then rinse with cold running water so noodles do not clump together.  Drain noodles well.

In a large serving bowl, whisk together:
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 1/2 tablespoons Chinese or Japanese sesame oil (I like the Kadoya brand)
3 1/2 tablespoons black soy sauce 
1 1/2 tablespoons well-aged Chinese black vinegar 
1/2 - 1 tablespoon hot chili oil (I put in the lesser amount for the kids)

Place drained, cooled noodles in large serving bowl and toss gently with your hands to separate noodles and distribute the sauce. Add:
4 heaping tablespoons thin-cut green and white scallion rings (about 2-3 stalks)

You can serve immediately, garnished with additional scallion rings, or chill overnight for even better flavor.

I like the New Hong Kong brand of thin cut fresh egg noodles. You should be able to find them in the refrigerator section of any Asian market. I usually buy a few extra and freeze them for later use.

 Black soy sauce is a thicker, more syrupy version of regular soy sauce. The Pearl River Bridge brand (pictured on left) is called Dark Soy Sauce. DON'T substitute with regular soy sauce. The dressing will be too runny.

The bottle on the right, Chinkiang Vinegar, is the Chinese Black Vinegar. Barbara Tropp says an acceptable substitute is balsamic vinegar, but since it's a bit sweeter, decrease slightly the amount of sugar. I say if you're at the Asian market getting the noodles and the black soy sauce, might as well get a bottle of the black vinegar!


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