Thursday, April 8, 2010

Wok this way...

I had been holding out on buying a wok for the longest time. I just wasn't sure if it was necessary, especially because I barely know how to make Asian food. Okay, I have no clue. Over the past few months, my interest in Asian cuisine has peaked and I even bought a book on wok cooking. 

I finally bit the bullet and ordered a Joyce Chen non-stick wok. Non-stick because I do not like to use a lot of oil when I cook. Well it arrived yesterday along with some bamboo utensils that I ordered as well. The wok and utensils were beautiful. I could hardly wait to try them out!

I did not plan on going for it tonight but I had some defrosted shrimp and enough veggies to pull a noodle dish together. The noodles I had picked up at a Thai supermarket a few months ago. I bought them thinking they looked tasty but had no clue what I was going to do with them. They are called Chinese Long Life Noodles. Here is a description I found for them: These thin yellow noodles (about the same size as angel hair pasta) are commonly served throughout Thailand in soups and stir-fry. They absorb flavors well and we notice that kids particularly love them. We love these noodles in Mee Sua Mangsawirat, a wonderful Chinese-Thai vegetarian stir fry.

So this noodle dish I made tonight was totally experimental. It was based on Chinese cooking principles I remember from my mom growing up and from what I picked up through reading the wok cookbook. You know what? It turned out pretty good. I'm not going to open up a restaurant any time soon but not bad for my first foray. The wok on the other hand was stellar. It made all the difference, lots of room to move the ingredients around. I definitely achieved the low-fat element I wanted. It was a lot lighter than Chinese take-out. Best of all, my kids ate it up and my hubby was happy.
Wok-tossed Noodles and Shrimp
  • Vegetable oil 
  • 1 lb shrimp; peeled and deveined; defrosted if frozen; seasoned lightly with salt and pepper
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced 
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced 
  • 10 oz of mushrooms, sliced 
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic 
  • 1/4 cup of LOW SODIUM soy sauce 
  • 1/4 cup of rice or white wine 
  • 2 tsp sugar 
  • 1 1/2 tsp corn starch 
  • 1 cup of water 
  • 13.2 oz package of long life Chinese noodles (chow mein egg noodles are good too)
Chinese style Longlife Noodles - 14 oz

Soak the dry noodles in a large bowl of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes or until softened. 
Drain the water and set aside. 

In a bowl, dissolve the sugar and corn starch in 1 cup of water. Set aside.

Heat one tablespoon of oil in the wok over medium-high heat. 
When the oil is glistening, add the shrimp and cook for 3 minutes, flipping them over halfway through. Set aside in a bowl.
Add another tablespoon of oil into the wok and the onions, peppers and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for one minute more. Set aside, you can use the same bowl as the shrimp. 

Add another tablespoon of oil into the wok. Add the noodles, wine and water/sugar/cornstarch mixture. Use tongs to pick up and toss the noodles around in the sauce for about 5 minutes. Sauce should thicken up. Add the shrimp and veggies and toss them all together for another minute or two to combine everything and coat in the sauce. 
Serve immediately.

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  1. I gotta get me a wok! This looks just like the dish Jamie Oliver was teaching on the most recent ep of Food Revolution. Delish!

  2. Highly recommend this Joyce Chen wok! And yes, I was totally inspired by watching Jamie and that darling boy make that chow mein. Yum!