This is comfort food, or, as a Source customer has called it, "Chinese gnocchi."
Rice noodle sheets, which executive chef Scott Drewno prefers for this recipe, are made daily at China Boy (in Chinatown; 202-371-1661). They also can be found in the refrigerated aisle at large Asian markets, such as Super H Mart.
You'll need a large bamboo steamer for this recipe.
Make Ahead: The rolled noodles need to be steamed and chilled for at least 15 minutes before they are used in this dish. They can be prepped up to 1 day in advance but are best when done just before the dish is assembled.
Servings: 5 - 6
- One (1-pound) fresh rice noodle sheet (see headnote)
- 2 to 3 teaspoons peanut oil
- 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced or slivered fresh shiitake mushrooms
- 1 medium-to-large red onion, cut in half and then into thin half-moon slices (1 1/2 cups)
- 1 to 2 medium red and/or yellow bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and cut into slivers (1 1/2 cups)
- 1 cup fresh mung bean sprouts
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 teaspoons spicy chili sauce, such as sambal oelek
- 1/4 cup oyster sauce (optional)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth
- 2 to 3 teaspoons soy sauce, preferably Chinese
- 4 ounces (thin-stemmed) Chinese broccoli or Chinese rape with flowers, blanched (see NOTE; 1 1/2 cups, may substitute any Chinese greens or rapini, which is a little more bitter)
- 6 scallions, white-, light- and dark-green parts, cut on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces; some white- and light-green parts reserved for optional garnish
- Cilantro leaves, for garnish
Place the bamboo steamer in a wide skillet with a few inches of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Cut the rice noodle sheet into four rectangles of equal size. Cut each of those pieces in half (mid-long side). Roll each one tightly, like a cigar, then cut each one crosswise into 4 pieces (each about 1 1/2 inches wide); trim the ends to make them tidy. You should have a total of 32 pieces.
Working in two batches, place the rolled noodles in the steamer. Cover and steam for 3 minutes or until the rolls hold/stick together without unrolling. Transfer to a plate; refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Heat just enough of the oil to coat the bottom of a large saute pan over high heat; add the mushrooms, onion, bell pepper and bean sprouts. Toss/stir-fry just enough to coat the ingredients, cooking them for no more than 30 seconds (they should be crisp-tender). Add the garlic, sugar, chili sauce and the oyster sauce, if desired; toss/stir-fry just until a glazelike sauce forms, then add the broth and soy sauce (to taste). Stir in the broccoli or rape and the green scallion parts. Remove from the heat.
Bring a medium pot of water to boil over high heat. Place a small colander or fine-mesh strainer just inside the pot but not totally submerged.
Working in two batches, add the chilled rolled noodles and cook for no more than 30 seconds (just to loosen and warm them), then transfer to the pan with the sauce. Toss or stir just to coat the noodles.
Divide among individual plates; garnish each portion with cilantro leaves and the white- and light-green parts of the scallions, if desired. Serve immediately.
NOTE: To blanch the Chinese broccoli or rape, bring a pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the vegetable and cook for no more than a minute or two; just until the color slightly brightens. Use a Chinese skimmer or slotted spoon to transfer to an ice-water bath to stop the vegetables from cooking further.
From Drewno, executive chef at the Source restaurant in downtown Washington.
Tested by Scott Drewno .
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