A Chinese family-style noodle dish known as feng zhi was renamed thusly, thanks to young eaters in the Cheng household.
It calls for fuzzy melon, a gourd that looks like a cucumber but is somewhat sweeter. It is available at Asian markets.
Servings: 4 - 6
- 3 ounces dried bean thread vermicelli
- 1 handful (about 1/3 cup) dried shrimp (available at Asian markets)
- Boiling water
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 3 medium fuzzy melons (about 1 1/2 pounds total), peeled and cut in half lengthwise (see headnote)
- 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine
- 1-inch piece peeled ginger root, minced
- 14 1/2 ounces (1 can) chicken broth, preferably College Inn brand
- 2 scallions, white and light-green parts, chopped, for garnish
Place the dried bean thread vermicelli in a medium bowl and cover with warm tap water.
Rinse the dried shrimp twice in warm tap water, then drain and transfer to a small bowl. Cover with boiling water (at least 1/4 cup; this will be used later). Let sit while you prep the melon.
Heat enough of the oil (1 1/2 tablespoons) to coat the bottom of a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium heat.
Scoop out the middles of the melons so they resemble canoes with 1/2-inch-thick walls, discarding the seeds. Cut crosswise into 3 equal sections, then cut each section lengthwise into several thick strips.
Drain and rinse the shrimp, reserving no more than 1/4 cup of the soaking liquid.
Add the shrimp and rice wine to the skillet; cook for a few minutes, stirring often, until lightly caramelized.
Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil, then the melon and ginger; toss to coat. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the melon has softened and slightly caramelized.
Pour the broth into the skillet, stopping just before the can is empty so the fat from the broth stays in the can. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, then add the shrimp soaking liquid and stir to mix well.
Drain the bean thread noodles, which should still be a bit stiff. Add to the skillet and stir to moisten, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for about 10 minutes or until the noodles soften and absorb just about all of the liquid. Stir to incorporate the melon and shrimp into the noodles, then transfer to a serving bowl.
Garnish with the scallions; serve hot.
From Ed Cheng of Glenn Dale.
Tested by Ed Cheng.
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