Soybean Sprout and Tofu Stir Fry

1 1/2 lb or 600g of soybean sprouts (the yellow tipped kind)
2 cubes of dried tofu, sliced (Eden Foods makes this), seasoned if possible
2 tbsp peanut oil
2 slices of ginger (1/4″ thick)
1 tbsp rice wine
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp corn starch or potato starch
1 tbsp water
1/4 cup spring onions, cut in rounds
2 tsp sesame oil

Directions:

Wash the soybean sprouts and shake dry as much as possible. Heat the wok at medium high until just smoking, add oil and then add the ginger right away.

Move ginger around to flavor the oil and then quickly drop all the bean sprouts into the wok, being careful of spitting hot oil. (Tip: Drop the sprouts either in a very big bunch so that it can cover the circumference of the hot oil, or pour the vegetables into the wok facing away from you.) Scoop and turn over the sprouts until all are lightly covered with oil.

Add the sliced dried tofu. Keep scooping and turning.

Add the rice wine. Keep stirring for another two minutes or until the bean sprouts have lightly browned in spots.

Add the chicken stock and white pepper and stir, then cover. Let cook for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally or until liquid reduces to approx 1/2 cup.

Mix starch and water together and pour into wok, stirring and watching as the sauce thickens.

When the sauce consistency is thick and glossy, add the chopped spring onions and stir once and then turn off the heat.

Sprinkle sesame oil over; stir and then serve.

Ideas for Egg Lunches: Malaysian Sambal Telur

4 hard boiled eggs
2 – 3 tablespoons sambal

Cooked Sambal:
6 oz. fresh red chilies (seeded and cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon toasted belacan Malaysian shrimp paste
4 oz. shallots
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar/palm sugar or to taste
4 tablespoons oil
1/2 onion cut into rings

Prepare the sambal by grinding chilies, shallots, and toasted belacan in a mini food processor. Make sure the sambal paste is well blended and smooth.

Heat up a wok with oil and “tumis” (sauté) the sambal paste and onion rings until aromatic or when the oil separates from the sambal paste.

Add the seasonings: salt, sugar/palm sugar, and fish sauce and do a quick stir, dish out and set aside.

To make sambal telur, add 2-3 tablespoons of sambal back into the wok plus peeled hard boiled eggs. Make sure the eggs are nicely coated with the sambal. Dish out and serve hot.

Soba Noodles with Sweet Ginger Scallion Sauce

Soba noodles – 1 9oz packet
Salt and Pepper as per taste
Sesame seeds – 2 Tbsp lightly toasted
Cucumber thinly julienne optional
Lime wedges optional

For Sweet Ginger Scallion Sauce
Scallions – 1 1/2 cup finely chopped
Ginger – 2 Tbsp minced
Cilantro – 1/4 cup chopped
Sesame oil, grape seed oil, or any neutral oil – 2-3 Tbsp
Chili oil – 2 tsp
Soy sauce – 1 Tbsp
Rice wine vinegar – 2 Tbsp
Honey – 2 Tbsp
Salt – 1 tsp, as soy sauce is salty too so be careful with the salt
Black pepper – 1 tsp

Mix all the ingredients for Sweet Ginger Scallion sauce in the bowl, check for the seasoning. Keep it aside for 10 -15 minutes for the flavors to develop.

Boil the soba noodles as per the instruction on the package, If you need them cold drain well with the cold water once they are cooked or just drain the water in which they boiled if you like them hot.

Add the sauce, sesame seeds and toss the noodles well, check for the seasoning one last time. Sprinkle lime juice if you like and also if you like add some julienne cucumber, give a final toss and Enjoy!

From Simply Reem

Stir-Fried Nian Gao Rice Cakes

INGREDIENTS:
1 lb Chinese or Korean Rice Cake 450 gr
2 Tbsp cooking oil divided
3 cloves garlic finely chopped or grated
8 oz boneless chicken thighs/breast 250 gr, cut into thin strips (see notes)
5 oz Napa Cabbage 150 gr, cut into large chunks or shred
3.5 oz baby bok choy 100 gr
1/4 cup chicken broth

MARINADE FOR MEAT:
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp oyster sauce
1/4 tsp sugar
1 tsp cornstarch

SEASONINGS:
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 Tbsp shaoxing wine
1/2 tsp sugar

GARNISH:
2 stalks green onion finely chopped

PREPARE THE RICE CAKES:
If you get the refrigerated rice cakes or dried rice cakes, soak them in the water for at least 2 hours (overnight for dried rice cakes). If you use frozen ones, thaw in the refrigerator and then soak.

Drain off the soaking water and the rice cakes are ready to be used.

MARINATE THE MEAT:
Place the chicken or meat of your choice in a mixing bowl along with the marinade ingredients and marinade for 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.

COOKING:
Preheat a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add 1 Tbsp cooking oil and swirl to cover the base of the skillet or wok. Add chicken and stir fry until the chicken pieces turn opaque and cook through. Dish out the cooked chicken.

Wipe the wok clean if necessary. Bring the skillet/wok back to high heat. Add another 1 Tbsp of cooking oil. Add garlic and stir fry for about 20 seconds. Add the napa cabbage and stir fry for about 2-3 minutes. Add bok choy and stir fry another minute.

Add rice cakes, seasonings, and broth. Give them a quick stir. Cover with a lid and cook for about 3 minutes or until the rice cakes soften.

Uncover the lid and give it a good stir to mix everything. Add the chicken back into the skillet/wok and give it a stir. Have a taste and add more soy sauce as needed.

Garnish with chopped green onion and serve warm.

Notes: This recipe uses plain nian gao log that is cut into slices. They don’t have any taste on its own and are meant for stir-fries or “noodle” soup. They are similar to the Korean Tteokguk rice cakes. Both made with sticky rice flour. (The Korean version is usually available at Wegmans in the refrigerator section.) Notice that they are labeled as “Rice Cake”, but actually they are made with both sticky/glutinous rice and regular rice flour (though more of the glutinous rice flour in composition). Once refrigerated, the rice cakes loose their elasticity completely. They will have turned hard like a rock. Soak in water for at least 2 hours or you can soak overnight. If you get the frozen version, thaw first and then soak. There is also a dried version, which also requires soaking overnight in the water.

You can use any protein of your choice like ground meat, or slices of beef or pork loin. This dish is also perfect to use any leftover turkey or rotisserie chicken. You can also opt for meatless protein like using extra-firm tofu slices.

Rice Noodles with Chili Bean Sauce

300 gr fresh/refrigerated flat rice noodles or dried flat rice noodles
2 Tbsp cooking oil
2 cups snap peas trim both ends

AROMATICS:
1- inch knob of ginger peeled and finely minced
1 medium onion peeled, quartered and separate

SEASONINGS:
2 Tbsp chili bean sauce (dou ban jiang) or more, adjust the amount of other seasoning
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sugar

PREPARE THE NOODLE AND SEASONINGS:
If using dried rice noodles, soak in water for at least 2 hours. If you are using refrigerated sheets of rice noodles, they come in one large sheet or pre-cut. Microwave them for about 1 minute and then cut (if you need to) and then separate and loosen the noodle.

Mix all the ingredients for seasonings in a bowl and set aside.

Preheat your wok or skillet until very hot. You should see some smoke started to rise. Add in 2 Tbsp of the cooking oil. Add the aromatics and stir fry for about 30 seconds. Push them to the side and then crack in two eggs. Let them cook until the bottom started to settle and then scramble the yolk and break the eggs into large chunks and continue to stir fry for few seconds.

Add sugar snap peas and stir fry for about 3-4 minutes until they are soft but still have some crunch.

Add the rice noodles along with the seasonings. Stir to mix everything. The amount of seasonings may vary according to your taste buds. You may need to add more soy sauce to your taste. Stir to mix everything. The noodles will start to soften. It may take longer if you use dry noodles. Have a final taste and add more seasonings as needed. Dish out and serve immediately.

Notes: You can use other greens like brocollini, broccoli, bok choy, yu choy, mung bean sprouts.

You can also add in slices of beef, chicken, pork, or even seafood. Just remember to cook the seafood or meat first and then dish out to preven overcooking.

Nasi Goreng Rendang

INGREDIENTS:
1 egg
1/2 small onion peeled and diced
2 Tbsp Bumbu Rendang leftover from rendang Padang
2 Tbsp oil from cooking the rendang
1 stalk celery cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 cups cooked white rice made with 2 cups of long-grain rice + 2 cups of water

SEASONINGS:
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp sugar

SERVING SUGGESTIONS:
Fresh slices of cucumber
Fresh slices of tomatoes

MAKE FRIED EGG:
Preheat the non-stick skillet. Large enough to cook the fried rice later.

Add about 1 Tbsp regular cooking oil. Crack one egg in and fry to your desired doneness.

COOKING FRIED RICE:
In the same pan, add the rendang oil. Let it melt. Add onion and stir fry until fragrant and soft, about 3 minutes.

Add the rendang paste and stir fry for another minute. Scrape the bottom of the skillet to make sure nothing got stuck there. Add celery and stir fry for another minute. We want the celery to still be crunchy.

Add the rice and continue to stir fry to make sure the rice picks up the rendang paste and the changes color to brownish yellow, another 2 minutes. Add seasonings and adjust to your liking. It should be savory and spicy.

Serve immediately as is or garnish with chopped green onions and/or crispy fried shallots (bawang goreng), few slices of cucumber, tomatoes and prawn crackers if any.

Ohn No Khao Swe (Burmese Chickpea Noodle Soup)

1 lb of fresh egg noodles, blanched in boiling water
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, cubed
6 Tbsp fish sauce
1/4 cup oil
1 large onion (diced)
4 cloves garlic (peeled and grated)
1/2 Tbsp fresh ginger (peeled and grated)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 Tbsp chili flakes
1/2 cup chickpea flour or besan flour or gram flour + 1/2 cup water
6 cup chicken stock
1 1/3 cups coconut milk

GARNISHES AND CONDIMENTS:
4 hard-boiled eggs , peeled and sliced
2 green onions (thinly sliced)
1 medium onion , finely sliced
1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves
2 limes , quartered
1/2 cup chili flakes
1 cup fresh bean sprouts (blanch in hot water briefly if you prefer.)
12 oz (350 g) fresh egg noodles, deep-fried in oil until crispy, drained on paper towel, cooled and crumbled by hand into bite-size pieces
Fish sauce

Marinate chicken with fish sauce for at least 15 minutes. Heat oil in large pot, saute onion, garlic, ginger and turmeric for 5 minutes. Stir in chicken and chili flakes. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent chicken sticking to pot. Meanwhile, add chickpea flour to water and whisk to remove lumps.

Add chicken stock to the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for a further 10 minutes and the chicken is cooked through. Add coconut milk and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes.Stir in chickpea flour paste until the soup thickens slightly.

Arrange each garnishing item on a separate plate on the table around a central bowl of chicken and coconut chickpeas soup. To serve, take a portion of fresh noodles and a generous helping of soup, add a little of each garnishing (a dash of fish sauce if desired).

Bagan Char Kwey Tiau (Stir-fried Rice Noodles)

1 lb (450 g) fresh wide flat rice noodles / kwe tiau. If using dried, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes then discard water
2 handful of beansprouts (washed)
6 cloves of garlics (finely chopped)
4 eggs
2-3 Tbsp of soy sauce or more as needed
1 small cube of chicken bouillon
6 Tbsp of ground red chili paste
1/4 cup of canola Oil + 4 Tbsp of canola oil (Lard for best result)
3 cups of hot water

It is best to use a wok if you have one. Preheat until the wok is stonking hot and smoke started to rise. Add in 1/4 cup of oil and the flat rice noodles and stir fry for about 30 seconds, splash in 2 Tbsp of soy sauce. Dish out and set aside. You may end up with some “crust” on the wok from cooking the noodles. Scrap them off with wooden spoon.

Preheat the wok again until really really hot. Then add in about 4 Tbsp of canola oil and add in the garlic and ground red chili paste and stir-fry until fragrant, another minute.

Push it to the side of the wok, crack in 4 eggs and stir to break the yolk a little bit and then let it cook for about 1 minute, then stir to mix everything. Add in the hot water (it’s important that it’s hot so you won’t reduce the temperature of the wok too much) and chicken bouillon and bring it to a boil for about 1-2 minutes.

Add in the rice noodles that you have stir-fried earlier, and soy sauce. Stir to mix everything, have a taste and add more soy sauce if needed.

Lastly add in the beansprouts and turn off the heat. The beansprouts should be still crunchy. The fried noodles should be red in color and a little bit saucy, but not entirely soupy. Give it a stir one more time to mix everything. Portion into individual serving plate. Serve immediately.

Spicy, Tangy Noodles

1 lb of spaghetti/linguine/angel hair/rice noodles/egg noodles/ramen noodles/udon noodles

SAUCE:
1 Tbsp of sesame oil/garlic oil/truffle oil
2 Tbsp of store-bought red chili paste/black bean chili paste or more if you like it really spicy
4 Tbsp of Chinese black vinegar available at Asian grocery store
3 Tbsp of soy sauce/tamari or more to your taste

GARNISHES:
Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
1 stalk of fresh green onions finely chopped
Fried shallots crips available at Asian grocery store

IF YOU WANT TO TURN THIS INTO A COMPLETE MEAL (USE ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING):
Soft-boiled/hard-boiled eggs
Pan-fried firm tofu cubes
Leftover rotisserie chicken
Grilled chicken/meat/seafood shrimp or crab meat lumps
Grilled/steamed veggies asparagus, broccoli, bok choy, etc

Cook the noodle as directed on the package. While the noodle is cooking, In a large mixing bowl, prepare the sauce by mixing all the ingredients. Stir to mix everything. Add in the cooked noodles (pan-fried tofu cubes, leftover rotisserie chicken or other protein of your choice if using) and tossed to make sure the sauce is coating the noodles. Have a taste to see if you like it. Add more soy sauce, or more chili paste if you prefer. It should be savory, spicy, and tangy. Garnish with some fresh cilantro leaves. Serve warm, cold or at room temperature.

Ketoprak (Indonesian Noodle and Tofu Salad with Peanut Sauce)

INGREDIENTS:
1 block of firm tofu
2 cups fresh bean sprouts
250 gr dry rice stick noodles / bee hoon

PEANUT DRESSING:
3 cloves garlic
6 red chilis more if you like it spicier
100 gr roasted peanuts see notes
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2-inch block of tamarind paste
200 ml warm water
2-3 Thai chili more if you like it spicier

GARNISHES:
Indonesian sweet soy sauce
Fried shallots
Prawn crackers or whatever crackers you like
2 hard-boiled eggs quartered
1 large cucumber

Blanch the rice stick noodles briefly in hot water until it softens but not mushy. Drain and then refresh with cold water. Set aside. You can also blanch the raw garlic briefly if you don’t like the raw taste of it.

Peel the cucumber and then half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop the seeds out. Cut into 1-inch slices.

MAKING THE PEANUT DRESSING:
Mix the tamarind paste with warm water. Once it softens, use the back of the spoon to mash the tamarind and then discard the solid. In a food processor, blend the peanuts, garlic, chilis, tamarind juice, and sugar. Process into a thick but pourable consistency. You can add a bit more water if it’s too thick. Season with salt to your taste.

PREPARING THE TOFU:
Place the block of tofu on an absorbent paper towel and then another layer of paper towel on top of the tofu. Place a heavy object like cast iron pot or pan on top of the tofu for about 15 minutes to press all the extra liquid out. Cut the tofu into 2-inch chunks. You can deep fry the tofu or pan fry it with a little bit of oil on the pan until all sides are golden brown. Set aside.

Assembling:
In a large serving plate, place the noodles, cucumber slices, bean sprouts, fried tofu, and egg pieces. Pour sauce over and garnish with fried shallots, a drizzle of kecap manis. Serve with prawn crackers.

Note: You can sub the roasted peanuts with creamy/chunky peanut butter. It’s up to you. You may need to play with the amount of liquid so that it’s thick but still somewhat pourable.

Burmese Chickpea Fried Rice

2 cups of uncooked long-grain white rice
2 Tbsp of cooking oil
2 large onions peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
1 Tbsp of red chili paste optional
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 cups of soy bean sprouts
2 stalks of green onions finely chopped
Limes quartered

ROASTED CHICKPEAS:
15 oz of canned chickpeas/garbanzo beans drained and rinse with water
1 Tbsp of good quality curry powder
1 Tbsp of Olive oil
Pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Drain off the liquid and rinse the chickpeas with water until it’s no longer “slimy”. Spread the chickpeas on a baking sheet and pick out the loose skin from the chick peas. Pat them really dry with clean kitchen towel. Drizzle with some olive oil, curry powder, and salt. Lightly toss to coat them evenly. Pop into the oven and roast for about 40 minutes to 1 hour (depending on your oven) until they are crispy and golden brown. Keep them warm while you are getting other things ready.

Rinse the rice with water until the water is clear. If you are cooking your rice with rice cooker, use about 1 1/2 cups of water to cook the rice. If you are not using rice cooker, use 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to let it simmer uncovered until all liquid is almost absorbed. Turn off the heat and cover with a lid for 15 minutes and then uncover and fluff the rice with a fork and let it completely cool down (repeat: COMPLETELY!!).

When ready to make the fried rice. Preheat the wok or skillet on high heat. Add in the cooking oil and swirl to coat the wok/skillet. Add in the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are soft, about 3 minutes. Add in the red chili paste if using. Add in the cooked rice and roasted chickpeas into the wok or skillet. Toss to mix everything. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to your taste. Add in the soy bean sprouts and stir to mix again. I like my sprouts to be still slightly crunchy, so don’t cook for too long. Turn off the heat and sprinkle in the green onions, squeeze in some lime juice and stir one last time to mix and serve immediately.

Serve with shallot and chili sambal.

Malaysian Tofu Salad with Peanut Sauce

PEANUT SAUCE
3 shallots, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 lemongrass, white part only, chopped
3 to 5 dried chillis, soaked in warm water for a few minutes, chopped
1/2-inch galangal, peeled and chopped (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup peanuts, roasted and coarsely ground
1 tablespoon tamarind paste* or lime juice
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup water, and more as needed
2 to 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

10 to 12 pieces fried tofu puffs*
2 cups carrots, shredded
2 cups cucumber, shredded
2 cups bean sprouts, blanched in hot water for a few minutes and drained
1/4 cup peanuts, roasted, for garnish

To make the sauce, start by making a spice paste. In a blender or food processor, add the shallots, garlic, lemongrass, dried chillis, galangal, ground coriander, ground cumin, and ground turmeric and blend until you get a smooth paste, scraping down the sides and adding a little water when necessary.

In a saucepan, heat up the oil over medium heat and stir-fry the spice paste for 3 to 5 minutes until fragrant. Add the ground peanuts, tamarind paste, dark soy sauce, coconut milk, and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with sugar and salt to taste. Add more water if the sauce gets too thick. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl.

To assemble the salad, in an individual serving plate, place 3 to 4 pieces of fried tofu puffs, 1/4 cup shredded carrots, 1/4 cup shredded cucumber, and 1/4 cup bean sprouts. (Use the amount suggested here as a guide and feel free to adjust as you please!) Top with the desired amount of peanut sauce and garnish with roasted whole peanuts to serve.

*NOTES:
· Prepare the store-bought deep-fried tofu puffs by briefly dipping them in hot water to remove excess oil and pat dry before toasting them in the oven until browned and crispy.
· Fried tofu can be substituted with extra firm or firm tofu cut into cubes either straight from the packet or lightly pan-fried or grilled.

Kopitiam Noodles (Kon Loh Mee)

These are “dry” noodles. Despite the emphasis on the word “dry” to set it apart from the soup version, the sauce in Kon Loh Mee plays an instrumental part to bind all the good flavors and textures of the different ingredients together.

The sauce is a simple mixture of shallot oil, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and sesame oil. For one serving, start with:

—1/2 tablespoon shallot oil
—1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce
—1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce
—1/4 teaspoon sesame oil

Combine the sauce in a bowl, toss the noodles in, taste, and adjust the seasoning according to your preference.

The next step is to pick your noodles. Thin rice noodles (mai fun), flat rice noodles (kuey teow), and yellow egg noodles are the common options at a typical Malaysian hawker stall. Depending on my mood, You can also combine two noodles together in one bowl.

The springy wonton noodles, which fall under the egg noodle category, are a popular choice and available either in thin or wide. Soba noodles, ramen noodles, and even spaghetti noodles are fine too. As a rule of thumb, 2-3 oz (55-85g) of noodles is a good portion for one serving.

Hawker-style Kon Loh Mee is often topped with Chinese barbecued pork, wonton dumplings, meatballs, shrimp or minced meat, just to give you some ideas. If you’re avoiding meat, tofu and tempeh make good toppings here.

There’s also always some kind of Asian leafy greens included, like choy sum, gai lan, or bok choy. The greens are usually just simply blanched. Here’s what you do: Bring a pot of water with a pinch of sugar, a pinch of salt, and a small glug of vegetable oil to a rolling boil. Then add the greens. You know they are ready as soon as the water returns to a rolling boil. Remove the greens, drain, and add them to your noodles.

Finally, serve your Kon Loh Mee with a side of chilies. In a pinch, a simple chili soy sauce dip will suffice but if you have the time, pickled green chilies are the way to go.

You can use either jalapeno or serrano for a bit more kick. In a nutshell, the chilies are sliced, deseeded, and pickled in a mixture of white vinegar, salt, and sugar until they turn a lighter shade of green, which takes about 1 to 2 hours, but it’s preferable if you can wait overnight as they get better with time. I have the step-by-step guide for you here.

Oh, and don’t forget to top your noodles with crispy fried shallots from the shallot oil!

Soy Sauce Noodles

3 serrano chilies, seeds removed and sliced into rounds
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup vegetable oil for frying
2 shallots, finely sliced

4-6 baby bok choy
A pinch of sugar
A pinch of salt
A small glug of shallot oil

1 tablespoon shallot oil
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
7 ounces dried wonton noodles, cooked according to package instructions and drained
Fried shallots, for garnish
Preparation

To make pickled green chillies: Blanch the chilies in hot water for about 10 seconds and drain. In a small bowl, combine the white vinegar, salt, and sugar, and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the chilies and set aside to pickle for at least 1 hour.

To make shallot oil: In a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and fry until the slices start to turn brown, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and let the shallots continue to fry until they turn a darker brown. Remove shallots from the oil and drain, saving the oil. Allow the oil and fried shallots to cool down.

Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the sugar, salt, and shallot oil. Add baby bok choy and bring the water back to a rolling boil. Remove the baby bok choy immediately and drain. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine the shallot oil, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and sesame oil. Add the cooked noodles and toss to mix well. Taste the noodles and add more soy sauce if you like the dish saltier.

Divide the noodles into two serving plates and garnish with the reserved fried shallots. Arrange 2 to 3 baby bok choy on the side of each plate. Serve immediately with pickled green chilies on the side.

Notes: While wonton noodles (both thin and wide) are typically used, you can also try it with rice noodles, soba noodles, and even spaghetti noodles.

Economy Noodles

12oz noodles of your choice
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced

2 cups bean sprouts
10 stalks spring onions, cut into 2-inch length

DIPPING SAUCE: A few chilis + enough soy sauce

To make the dipping sauce, cut some chilis and let them sit in enough soy sauce to cover. Feel free to remove the seeds beforehand. Here’s a video that quickly demonstrates how you can do that effectively, but if you really want less heat, you may have to slice them open length-wise and scrape off the pith and ribs together with the seeds. And if more heat is what you want, press the cut chilis onto the soy sauce with a fork. Let the chilis and soy sauce marinade while you cook.

Prepare your choice of noodles according to package instructions, making sure that they are not overdone because nobody wants soggy noodles in a stir-fry. You can do that while you prepare the other ingredients, or you can focus on one thing at a time and have everything you need on hand before you start.

The next thing to do is to mix the light soy sauce, dark soy sauce and hoisin sauce in a bowl. And once you’ve minced the garlic and shallot, and cut the vegetables, you’re ready to go.

Heat a wok or a deep frying pan in medium-high heat. You’ll know it’s warm enough when you see a little smoke rise up. Add oil, followed by garlic and shallots, and sauté until they are soft and the aromas are released but be careful not to burn them.

Add the noodles and sauce mixture and use a pair of chopsticks or tongs to quickly toss all the ingredients until the noodles are evenly coated. You can add a splash of water at anytime if things get too dry but not so much that you are boiling the ingredients.

Then make a well in the center and add bean sprouts. Give them a good toss to cook lightly on their own before mixing everything together. Add spring onions, give the noodles a final toss and turn off the heat. Serve immediately with the dipping sauce on the side.

Alison’s Edamame and Rice

1 bag shelled frozen edamame

Sauce:
3 tablespoons chili paste
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Pinch of sugar to taste
Dash of black vinegar to taste
Dash of toasted sesame oil to taste

Cooked rice for serving

Steam or boil edamame until just done.

Mix sauce ingredients to taste.

Toss edamame with sauce.

Serve over rice.

Crispy Rice and Egg Bowl with Ginger-Scallion Vinaigrette

1 1/4 cups minced scallions, both green and white parts (from a 4-ounce bundle)
2 tablespoons minced or finely grated fresh ginger
Neutral oil (such as grapeseed, safflower, or sunflower)
1/4 cup sherry or rice wine vinegar
Fine sea salt
About 1 heaped cup julienned or coarsely grated carrots (from about 8 ounces fresh)
8 ounces small (Persian-style, about 2) cucumbers, thinly sliced
3 cups cooked, cooled rice (my favorite here is short-grain brown or white)
4 eggs
Soy sauce or tamari (to serve)
Toasted sesame oil (to serve)
Sriracha, gochujang or another hot sauce of your choice (to serve)

Make the vinaigrette: Mix scallions, ginger, 1/4 cup oil and sherry or rice wine vinegar in a bowl. Season with salt (I use about 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt). Set aside.

Crisp your rice: Heat a large frying pan over medium high. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons oil; you’ll want to coat the bottom with a thin layer of oil all over. Nonstick pans are more forgiving here, so you can use the lower amount. Heat the oil until it’s hot, another minute, then scatter half the rice over the surface; it’s okay if small clusters remain. Season lightly with salt and do not touch it. In 3 to 5 minutes, the underside will become golden brown and crisp. Use a spatula to flip it in sections then fry on the other side until it is also crisp. Divide between two bowls and repeat with remaining rice, dividing it between two remaining bowls.

Crisp your egg: If there isn’t enough oil left in the pan (you want a thin layer), add another splash and heat this on high heat. Add eggs one at a time and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook until brown, lacy, and crisp underneath, and the whites are opaque, bubbly and dramatic and the edges are brown. You can spoon some oil from the pan over the egg whites to help them cook faster. Place one egg on each bowl of rice.

Assemble bowls: Arrange some cucumbers and carrots to each bowl. Spoon 2 tablespoons vinaigrette onto each bowls. Drizzle each egg with a half-teaspoon of tamari and toasted sesame oil, letting it roll onto the other ingredients, plus hot sauce to taste. Eat immediately. Repeat frequently.

Do ahead: The dressing will keep for 5 to 6 days in the fridge; the chopped vegetables will keep for 3 to 4.

Notes: If you have extra time, toss the carrots with 2 tablespoons each rice vinegar and water, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt to coat the strands. They begin to marinate/gently pickle while you do everything else. But the dressing is sufficient to flavor them if you’re in more of a rush.

Lao Gan Ma Noodles

2 teaspoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon Chinese black vinegar
2 tablespoons minced scallions
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons of your favorite “godmother” sauce (lao gan ma), or to taste
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons finely chopped za-cai (pickled radish)
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds (optional)
3 tablespoons oil
1/3 cup raw peanuts
200 grams dried rice noodles (this makes a big single serving or two small servings)
A large handful of your leafy greens of choice
A small handful chopped cilantro

First prepare the sauce base in a large bowl by mixing together the light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, Chinese black vinegar, scallion, ginger, garlic, “godmother” sauce, sesame oil, za-cai, and sesame seeds.

Heat the oil in a wok using medium heat, and wok fry the peanuts for 5 to 7 minutes until cooked through. Take out the peanuts and drizzle the hot oil left in the wok into the sauce base.

Boil the rice noodles per package instructions. Once the rice noodles are a minute away from done, add in the leafy greens to blanch. Cook for the remaining minute, and then drain the noodles and the greens. Pour the sauce base over the noodles, stir to combine, and top with chopped cilantro.

Macaroni and Cheese

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more
8 ounces cavatappi or other short curly pasta
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 small onion, grated
1 garlic clove, finely grated
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 ounces Fontina cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
4 ounces Gruyère, grated (about 1 cup)
4 ounces sharp white cheddar, grated (about 1 cup)
1/2 teaspoon English mustard powder (such as Colman’s)
Pinch of cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350°. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add panko and cook, stirring, until crumbs are golden brown, 6–8 minutes (make sure to get them toasty brown; they won’t darken much during baking). Transfer to a small bowl and toss with Parmesan, thyme leaves, and ¼ tsp. salt.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente (the noodles will continue to cook in the cheese sauce, so take them out a minute or two before you think they’re actually done). Drain pasta; let cool while you make the sauce.

Bring milk to a bare simmer in a small saucepan; keep warm. Melt remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until onions are fragrant and beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle flour over and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture starts to stick to bottom of saucepan, about 1 minute. Add warm milk in a few additions, whisking to combine after each addition.

Bring béchamel sauce to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring, until sauce is thickened and doesn’t feel grainy when a little bit is rubbed between your fingers, 6–8 minutes (cooking the flour thoroughly at this stage ensures a creamy sauce). Add Fontina, Gruyère, cheddar, mustard powder, cayenne, and ¾ tsp. salt and stir until cheeses are melted and sauce is smooth. Remove from heat and mix in pasta; transfer to a 2-qt. baking dish.

Bake 10 minutes. Top with Parmesan breadcrumbs and bake until sauce is bubbling around the edges, 8–10 minutes longer. Let cool in pan 15 minutes before serving.

From Bon Appetit.

Stewed Black-Eyed Peas

2 pounds dried black-eyed peas
1 sweet onion, such as Vidalia, peeled and halved through the root end (keep the root attached)
4 whole cloves
1 garlic head, cut in half
10 black peppercorns
2 dried bay leaves
1 chile de árbol or other small dried chile
1 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
Hot sauce, to taste

Put the peas in a large bowl, add water to cover by 2 inches, and soak overnight.

Blacken the onion: If you have a gas stove, turn one burner on high and place the onion halves directly on the grates next to the flame and cook, turning occasionally, until the onion is charred on all sides, about 5 minutes. Otherwise, heat the broiler and broil the onion on a baking sheet a few inches from the heat, turning occasionally, until charred, 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.

When the onion is cool enough to handle, poke 2 cloves into each half, and add the onion to a large stockpot. Drain the peas, discarding the liquid, and then transfer the peas to the pot.

Place the garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves and chile on a 12-inch square of cheesecloth and wrap tightly, using twine to seal the packet.

Add 6 quarts water and the spice packet to the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Skim any foam that collects on the surface, then reduce to a simmer. Stir in the olive oil and 1 tablespoon salt and cook, stirring and skimming occasionally, until the peas are fully cooked and the cooking liquid has thickened, 1 to 2 hours.

Discard the spice packet, season with the remaining 1 tablespoon salt (or to taste) and the hot sauce and serve.