Scallion Ginger Noodles for Chinese New Year
Gong Hey Fat Choy!
It's day two of Chinese New Year and I am good to go with our friend, the snake. I cleaned the crap out of my kitchen on Friday and on Sunday, I didn't clean, I didn't wash my hair, I didn't sweep. To be safe, I spent the entire day in pjs and lounged around reading, I watched a movie on my iPad and then I reclined on my couch watching the Grammy Awards. The snake is going to be good to me.
One of the traditional things to eat during Chinese New Year are noodles. Noodles represent longevity so if you want a long life, make sure you don't cut them while preparing them or eating them. You have my permission to slurp up entire mouthfuls of noodles - NO BITING MID STRAND IF YOU WANT TO LIVE A LONG, PROSPEROUS LIFE.
If you choose to bite down, it's not on me. I warned you.
Growing up, I thought Chinese food was nothing but sweet and sour chicken balls, sticky, neon red sauce and chicken fried rice. I moved to Toronto and was introduced to real Chinese food and I never looked back. The first time I was invited into a Chinese family's home for dinner was almost 30 years ago and I still remember the addictive ginger scallion sauce that came with the steamed chicken like it was yesterday. I didn't even really like the steamed chicken (steaming chicken goes against every instinct I have as a cooker and an eater) but that sauce.... I could not get enough of it and I often found myself requesting steamed chicken just so I could get more of that sauce on subsequent visits. After asking to be shown how to make it, it became a staple condiment in my fridge up until The Kid came along and showed no interest in it and would refuse to eat anything with green onion in it.
Anyway, it has recently come to my attention that The Kid now loves green onions. For the last decade I have not cooked with them at all because I assumed that he still didn't like them. Sometimes i chop some up and serve them on my portion only, which is fine, but it also means I have also avoided making ginger scallion sauce. Despite my love of ginger scallion sauce, I have pushed it out of my mind like it doesn't exist and tried to not resent my son for hating green onions. It's a mother's cross to bear.
A couple of weeks ago, I made Spicy Korean Chicken and chopped up some scallions for Shack and I. The Kid walks into the kitchen to talk to me about something and starts to eat all of the scallions while he is talking. Like this is totally normal. Like he has happily munched on raw scallion his entire life. He says "i love them. When I was at Samantha's party I ate them all night", like I was AT Samantha's party too.
Are you telling me that I have not had ginger scallion sauce ONCE in an entire decade for nothing? I swear to god, that kid is lucky to be alive.
I have patiently waited for Chinese New Year to make this dish again and now, here it is. If you search, you will find the David Chang recipe from Momofuko everywhere. It's on a bazillion blogs so this is not something new I am sharing with you here, I am simply introducing you to something you might not have had the pleasure of eating or, if you already know you like this stuff, reminding you to make some. His sauce is a little different from the one I was used to eating, which was more of a ginger scallion oil but I like this version better.
We also ate dumplings, which represent wealth because, well, who can't use a bit more wealth luck?
Scallion Ginger Noodles
2-3 servings as main dish or up to 7 or 8 as a side dish
2 to 2 1/2 cups of finely slice green onions (scallions)
1/2 finely chopped ginger OR 1/3 cup grated ginger (I grate mine so I use a smaller measure)
1/4 cup flavourless oil like canola
1 1/2 tsp light soy sauce (usukuchi if you can find it)
1 tsp rice vinegar
about 3/4 tsp kosher salt (taste it and adjust if it needs more)
450g cantonese chow mein noodles ( you can use fresh ramen, cooked dried ramen if you prefer)
mix all of the sauce ingredients together in a bowl. I prefer to put all of it into a big glass jar and then cover it with the lid and give it a good shake to mix it all together. That way it's already in a jar, ready to store in the fridge for a couple of days while I continue to eat it on everything that is not nailed down.
Cook your desired noodles according to the package directions. Most fresh noodles only need a couple of minutes so if you get fresh noodles, don't cook them as long as would cook dried noodles. I like using chow mein noodles but really, just use whatever noodles you like. It's great on soba noodles or even just plain old spaghetti if that's all you have. It's also great on fish, on chicken, over rice...you get the idea.
at Momofuko they use about 6 tbls of sauce in each serving (about 6oz or 170g) but it's really up to you. I would start at 3 tbls per serving and taste and work my way up until you know it's perfect for you.