This is one of those rugged dishes so typical of Northern China, where wheat-based noodles, garlic, black vinegar and plenty of dried chillies rule. Any wide, dried wheat, ‘ribbon’-style noodles you find at a Chinese food store will be good here although alternatively, these work really well with home made hand-cut noodles.
- 2 ½ tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 60 ml (¼ cup) Chinese black vinegar
- 2 tsp dried chilli flakes, or to taste
- 4 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1 bunch of coriander, chopped
- 6 cloves of garlic, very finely chopped
- 400 g dried wide wheat noodles (see Note)
- 2 bunches choy sum, trimmed and large leaves cut in half lengthways
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) peanut oil
- coriander, extra, to garnish
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Combine the soy sauces, black vinegar, chilli flakes, green onions, chopped coriander and garlic in a bowl and stir to combine well.
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add the noodles and cook for 7 minutes or according to manufacturer’s instructions, stirring occasionally to separate noodles, or until nearly cooked. Add the choy sum to the boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the noodles are cooked through and the choy sum is just tender. Drain well then divide the noodles and choy sum among four large bowls. Spoon the vinegar mixture over each.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small saucepan until the surface is shimmering then pour the oil over the noodles in the bowls, taking care as the oil will sizzle. Scatter over some coriander then serve immediately.
• Look for wide, dried Chinese wheat noodles labelled as “sliced’ noodles, “knife cut noodles” or dao xiao mian. They come packaged in neat bundles and look like ribbons, with slightly wavy edges.
Photography by Sharyn Cairns. Styling by Lee Blaylock. Food preparation by Tiffany Page.