Simple recipe for Chinese noodles in spring onion sauce with salty dried shrimp and crispy, chewy enoki. Delicious for a weekday evening on the couch but the dish is also exciting enough for a fancy dinner!
Without the shrimp, the dish is vegan. The sauce is still very tasty without the salty flavour.
Inspiration for noodles in spring onion sauce
This is typically a Kind of Asian recipe, not traditional, but the authentic mild Cantonese flavours are clearly recognizable here.
The spring onion sauce for noodles in this recipe is inspired by the Cantonese “pesto” of ginger and spring onion. This is often used for poached chicken. The chicken is barely seasoned and the ginger-spring onion pesto also has hardly any flavourings. But the refined combination of these pure flavours is incomparably delicious!
My recipe is less mild than the traditional version by adding the dried shrimp. “Less mild” may not be the correct description. The concentrated umami kick that these little critters add to the sauce will blow you away!
I prefer to always have a supply in the fridge. I could not have imagined it as a child. I prefer to keep the musty smell that escaped from the jars of dried fish and fermented vegetables secret for girlfriends.
That penetrating scent was most intense when my grandparents returned from China. Their large canvas bags (suitcases were too heavy, that would mean less food could be taken) bulged with dried bok choy, mustard vegetables, squid and pickled fish. I always sat front row when the bags were emptied. Non-Chinese were banned from our home for a few weeks for their own safety.
“Only when I started cooking myself I discovered the value of fermented and dried ingredients. A stock cube is actually very poor!”
Another very tasty element of this dish are the fried enoki mushrooms with fragrant fried spring onion. This recipe is sufficient for two people. But when I was taking photos, my husband came to “visit” too often. Double the recipe to prevent you from being without that crispy enoki in the evening.
“The combination of chewy enoki in the ultra-crispy coating with the fragrant fried spring onion is addictively tasty.”
Frying can sometimes be a hassle. But if you follow the instructions in the recipe, it will be done in no time. Well-fried enoki has a crispy coating and does not taste greasy.
“The fried enoki stays crispy and fresh for at least a day in a well-sealed container.”
Often a batter with egg is made for frying. My first attempt was also with egg (you can see the eggshells in the photo above). Is also tasty but it gets more greasy anyway. And frying requires a larger amount of oil. That is why I only used rice flour in the recipe below. This gives a light and airy result. Rice flour is also gluten free.
“For a gluten-free dish you only have to replace the fresh wheat noodles with gluten-free noodles, such as rice or tapioca noodles.”
I always have a weakness for food with a green colour. The greener the better! Don’t you think the contrasting colours in the dish are fantastic? For a greener than green sauce you only use the green part of the spring onion. You put the rest of the spring onion in potting soil or use it in a different recipe. If the colour of the dish is not important to you, use the whole spring onion (without the roots of course).
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Chinese noodles in spring onion sauce with dried shrimp
Easy recipe for Chinese noodles in spring onion sauce with salty dried shrimp and crispy, chewy enoki mushrooms. Delicious for a weekday couch evening, but the dish is also exciting enough for a fancy dinner!
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 30
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 2 1x
- Category: fish, main course, side dish
- Method: Cooking and frying
- Cuisine: Chinese
Spring onion sauce with dried shrimps:
- 20 gr dried shrimps 1
- 200 ml of hot water
- 2 tbsp / 30 ml of oil that can be heated 2
- 25 g ginger, grated
- 120 gr spring onion (the green part), in thin rings 3
- ¼ to ½ tsp coarse sea salt, depending on how salty the dried shrimps are
- ½ tsp sugar, optional
- 1 tbsp / 15 ml of Chinese cooking wine
- 1 tbsp / 15 ml sesame oil
fried enoki with spring onion:
- 100 g enoki (usually this is 1 bag)
- 20 g white or green part of the spring onion, in very thin strings
- 4 or 5 tbsp rice flour 4
- l tsp of fine sea salt
- 200 ml of oil that can be heated
- 150–200 g fresh noodles / noodles 5
- Thin rings of spring onion (only green) and roasted sesame seeds for garnish, both optional
- Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the package. Rinse the noodles very well with cold water and drain in a colander.
- The noodles must be warmed up in hot water just before serving. Then drain again in a colander.
Make the spring onion sauce:
- Rinse the shrimp and soak them for 15 minutes in hot water. Sieve them and save this water. Pat them very dry. Crush the (tough) shrimp in a mortar or (very briefly) in a small blender.
- Heat 2 tbsp rice oil in a saucepan. Add the shrimp and fry over medium heat until crispy and fragrant. Scoop out a few to use as a garnish later.
- Increase the heat source. Add ginger, rings of green portion of spring onion, cooking wine, sesame oil, salt and sugar (if used) to the pan. Bake for a minute or until you smell the spring onion and ginger well.
- Now also add the shrimp-soaked liquid. Let it boil and then turn off the heat.
- Puree the sauce smoothly with a (hand) blender. Set the pan with spring onion sauce aside.
Crispy enoki with spring onion:
- First prepare a plate with kitchen paper or a clean tea towel.
- Cut off about 1.5 cm from the bottom of the bunch of enoki, this part is not edible. Rinse the remaining part well. Pull the enoki loose and pat everything dry.
- Cut the spring onion into thin strips, about as long as the enoki. Place the enoki and spring onion strings on a plate and sprinkle with sesame oil for some extra taste.
- Mix with rice flour well with salt and pepper. Make sure that enoki and spring onion are covered with rice flour everywhere.
- Heat the oil in a high pan. Enough space must remain above the oil so that it can rise during frying.
- The oil is hot enough if the batter floats up immediately. Test this with a little spring onion or enoki.
- Carefully put a small portion of the enoki in the hot oil with tongs or bamboo sticks. Pull the enoki a little loose in the oil for thin crispy strands. Remove them from the oil when they are golden brown and place on kitchen paper.
- Repeat with the rest of the enoki and spring onion. Store in a well-sealed container if you are going to serve the enoki the next day.
- Heat the spring onion sauce.
- Warm the noodles in hot water, drain well in a colander.
- Divide the spring onion sauce on 2 warm, deep plates (you may have sauce left over), put the warm noodles on the sauce and put the crispy enoki and spring onion on the noodles.
- Garnish with the separately kept dried shrimp, possibly with thin rings of spring onion and roasted sesame seeds.
- You can find dried shrimps in the cooling compartment of the Asian food shop. They are in multiple sizes. I bought the little ones.
- Oil: I used rice oil
- Spring onion: If you want the sauce to be extra green, use only the green part of the spring onion. If you do not find the green colour of the spring onion sauce important, you can also use the white part. When only using the green part, save the white part for a different recipe. Wrap them in a damp tea towel and store in the refrigerator. You can also put them in potting soil if you are not going to use them soon.
- Rice flour: you can also find this in the Asian food shop. It comes in transparent bags with a blue label. Make sure you buy “rice flour” and not “glutinous rice flour”. The latter is made from glutinous rice. If necessary, replace the rice flour with half an ordinary flour and half with cornflour. But the result is less airy and crispy. And regular flour is not gluten free.
- Fresh noodles/ wheat noodles: to be found in the fridge of the Asian food shop. These are not gluten free. Replace these with, for example, rice noodles or tapioca noodles. Choose not too thin noodles.
Tip: prepare the spring onion sauce and the enoki a day in advance. On the evening itself you only have to cook noodles.
Keywords: Chinese noodles, spring onion, sauce, fried enoki, crispy, chewy, vegan