On my recent trip to Hong Kong, a.k.a. the gourmet paradise of Asia, I was very proud to find out an increasing popularity of Sichuan cuisine in this city where locals used to shy away from spicy food. But, I was completely blown away when I spotted Sichuan noodle shops that specialize in Hot and Sour Cellophane Noodles, a specialty noodle dish I grew up with in Sichuan (in the US, you can get these noodles from Chinese or Korean grocery stores).
Hot and Sour Celophane Noodles has been in my life for as long as I can remember. In Chongqing, the city I grew up in, From causal restaurants to street vendors, these noodles are virtually at every corner of street in my hometown Chongqing, China. It has always been a favorite amongst the local students thanks to the cheap price, fast serving, and most importantly a complicated flavor on simple ingredients.
I missed these noodles so much when I just moved to the States until I figured out how to make this comfort food at home. There are various ways to make these noodles. The recipe I am sharing here tops a brown meat sauce gravy to give a deeper flavor. You can substitute the pork with other kinds of meat or skip it completely.
Ingredients (for 2 servings)
1 batch cellophane noodles, about 6 oz (soak in water until soft)
4 oz Ground pork
2 head Chinese bok choi (can use other vegetables)
1 tbsp Dark soy sauce
1 tbsp Cooking wine
2 tbsp Chopped Chinese preserved vegetables
1 tbsp Minced garlic
1 tsp Minced ginger
1 tbsp Corn starch dissolved in 2 tbsp of water
½ cup Chicken stock (hot and ready to serve)
Noodle Sauce Condiments (2 serving)
2 tbsp Hot oil (more if you like it spicy)
1 tsp Sichuan peppercorn powder
4 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp Dark vinegar
2 tbsp Chopped scallion and cilantro
2 tsp Minced garlic
½ cup Chicken stock
1 tsp Roasted peanuts (optional)
1. In a skillet, add 2 tbsp of oil and cook the ground pork, preserved vegetables, ginger, and garlic over low heat. About 2 minutes
2. Add the rest of the condiments except chicken stock and corn starch to the meat. Cook for another 3 minutes until the meat is nice and brown
3. Add the chicken stock. Once boiled, simmer it in low heat for 5 minutes. Add corn starch to thicken the gravy.
4. You can make the gravy in advance. I use this gravy for some of my other dishes so I normally make extra and store it in the fridge for up to 4 days.
5. Cook the bok choi in boiling water. Drain and place it on the bottom of a noodle bowl. Cook the noodles until done (about 5 minutes) and place them on top of the vegetables.
6. Combine the noodle sauce condiments and pour it on top of the noodles. Top it with 2 tbsp of gravy and garnish with scallion, cilantro, and roasted peanuts.