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February 13, 2013

Beijing Noodles

Moosewood Restaurant

  • These Beijing noodles will provide crunch, color, and interest to your dinner. Michelle Riley/HSUS

Serves 4 to 6

1/2 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms (5 to 8 caps)
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 cake firm tofu (about 16 ounces)
12 ounces button mushrooms
2 large garlic cloves
1 large onion
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup Chinese sweet bean sauce (6-ounce can)
3 tablespoons white or cider vinegar
1 pound linguine or Chinese wheat noodles
Chinese chili paste (optional)
Dark sesame oil (optional)
1 cup each of at least 3 of the following toppings:
  - Grated carrots
  - Chopped tomatoes
  - Mung bean sprouts
  - Shredded cabbage
  - Peeled, seeded, and diced cucumbers
  - Sliced scallions

Place the dried shiitake mushrooms in a bowl, add the boiling water, and set them aside to soften for about 15 minutes.

With a box grater or in a food processor, coarsely grate the tofu. Slice the moonlight mushrooms, mince or press the garlic, and chop the onion.

In a large skillet on medium heat, warm the oil and sauté the onion, garlic, salt, and pepper for about 7 minutes, until the onions are translucent.

Stir in the sliced mushrooms and grated tofu and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms begin to release their juices.

Meanwhile, remove the softened shiitake from the bowl. If there are large stems, cut them off and discard. Slice the caps and add to the skillet. Add 3/4 cup of the shiitake soaking liquid, pouring the liquid with care so that any gritty residue is left behind in the bowl.

Add the sweet bean sauce and the vinegar and stir occasionally until the sauce is hot, about 5 minutes. If the sauce becomes too thick, add a little water.

While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta in a large, covered pot of salted, boiling water until al dente.

After draining the pasta, prepare the toppings, putting each in separate bowls at the table so that diners can choose their own.

Serve Beijing noodles in individual bowls: a helping of noodles topped with sauce, and then sprinkled with toppings.

Tips

  • Look for Chinese sweet bean sauce in Asian markets. It usually comes in 6- or 16-ounce cans. Leftover sauce can be stored in a jar in the refrigerator for several months.
  • Optionally, stir some Chinese chili paste into the sauce. Stir a few drops of dark sesame oil into the noodles.

Reprinted with permission from Moosewood Restaurant "Simple Suppers," Copyright 2005 by Moosewood, Inc., Clarkson Potter, publishers.

Nutrition

All figures are per serving (assumes 6 servings).

Calories: 315
Fat: 10 g
Carbs: 43 g
Fiber: 4 g
Protein: 13 g
Sodium: 398 mg

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