Chinese Noodles and Broccoli

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by Chef Didi Emmons Fresh Chinese noodles served with blanched broccoli and chile oil

Yield: Makes 3 to 4 servings

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb. fresh Chinese wheat or rice noodles or 8 ounces dried spaghetti
  • 2 cups broccoli chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 4-6 dried New Mexican chiles each 2-3 inches long, ground in a spice mill or with a mortar and pestle
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 tablespoons toasted black or white sesame seeds
  • Kosher salt to taste

Directions

  1. In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté, stirring frequently until they are golden brown, 9 to 11 minutes. Stir in the ground chiles and garlic and sauté for 1 minute more; do not brown the garlic. Remove from the heat and season liberally with salt (at least 1/2 teaspoon).
  2. While the onions are cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and return to the boil, stirring to separate the noodles. After approximately 2 minutes, add the broccoli. Boil until the pasta is tender, another 4 to 5 minutes (for spaghetti, wait until the pasta has cooked for approximately 7 minutes before adding the broccoli). Drain and immediately return the noodles and broccoli to the warm pot.
  3. Add the garlic and chile mixture to the noodles and toss to coat. Taste and add more salt, if desired. Divide between 3 or 4 plates, sprinkle with sesame seed, and serve immediately.
  4. Chef Didi Emmons notes: Fresh Chinese wheat noodles, available in most supermarkets, are soft and chewy. They're a treat, and a deal, often costing half the price of fresh Italian pasta. These versatile noodles, often labeled mein or lomein, are sold in 1-pound bags in most supermarkets near the produce. Before using, they must be boiled until tender, about 4 minutes, then drained and rinsed well under cold running water. The noodles are greedy, and you'll have to work to distribute the sauce evenly. They're also bland, so be sure to season liberally with salt and pepper before serving.

Tips/Techniques

This segment appears in show #2821. Recipes reprinted from Entertaining for a Veggie Planet, Houghton Mifflin 2003 © 2003 Didi Emmons
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