Recreating my favorite take-out dish
I'm not one to order out a lot, but there is one restaurant in Seattle that makes the BEST noodle dish: Chiang's Gourmet on Northgate Way. It's very unassuming from the outside - right off the major freeway exit, but my family frequents it so much that they recognize our home number, say "order for Rick", and hang up. I'm stuck in Pullman during the quarantine and after seeing that Chiang's was the latest restaurant to donate dinner to the UW Virology department, I decided to try and replicate their best dish with my mom's virtual help.
NOODLE INGREDIENTS: 2 cups AP flour, ~3/4 cup water, pinch salt
First, the hand-pulled noodles. Not as hard as you would think. Put 2 cups flour (I used all purpose) and a pinch of salt in a bowl and slowly drizzle in water while mixing. You want to end up with a firm, smooth dough - so don't over-do it on the water. I think I put nearly 3/4 cup in, but some recipes say it only takes 1/2 cup. It depends on your local weather conditions and altitude. Once you get all of the flour to incorporate and it feels difficult to knead, let it rest for 5 minutes and resume kneading until you get a very smooth ball that resists further kneading.
Cut this ball of dough into two pieces. Working with one, roll it out to ~1/4-1/2 cm thickness in a rectangle shape. You shouldn't need to flour your work surface. If you do, your dough is too sticky and you need to incorporate more flour into the dough itself. You do not want your sheets of dough to be covered in flour. Lightly oil a baking sheet using a paper towel soaked in a neutral oil. Place the dough sheet on the baking sheet. Use the same paper towel to wipe the top of the dough sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Repeat with the second piece of dough, and place that on top of the first plastic-wrapped dough sheet. Wipe the top with the oiled paper towel and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for 1.5-2 hours.
STIR FRY INGREDIENTS:
1. 1 tsp sesame oil
2. 1 tbsp neutral oil (peanut, vegetable, canola)
3. 1 tbsp oyster sauce
4. 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
5. 1 tsp regular soy sauce
6. 1 tbsp sugar
7. 2 bok choy, chopped large
8. 3 green onion stalks, whites chopped ~1 cm & greens chopped ~1 inch
9. 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
10. fried tofu (OPTIONAL - can sub for meat, or leave out)
While the dough is resting, you can start on the stir fry (about 15 minutes before the dough is done resting). Before you forget, set a large pot of water to boil for the noodles. For the stir fry, chop all of the veggies and make sure you keep the green onion whites and greens separate. Heat up the sesame oil in a wok or large-bottomed pan, and fry the garlic and green onion whites. Once they are fragrant, add the bok choy and fried tofu and sauté lightly. Soon after, add the sugar, both types of soy sauce, and oyster sauce. Mix vigorously. Dump the contents of the wok into a bowl and set aside. Do not clean out the wok!
Turn your attention to the dough. It should be very soft and somewhat springy to the touch. Take one dough sheet from the baking sheet and put it on a cutting board. Using a pizza cutter (or some other knife, but this is more fun), cut 1-1.5 cm strips from the dough along the shorter edge of the rectangle. These are going to get very long so save yourself the hassle of having an extremely long noodle by cutting the short way! Hopefully your water is boiling by now. If it isn't you should wait. In terms of the noodle pulling - if you made the dough correctly - it should be extremely easy to grab both ends and pull to stretch (see video). Drop the noodles directly into the boiling water when done. You either need to multi-task or have a partner here to rescue the al dente noodles when they are done cooking. If you have a partner, that person can heat up the wok with the neutral oil and begin frying the noodles as they come out. Otherwise, you can just set them aside until you've made all of your noodles.
When that's all done, just add the veggie/sauce bowl back into the wok with the stir fried noodles and mix until the noodles are coated with sauce. Also add your green onion (greens) here at the last minute so they don't get wilted. You can always make more sauce if you feel the noodles are too light in color (I actually never measure anything, so this could be needed). You're done! I like eating this with sriracha.