Copyright: Jack Bishop, A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen
Instead of tossing stir-fried vegetables with noodles, I sometimes turn the cooked noodles into a hot oiled skillet, press them into a crisp cake, and top the cake with the vegetables. The best way to attack this recipe is to prepare the ingredients for the stir-fry while you bring the water for the noodles to a boil. If you own two large nonstick skillets, brown the noodle cake and make the stir-fry at the same time. For a single skillet, make the noodle cake first and keep it warm on a foil-covered plate in a 200-degree oven. You can then use the skillet to make the stir-fry without cleaning it.
Pan-Fried Noodle Cake:
1 pound fresh Chinese noodles
1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons roasted peanut oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Stir-Fried Bok Choy:
1 medium head bok choy (about 1 3/4 pounds)
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon roasted peanut oil
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced gingerroot
For the noodle cake:
Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot; add the noodles and salt and cook until al dente. Drain the noodles, leaving them still dripping with water. Toss the noodles with 1 tablespoon of the oil and soy sauce in a large bowl. (The noodles can be set aside for up to 30 minutes.)
Heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Spread the noodles evenly across the bottom of the hot pan and use a spatula to flatten them into an even cake. Cook until the bottom of the noodle cake is brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. (Lower the heat if the noodles start to burn.) Slide the noodle cake onto a large plate. Cover the plate with a second plate and invert. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the empty skillet. Slide the noodle cake, browned side up, back into the pan and cook until the second side is browned and crisp, about 4 minutes. Slide the noodle cake onto a plate.
For the stir-fry:
Separate the leafy green portions of the bok choy from the white stalks. Trim the ends of the stalks and then slice them crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick pieces. You should have 6 cups of stalks. Stack the green leaves and cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick strips. You should have 7 cups of leaves. Combine the water, hoisin sauce, vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl or measuring cup.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat until almost smoking. Add the bok choy stalks and stir-fry until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the bok choy leaves and the hoisin mixture and stir-fry until the bok choy is tender and the liquid in the pan has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Adjust the seasonings, adding salt and pepper to taste.
Cut the noodle cake into 4 wedges and place one piece on each plate. Spoon some of the bok choy mixture over the top of each noodle cake wedge and serve immediately.
This recipe was discussed here.