Even if the feet have tired from revisiting the local Chinese hotspot for those toothsome take-outs, and the tongue is weary from an overdose of brown, drippy sauce that coats anything and everything, a Chinese cuisine lover is bound for life by the sheer diversity of tastes it embodies. There’s salty, there’s sweet, spicy, hot, sour..all rolled into one in a simple dish like, say, noodles. But sometimes, it doesn’t have to be as complex as it sounds.
Even Chinese-style noodles can be strung together perfectly well right in your own kitchen with just a touch of vinegar, for instance, by amping up the ginger-garlic flavors and mixing in a trace of peppery essence. The flavors needn’t, like they do in the familiar take-out box, run deep. They just need to have their presence subtly felt, or perhaps complemented, in this case, by a bolder side dish that makes no apologies or excuses for being ostentatious.
With leeks, spring onions and shallots, these Chinese-style noodles, topped with dainty curls of omelette, are a feast for the eyes as much, if not thrice as much, as they are to the tastebuds. With mild flavors shimmying down through the tender, swirly ribbons, this one pot meal pairs very well with a fresh, fruity Riesling, or if you’re in the mood for some tea, a citrusy, herb-tinged brew would be just right.
Swirly Leek Noodles
- 150 gms Chow Mein Noodles
- 5 Leeks
- 4 Spring Onions
- 1 Onion or 6 shallots
- 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon oil, divided
- 1 Teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 Teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 Thai or Indian green chilli, de-seeded and minced
- ½ Teaspoon white pepper
- 2 Teaspoons chilli vinegar
- 2 Eggs
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the noodles as per the package directions. Drain well, toss with a teaspoon of oil and set aside.
- Cut and discard the fibrous green part of the leeks and trim away the beards. Cut the leeks into 2, length-wise. Now slice them into thin half-moons. Put the sliced leeks into a bowl of water and swirl them around to release any sand. Set aside for a couple of minutes to allow any dirt to sink to the bottom. Then remove the leeks gently into a colander and rinse. Set aside to drain.
- Chop the spring onion whites and greens separately. Thinly slice the onion.
- Heat the tablespoon of oil in a large wok. Add the ginger and garlic and toss. Now add the leeks and stir well. Cook for 2 minutes and then add a generous sprinkle of salt. Cover and cook the leeks for about 5-6 minutes or until tender.
- Now increase the heat and add the sliced onions, spring onion whites and green chillies. Stir for a minute and then add the drained noodles. Continue to toss on high heat to sear the noodles. Add the white pepper. Turn off the heat and stir in the vinegar and spring onion greens.
- To make the omelette swirls, beat the eggs in a small bowl along with a tablespoon of water. Heat the remaining oil in a small non-stick saucepan. Pour in the eggs and cook, gently lifting the sides to let the uncooked liquid flow down. Flip once and remove onto a cutting board. Roll the omelette tightly and then cut into thin slices.
- Garnish the noodles with the omelette swirls.
These noodles go perfectly with our vibrant Chili Garlic Veggie Medley..
And for more simple Indian-inspired recipes using regular supermarket ingredients, check out our new eBook: MANGO MASALA: 60 Indian Recipes From Your Local Supermarket..now available on Amazon.com.