Pan-fried Noodle Pillow with Stir-fried Chinese Greens and Baby Garlic
Plump golden noodle pillow wedges are served with a mixture of stir-fried vegetables and mushrooms. A word of caution: the tiny hot peppers are added for color, and are not intended to be eaten; be sure to warn your guests! If a spicy-hot dish is desired, finely sliver a single chili and stir-fry with shallots before continuing to stir-fry the rest of the vegetables. And warn the guests!
- Noodle Pillow
- Fresh Chinese egg noodles - 1/2 pound 1/16-inch thin
- Chinese or Japanese sesame oil - 2 teaspoons
- Kosher salt - 1 teaspoon
- Corn or peanut oil - 5 to 6 tablespoons
- Black sesame seeds for garnish
- Stir-fried Greens
- Chinese dried black mushrooms - 6 medium-sized
- Corn or peanut oil - 2 to 3 tablespoons
- Chinese chives - 1 tablespoon
- Baby Garlic - 1/8 cup, finely sliced
- Chanterelles - 1-1/2 cups, sliced
- Mustard Greens - 1-1/2 teaspoons, finely sliced
- Baby bok choy - 3 cups sliced, flower-like bases left whole
- Chinese cabbage - 2 cups, sliced
- Several small fresh red and orange chilies
To prepare the noodle pillow: Boil the noodles in unsalted water to cover until cooked al dente, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain, flush with cold water until chilled, then roll loosely in a lint-free towel to blot off excess water. Toss the noodles with sesame oil and salt, using your hands to coat and separate the strands.
Heat a 12-inch well-seasoned or non-stick heavy skillet until hot enough to evaporate a bead of water on contact. Add 5 tablespoons oil, swirl to coat the bottom and sides of the pan, then reduce heat to medium-high. When the oil is hot enough to sizzle a single noodle, coil noodles in the pan, then use a spatula to pack then into an even pancake or pillow. Cover and cook until the bottom is golden, about 5 to 7 minutes. Uncover, flip the pillow over, then cover and cook on the second side. If the pan seems dry, dribble in the remaining tablespoon of oil around the side of the pan before covering it. When the second side is golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes, slide the noodle pillow out of the pan onto a cutting board. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds.
To prepare the greens: Soak the dried mushrooms several hours or overnight in cold water. Drain, rinse, remove the stems, then cut the caps into slivers about 1/8-inch wide.
Heat a wok or large heavy skillet over high heat until hot enough to evaporate a bead on water on contact. Add 2 tablespoons oil, swirl to glaze the pan, then reduce heat to medium-high. Add the Chinese chive tops, garlic, and black mushrooms. Toss until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then add the chanterelles and mustard greens. Toss just until the vegetables turn supple, about 2 minutes. Add baby bok choy and Chinese cabbage. Toss until the color deepens and the vegetables are heated through, about 20 seconds. If the pan becomes too dry, dribble in a bit more oil from the side. Fold in the chilies, then turn the contents onto serving plates.
To serve: Cut the noodle pillow into quarters and place beside the greens on the serving plates.