Chinese New Year is coming up in just a couple of weeks! It will be the Year of the Rat!
I’ll be sharing some of my favorite Chinese dishes with you – easy meals that you can whip up for the holiday. Chinese are big on food symbolisms – and some of the references are pretty far out there – but hey, if eating this hairy moss dish:
means that I might just win the lottery this year, I’ll take my chances. Traditionally, we eat noodles for Chinese New Year – which symbolizes long life. Just don’t cut the noodles before serving – you’ll be snipping your life short.
Super fast noodles
You can use any type of noodles for this dish – rice noodles (great for gluten-free), wheat noodles or in a pinch, use regular spaghetti noodles for the Fried Noodles with Garlic Shrimp dish.
Here are my favorite noodles to use when I’m in a hurry:
These noodles only take a couple of minutes to cook, because they are soft, fresh noodles not dried. When I make a trip to the Asian market, I grab a few packs and put them in the freezer. They freeze great and when ever you need a quick meal, just boil a pot of water, add the pack of frozen noodles in and in 2 minutes, they are ready. If you aren’t going to freeze them, it only takes 1 minute to cook. Timing of course depends on the thickness of the noodles you choose – check the packaging for instructions.
Fried noodle ingredients
You can use any type of vegetables: mushrooms, cabbage, bok-choy, spinach, bamboo shoots, tofu, snow peas, etc. The only rule is when adding the vegetables to the wok, add them in the order it takes longest to cook. HUH?! What did I just say? You know what I mean. Vegetables that take longer to cook go in first, fry a bit, then add the next vegetable. Cut your vegetables into nice, thin, easy to quickly fry pieces.
If using carrots, I suggest cutting into slivers, or super thin slices so that they can fry easily. I use my favorite tool in the whole world – the Oxo Julienne Tool. For less than $10, this baby has saved me time and nicked fingers. Plus, the vegetable comes out looking really pretty.
In my dish, I chose crunchy, fresh celery, carrots and scallions:
For meat/seafood – you can use shrimp, chicken, thinly sliced pork or beef. Or just keep it vegetarian. Totally up to you.
The Fried Noodle with Garlic Shrimp recipe is from this book:
Wei Chuan Chinese Rice and Noodles, my copy is well-worn and this book has tons of recipes for fried noodles, noodle soup, fried rice, rice dishes, etc. Recipes are in both English and Chinese.
Recipe after the jump!
Fried Noodle with Garlic Shrimp
Adapted from Chinese Rice and Noodles (Wei Chuan Cookbook)
**FOR GF: Use rice noodles instead of wheat noodles; use GF alternatives for soy sauce and cornstarch
serves 4 as part of multicourse meal
1/2 lb shelled shrimp, deveined. Marinated in:
1/2 tsp kosher salt (1/4 tsp table salt)
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp cooking wine
1 tsp sesame oil
3 scallions, cut into 2″ pieces
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup thin celery sticks
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
1 1/2 tbl soy sauce
1 1/2 tbl Chinese black vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 lb dried noodle or 1 lb fresh cooked noodles
Marinate shrimp in a small bowl. Boil enough water to cook noodles. Follow instructions on package of noodles for cooking time.
Heat 1 tsp cooking oil (canola, veg, peanut) in a wok or large pan on high heat. When oil hot but not smoking, add shrimp. Fry until color of shrimp changes. Remove and set aside. Add a touch more oil to wok and when oil is hot, add scallions and garlic. Fry 15 seconds. Add carrots. Stir well, fry 30 seconds.. Add celery and fry vegetable mixture until carrots are slightly softened. Celery should still have a nice crunch. Add soy, vinegar, sugar and salt. Stir well. Add shrimp back into wok. Cook until shrimp is cooked through, about 30 seconds (depends on size of your shrimp).
Add noodles, mix well and when noodles are heated through, it’s ready. Taste. If needs more seasoning, add a touch more soy and black vinegar.
Other great Chinese dishes:
Garlic Scallion Noodles (aka the dish that I hide from my Mom)
15 Minute Asian Noodles (and why I HATE THE COLOR ORANGE)
Lettuce Cups with Ground Turkey and Green Apple (and Nathan’s strategy for getting food)
Don’t forget to vote!
Which blogger dish should I cook on TV
Chez Pim’s Pad Thai
Oishii Eat’s Summer Rolls
Wandering Chopsticks Vietnamese Ice Coffee
i love this recipe , very very tasty ð
Yippee! My man works near an amazing cookery shop, and in his lunch hour, managed to accomplish his mission. I had despatched him with photo of desired instrument of torture (julienne peeler) and wished him luck. He returned not just with the peeler, but change from a fiver! £2.99 (about six US dollars)….BARGAIN. Be frightened carrots….be very very frightened….
Just wanted to tell you that based on your rave review, I bought the julienne peeler. It took me a while to figure out how to use it, perhaps because I’m left-handed– I ended up taking the guard off. You’re right– it works great with carrots! I had to hold the carrot down on the cutting board and use the scraper that way, instead of holding the carrot in my hand like I do with a regular peeler. Thanks for the recommendation!
Oh my gosh thank you for sharing the OXO tool what a time saver. I love your blog and you are way too funny!
Aaargh…just about my dinnertime and I had to click on your link! Bah, Humbug! Now I have to go look for noodles!
Jaden, thanks for sharing the “secret” of the Oxo julienne tool. I am definitely getting one for myself, and I think it’s a good idea for a gift!
Your blog is my favorite blog for entertainment and inspiration! Keep up the great work..the pics, the yummy food!
I love stir fried noodles, one of my favorite go to dinners. I am totally buying that peeler. That thing looks awesome!
Oooooo.. My neighbor (a personal chef), was going to have a Chinese New Year dinner but now I have to go out of town on the 7th. So, we are going to do a dinner early (this weekend – really it will be a pot luck style), and I think I am going to make this! Thank you so much for the inspiration and lovely food photos! I cannot wait to make this for everyone.
And, of course I skipped dinner tonight and looking at this makes me want it right now!! Darn it! :o)
Totally yummy…and dinner tonight. Thank goodness. I was hoping to come up with an idea! Thanks, Jada.
Yum yum yum… I was lucky enough to spend several years in China, and that’s where I became hooked on noodles like those…
And the pictures you feature are so mouth-watering, it’s just too tempting!
the pics are getting better Jaden! you are progressing towards your cookbook-like pics:)
I appreciate the info. on ingredients. We love Chinese food, and I TRY, but mine isn’t always quite as pretty as yours ð That’s why I’m here. You inspire me to get creative!
I really need to get myself a julienne tool like that one. Thanks for the tip!
You really need to come up to Richmond to teach how to cook Chinese food properly so I don’t have to order take-out seafood pan fried noodles all the time.
Mmm. Looks fabulous. Definitely a must-try.
The thing that bothers me about your blog is that I always have everything but scallions in the house.. so I’m forever running out to get scallions to try things… and then half the bunch goes bad before I can finish it. I think I need to start growing my own!
This is just the type of Asia style noodle I like! ð Mmmmm!
thats a perfect dinner steamy kitchen
Looks colorful and delicious
Love the way you kept the shell on the tips of the shrimp! They look so much prettier that way and they slide off easy too.
that tsai dish, the one with hairy seaweeds reminds me of my grandma. she cooked that one very yummy! i love hairy seaweeds in soup too… and we crave about garlic scallion noodles all the time too ð
Hmmmm !! Looks Sooo Yummy Jaden ð
This shrimp noodle dish looks awesome, Jaden – what a comfort slurp! YUM…MMY!
Is it just me, or has your food gotten pornier? Like, it’s gone from amateur porn to professional porn. Guess that’s what happens when you move your “studio” from the living room to the bedroom.
Oh dear… all the Festive Dishes…
Really love to see your photos… every shooting just look too good!
You are killing me with this…after a few days of heavy French dining, I miss–and need/want–my noodles and rice. Gosh…I am drooling now.
I have such a Chinese mouth, French food is great but too heavy for daily meals (well, other than the mussels which I can eat everyday), cream sauce this and that too heavy.
Give me a plate of this extra jumbo shrimp please or Won Ton mee with shrimp dumplings with yellow chive right now!!!!
Yumm looks so delicious. Waiting for all your other chinese dishes for the newyear.
I posted the sticky pecan rolls today.
Mmm, that looks delicious. I’m excited to play around with it, I tried shrimp fried rice the other day, and I think if I marinated the shrimp like this recipe, it would have been better.
Money is tight for my husband and I, so I buy the Sam’s Club 36 pack of Ramen ($4). It works great for fried noodles, soups, somen salad. I’ve made fried noodle dishes for potlucks and had people ask where I got my “Asian” noodles.
Do you recommend the handheld julienne tool over a countertop one? I’m planning to put one on my wish list.
oh, man that looks good! what an excellent go-to meal. i will keep my eye out for those noodles!
I don’t do shrimp so I’m thinking a chicken would be okay… looks rico. too rico!
Beaooootiful dish! It sounds yummy, too.
This is a gorgeous looking dish, Jaden. I’ll have to give it a try!
Nice! You can’t go wrong with shrimp and fried noodles. I recently made a shrimp yakisoba.
I second didally’s comment. Perhaps as a Chinese New year contest we can get a chance to win one? I am getting hooked on your contests!
Love these noodles. I can smell the garlic deliciousness way over here!
Oh.. i want the julienne tool! I like to fry bee hoon and noodles with carrots, but the thought of cutting them with knife puts me off all the time.
The colors of this dish looks great.
This looks so yummy and colorful, and that tool is awesome…I just checked it out online and I want one!
Your blog looks great, cleaner, more streamlined. Love it!
Oh! You just remind me that I me to get ready a noodle dish for this Chinese New Year! Yours look so appealing delicious! So yummy!
Hey, I like the design of the site re-design since you’ve re-designed it from the old design! So cool … you can even make a board of cut veggies look good. I have GOT to locate an Asian market in the Toledo area so I can make some of your dishes the right way. Keep on keepin’ on!
Yummy-delish! I do this dish too, except that at the end, I make space in the centre of the pan put in a bit of oil, break an egg into it, add salt & pepper, scramble it till almost ‘gelled’ and stir in beansprouts and the surrounding noodles/veggies. Oh, and ‘kicap manis’ (dark soy sauce) instead of black vinegar. The variations are endless, ya? ð
i love a good plate of fried noodles. Every other week without fail-it’s in our dinner menu. Fast, easy, cheap and delicious-what more can we ask for.
I better stop breaking my noodles.
Food looks and sounds good. I think I was born in the year of the rat.
Yeah rats…..not to eat.
Gross/random thought: If it’s acceptable to cook a pork dish to ring in the year of the boar, would it be okay to cook a dish with rat for this upcoming new year?
[I told you it was gross. and random!]
Chinese New Year is almost here and I would love to see what your family makes! My folks cook the usual shrimp chips, glass noodles, the.. “hairy seaweed” dish above but drowned in a lot more broth.. gets boring, but tasty nevertheless.
I’ve never seen wonton noodles before..are they just like regular wonton skins?
Do we really think alike this much? I just made a dish involving shrimp and something that you sent me ;). Was trying to see whether to eat it as it is or whip up some noodle and I saw your recipe ð
Got a note from the office that I have a package waiting for me… Woo hoo!
Can’t wait to get back.
Stuck in Atlanta for NHL’s All Star Weekend, and driving from Atlanta to New Orleans on Monday to look at the arena to prep for NBA’s ASW in February.
Food in Atlanta has been pretty dismal, so seeing the pics of the Shrimp and Noodles was inspiring… I’m going to look on-line for a Asian place in New Orleans.
(I just can’t get excited about New Orleans cuisine since my favorite restaurant, Uglesich’s, closed.)
Oh yeah- Word around the campfire is that I will be in Beijing on or about April 20.
Will work on getting an Amah for your friend.
Anyway- Thanks in advance for the goodies!
What an amazing variety of flavors, colors, textures & shapes going on in this recipe–wow! btw, can you answer “2008 is the year of the _____” (animal?)?
Gyaagh! I just gorged myself silly on lunch, and you’ve gone and slapped this delicious looking madness up here. Now, I’m hungry again, and if I eat one more thing (even the tiniest of wafer-thin chocolates), I’m going to burst!
Oh well… I gladly welcome whatever eating disorder I wind up with.
As for the New Year, I’ve got a bottle of Maotai to polish off with some chums. None of us are Chinese, nor do we use the Chinese calendar, but every New Year is a great excuse to get soused regardless of the time.