Oh those nights in the various China Towns of the world, eating noodles and congee and salt and pepper tofu, and wonderful silky eggplants. Simple dishes are tasty and elegant, in a way that sometimes we forget. Paring back to basics gives such good dishes.
For this dish you will need a basic Ginger Scallion Sauce (we call them Spring Onions, but it doesn’t sound as good). The sauce is useful in the kitchen and is one of my pastes, purees, powders, stocks and sauces that commonly grace my quiet kitchen bench. It is useful in so many ways – into soups and broths it goes, over rice with some deep fried tofu and shredded vegetables, drizzled onto bok choy with or without noodles, smeared on sandwiches.
Once you have the sauce, all you need for this recipe is some noodles and some veg. That’s it. And variations are endless. Make it as simple or as fussy as you like.
Ginger Scallion Dipping Sauce
1 cup thinly sliced spring onions, white and green parts
0.5 cup finely minced fresh ginger (very easy to use a spice grinder or blender for this)
1.5 Tblspn grapeseed oil or peanut oil
1 tspn Chinese toasted sesame oil
2 tspn light soy sauce
2 tspn Chinese Red or Black Vinegar (or use Chinese Rice Vinegar)
sea salt to taste, a couple of pinches
Mix all together and use as needed. It lasts up to a week (or more) if covered well and kept refrigerated.
Ginger Scallion Noodles
Cook some noodles of choice – Ramen, Soba, Somen, Udon, Chinese Flat Noodles, or select another type of Chinese Noodle. Toss with the Ginger Scallion Dipping Sauce, about 3 Tblspn per 75g noodles (depending on the noodles, you might need more or less). Top the bowl with mung bean sprouts, shredded carrots, diced or shredded cucumber, shredded daikon, shredded spring onions, chopped chives, and/or some wilted greens of choice.
Add a drizzle of hoisin sauce, and enjoy! Don’t omit the hoisin sauce, it makes all the difference.
recipe notes and variations
Garlic and chilli can be added to the sauce, should you wish.
Get creative with your toppings. Left over roasted cauliflower, steamed eggplant, snow peas, quick pickles, toasted nori, deep fried tofu, grilled or sauteed cabbage, thin slices of pink radish, tempura vegetables, pickled ginger, roasted sweetcorn kernels, seaweed flakes, wakame, dried tofu flakes or knots, kombu, and sesame seeds are all possibilities.