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Longevity noodles

January 21, 2009

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Serves 4

Author Eileen Yin-Fei Lo writes that "simply because of its length, the noodle represents longevity, and noodles are served at all occasions that relate to long life." She says that the Chinese believe that noodles are easier to digest than bread.

NOODLES

5 ounces soybean sprouts
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 pound long fresh egg noodles
1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Place the sprouts in a mesh strainer and lower them into the boiling water for 15 seconds. Rinse with cold water and set aside.

2. Add the salt to the water and return it to a boil. Add the noodles, loosening them with chopsticks. Cook for 2 minutes. Drain the noodles.

SAUCE

3 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/4 cup chicken stock

1. In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, and chicken stock.

2. Stir well.

STIR-FRY

1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 slice ( 1/4-inch-thick) fresh ginger, lightly smashed
1/4 pound snow peas, strings removed
4 canned water chestnuts, very thinly sliced
1. In a large wok, heat the peanut oil and when it is hot, use a metal spoon to coat the wok with the oil. When you see a wisp of smoke, add the ginger and cook for 10 seconds. Add the snow peas and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the water chestnuts and cook for 30 seconds more.

2. Add the reserved sprouts and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir the sauce mixture, add it to the wok, and bring to a boil. Add the noodles and continue cooking, stirring gently, for 2 minutes or until the noodles absorb some of the sauce and are cooked through.

Adapted from "The Chinese Kitchen"