Oriental-Style Stir-Fried Noodles

Method

It is so easy to stir-fry precooked Chinese egg noodles with finely shredded vegetables and slivers of meat, fish or shellfish to make a variety of quick dishes.

As with all stir-fry recipes, the key to success is preparation. Have everything ready before you start cooking. Wash, peel and slice thinly the vegetables as appropriate. Cutting the vegetables into equal-sized pieces will help ensure even cooking. Cut any meat or fish into thin slivers.

Make sure the oil in your wok or pan is hot and constantly stir all the ingredients while they are cooking. It is best to use sunflower or groundnut oil for stir-frying.

To prepare the noodles precook them in a large pan of boiling salted water for about 3 minutes until tender, then drain and rinse under cold water. If you want to cook the noodles in advance, keep them in a polythene bag in the refrigerator.

To serve 4, use about 500 g (1 lb) finely shredded vegetables and 250 g (8 oz) precooked noodles.

  1. Heat 3 tablespoons sunflower or groundnut oil in a wok or frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add 2 finely chopped garlic cloves and fry until light brown, then stir in 2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder.

  2. Add the prepared vegetables and stir-fry for 2–5 minutes, taking care not to overcook the vegetables, then add 75 g (3 oz) bean sprouts and the precooked noodles. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes more.

  3. When the vegetables are just tender but still slightly crisp, stir in 1 teaspoon soft brown sugar, 3 tablespoons soy sauce and a small bunch of finely chopped spring onions and just warm through. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve immediately. If you like you can sprinkle a little toasted sesame oil on top for extra flavour.