Friday, January 31, 2014

Frugal Foodie Friday - Garlic Noodles aka P.F. Chang.

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite... Happy New Year to all who are celebrating today. I thought this would be a perfect time to share one of my favorite Asian noodle recipes with you. I originally found the recipe on the Recipe Goldmine site and I've put it to good use ever since.  It is fast and simple and the noodles it makes are inexpensive and  downright delicious. The cost of the dish makes it a perfect candidate to share with you on Frugal Foodie Friday. While the noodles are almost effortless to make, there are a few cautions I want to share with you. The first is a reminder regarding the heat generated by dried red pepper flakes. The original recipe called for 1-1/2 teaspoons of flakes, and while that is perfect for fire breathing dragons and many of my visitors, it is sufficient to cause those with more timid palates to pale and gasp for air. To be on the safe side, I decided to list the quantity of pepper flakes as a range and let you pick your own comfort level. My main caution regards the use of fresh versus dried noodles. Equivalent weights will not produce the same amount of pasta and while my conversion is not exact, it's close enough to give you great results. As a general rule of thumb, when a recipe calls for fresh noodles and you can't get your hands on them, substitute half that weight with a dried product and you will be fine. Follow package instructions for cooking as well, because they will vary by type and brand. I think you'll really like the stir fry sauce that is used to flavor the noodles. It is simple to make and will keep for up to a month in the refrigerator. I like it well enough to keep a supply of it on hand for other quick stir fries. Do try this simple noodle dish. While this version of the recipe is scaled to feed two people, quantities can be doubled to feed  four or more. Here is how the garlic noodles are made.

P.F. Chang's China Bistro Garlic Noodles...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by P.F. Chang courtesy of Recipe Goldmine

1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 to 1-1/2 teaspoons red chile flakes
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 pound fresh Chinese noodle or vermicelli, or 1/2 pound dry noodles
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 cup Cantonese stir fry sauce (see recipe below)
1 Japanese cucumber or English cucumber
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Cantonese Stir Fry Sauce:
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon chicken base powder (no MSG)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons shaohsing wine or sherry
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cornstarch

1) Cook pasta per package instructions. Rinse and cool down. Set aside. Toss in red chile flakes and cilantro.
2) Wash cucumber. Slice diagonally into 1/4-inch thick slices. Slice into strips. Set aside.
3) Heat wok thoroughly, add oil, then minced garlic. Stir fry briefly. Do not burn garlic or it will take on an acrid smell and taste. (If this happens, throw it out and start over.) Add sugar and vinegar. Add noodles and stir-fry sauce to wok, stirring and tossing to mix until they are heated through.
4) Place on plates and surround with cucumber strips. Yield: 2 servings.

Chef's Note: Chinese noodle is available fresh frozen, and can be cooked like any fresh pasta. Bring water to boil, add noodles and cook per package instructions. Drain and shock in cold water. Toss with salad oil. Uncooked fresh pasta can be frozen indefinitely. Use only 8 ounces of pasta if substituting dry noodles for the fresh variety. The recipe for stir fry sauce can be doubled and kept in the refrigerator for up to a month.

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Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I am a "wuss" when it comes to heat in my food Mary. I will take your advice and keep the pepper flakes to a minimum.

Alessandra said...

Happy New Year of the Horse to you too Mary!

I really like these noodles (love garlic), and your Frugal Foodie Fridays :-).


MaryB said...

I generally use Better Than Bouillon Chicken base (not a powdered product) because so many of the powdered chicken base products I've tried are so salty and contain MSG. Can you share the brand that you like to use? This sounds so good to me, as does the cider chicken. I know what we will have on the menu next week!

Angie's Recipes said...

Simple and yum!
Happy Friday!

Kim said...

These are quite simple but I bet that these are tasty too! Have a nice weekend!

Mary Bergfeld said...

MaryB,I use a restaurant size (2lb. 2 oz.) can of Chicken Bouillion that is made by Lee Kum Kee for all my chicken stock needs.

David said...

Mary, Love garlic and we'd be using the 1.5 teaspoons of red peppers! Love the heat...but we sure couldn't serve them to most of our fire adverse friends... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Schnitzel and the Trout said...

Mary, I hope you are recovering well. I do love the ingredients in this recipe and how to translated the fresh and dry noodles. However, for the life of me, I am not sure what you do with the stir-fry sauce which also sounds delicious. You don't just use it as a condiment do you? Do you add it to the wok at all? Thanks.

Mary Bergfeld said...

Susan, add the 1/4 cup sauce after noodles and toss to combine.

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