Wednesday, January 24, 2001
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Posted on: Wednesday, January 24, 2001

Editor's Choice
For zesty, citrus-flavored dish, try Chili Orange Cold Noodles

By Joan Namkoong
Advertiser Food Editor

Chili Orange Noodles is one of my favorite noodle dishes. Not only is it delicious as part of a Chinese meal, it can stand on its own as a "pasta salad" on a buffet or as an accompaniment to grilled chicken or meats. The citrusy flavor of the dressing and the zesty spice make it a terrific noodle dish.

This recipe comes from "The China Moon Cookbook" by Barbara Tropp (Workman Publishing). Tropp, a student and teacher of Chinese cuisine, was the chef owner of the now defunct China Moon on San Francisco’s Post Street. Tropp’s other noteworthy book is "The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking."

Whenever I make this dish, I find myself at Yat Tung Chow, the noodle factory we profiled in Taste last week. Here I find the fresh thin egg noodles called for in this recipe; inevitably I munch on these noodles as I drive home, because they’re so tasty and fresh.

The preparations for the noodle dish itself are very simple when you have the chili orange oil on hand; the oil keeps for several months in the refrigerator. The spicy flavored oil is used in the dressing for this noodle dish along with some of the "goop," the ingredients that settle to the bottom.

Chili Orange Oil

  • 3 large oranges with unblemished skins
  • 1/2 cup dried red chili flakes
  • 3 tablespoons Chinese black beans, coarsely chopped ( do not rinse)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, slightly smashed and peeled
  • 2 cups corn or peanut oil
  • 1/4 cup Japanese sesame oil

Wash oranges well and grate the zest.

Combine all ingredients in a 2- quart saucepan and heat to 225-250 degrees on a candy thermometer or instant-read thermometer over a low heat setting, stirring occasionally. Let bubble for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand until cool or overnight.

Scrape oil and seasonings into a covered container and store at cool room temperature or in refrigerator where it will keep for several months.

Chili Orange Cold Noodles

For dressing:

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Chili Orange Oil
  • 1 tablespoon "goop" (seasonings in oil)
  • 2 tablespoons black soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

For salad:

  • 1/2 pound very thin, fresh Chinese egg noodles
  • 1/2 pound fresh bean sprouts
  • 3/4 cup finely shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green and white scallion rings
  • 3/4 cup slivered Chinese parsley leaves and stems
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts
  • Chinese parsley for garnish

Combine all dressing ingredients and set aside.

Fluff noodles in a colander to separate. Bring a generous amount of water to a boil. Add noodles and gently stir until noodles are al dente but cooked, about 2 minutes. Drain, plunge into ice water and drain thoroughly.

Blanch bean sprouts in boiling water for 15 seconds. Refresh in ice water. Cover with cold water and refrigerate until ready to use, draining well before using.

Rewhisk dressing and pour over well-drained noodles. Toss well with fingers, coating noodles and separating stands. Scatter bean sprouts, carrots, scallions, Chinese parsley and two-thirds of chopped peanuts on top; toss lightly to mix.

To serve, place on a large platter or heap in individual bowls, garnishing with remaining peanuts and more Chinese parsley. Serves 4 as a main course, 6-8 as part of a multicourse meal.

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