recipes | SCALLION OIL NOODLES | 葱油拌面

Scallion Oil Noodles | 葱油拌面 (Cong You Ban Mian)

Prep Time: 10 min  |  Cook Time: 10 min  |  Total Time: 20 min
Recipe adapted from: Omnivore’s Cookbook
Cuisine: Chinese – Shangahainese
Serves: 4 (maybe 6 if portions are small)

 

I am no chef.

Sure, I can whip up a simple pasta and get creative with salads, but generally nothing that’s too much of a hassle or requires too many ingredients. If you’ve lived in China, you know that supermarkets have limited ingredients and cooking one meal will often require you to go to three+ places. Regardless, since moving here and with my love for noodles, I’ve been inspired and intrigued to learn more about Asian cuisine, specifically noodle dishes. As I navigate through the seemingly complicated world of Asian cuisine, I will share my journey experimenting with some noodle recipes I find particularly worth trying. Rest assure, nothing here will be too complicated. Yet…

cong you ban mian_dish top downSince I live in Shanghai, I thought what better noodle dish to start with than Scallion Oil Noodles (葱油拌面 – Cong You Ban Mian). This dish is found in every Shangahinese restaurant and is a base for many other noodle dishes. Often times it will come with a side plate of sauce with veggies or meat to toss with the noodles. But the base usually remains the same with minimal ingredients. Since the flavors are so simple it makes for a great side dish as well.

cong you ban mian_dish side angle

After researching and testing out a few different recipes, I slightly adapted the one from Omnivore’s Cookbook since it was simple enough but still delicious. Best part? It only takes 20 minutes.

Here’s your simple grocery list:

  • 1 / 4 cup of oil
  • 2 cups of julienned scallions
  • 2 tablespoons of light or regular soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 400 grams of noodles (typically Chinese style thin wheat noodle)

cong you ban mian_ingredients.jpg

Heat the oil in a pan or wok over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the scallions and let them fry slowly. (If you’ve washed your scallions beforehand, make sure they’re dry with minimal water or there will be lots of splatter when it hits the oil! I learned this the hard way.) Once the scallions start to turn golden brown take out about half and place in a bowl for later.

Lower the heat (this is important) and add the two kinds of soy sauce and sugar to the remaining half of the scallions in the pan. If your pan is too hot, it will quickly burn the soy sauces and sugar into a bitter, black clump. I almost made this mistake…as shown in the photo below, the sauce is slightly darker than it should be. Oops.  Anyway, stir the mixture of sauce and scallions until it starts to bubble.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. If you’re impatient like me, this can also be done simultaneously while your sauce is cooking. Cook the noodles according to instructions. I would recommend to use a thin Chinese style wheat noodle. Although I generally prefer a thicker cut noodle, I tested the dish with both types and the thinner noodle definitely tastes best. I guess there was a reason every restaurant in Shanghai uses the same type of noodle? Depending on what noodles you use the cook time will vary. But generally fresh noodles will cook faster than dried noodles. Drain the cooked noodles and portion out into bowls or bowl if you’re extra hungry…

cong you ban mian_noodles

cong you ban mian_noodles in pot

Generously add a few spoonfuls of the scallion sauce mixture to the noodles, and garnish with the other half of the fried scallions. Toss everything together and just like that, you have Strands of Bliss. Easy huh?

cong you ban mian_dish pre mix.jpg

cong you ban mian_dish pulling strands

Have a (relatively easy) noodle dish you’d like me to try out? Message below in the comments!


Prep Time: 10 min  |  Cook Time: 10 min  |  Total Time: 20 min
Recipe adapted from: Omnivore’s Cookbook
Cuisine: Chinese – Shangahainese
Serves: 4 (maybe 6 if portions are small)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 / 4 cup of oil
  • 2 cups of julienned scallions
  • 2 tablespoons of light or regular soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 400 grams of noodles (typically Chinese style thin wheat noodle)

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1.  Heat oil in pan or wok over medium heat. Add scallions and cook until they turn golden brown (careful not to let them burn). Remove about 1/2 scallions from pan and place in a bowl for later.
  2. Add both kinds of soy sauce and the sugar to the remaining scallions in the pan and cook over low heat until it starts to simmer.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook noodles according to instructions. Once cooked, drain noodles and portion out into separate bowls.
  4. Add a few spoonfuls of sauce to the noodles and garnish with the other 1/2 of fried scallions. Toss noodles with sauce and scallions and enjoy!

cong you ban mian_dish half

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