Our family has embarked on virtual travels to various countries and regions. To explore these countries and their cultures, we have followed along with the festivals, cooked and eaten traditional foods, learned of traditional handicrafts with hands on exploration, along with many activities to immerse ourselves. Chronicled here are some of these activities.

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Recipe - Shanghai Fried Noodles

These noodles are part of the street food scene in Shanghai. Along with pot stickers, kebabs, tofu cubes, and dumplings, these noodles are xiao chi, "small eats", picked up from one of many food stalls in the bustling city of Shanghai.

This recipe, as simple as it is, was also a testament to lack in preparedness and using what you have. I try to find authentic recipes, and cook them accordingly. This time, however, I assumed I had all the ingredients. In the end we had to use fettuccine noodles to compensate for the small amount of buckwheat noodles we had. The recipe also calls for star of anise, which I assume would give the dish a distinct flavor - I searched high and low in my spices and baking cupboards, certain I had bought some, but did not find any. (Days later, I found a bag at the bottom of my Chinese food basket - of course) 

Shanghai Fried Noodles

Adapted from "Feeding the Dragon" by Mary Kate Tate & Nate Tate

Serves 4


12 ounces buckwheat noodles (or whole wheat fettuccine noodles)
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp dark soy sauce (I used mushroom flavored soy sauce)
2 tsp light soy sauce (I used regular, light soy sauce)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp cornstarch, stirred into 1 tbsp cold water
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
4 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
3 green onions, chopped (also out of these, I used chives)
1 star anise
2 cups snow peas, ends trimmed
2 cups shredded napa cabbage

Definitely not enough buckwheat noodles for four, so we added fettuccine
Cook the noodles until they are al dente, then drain and rinse them under cold water. Toss them with sesame oil.

Stir together the soy sauces, sugar and cornstarch mixture.

Heat the vegetable oil over high heat. Stir fry the ginger, garlic, green onions and star anise for 10 seconds. Add the snow peas and cabbage, and cook until the peas are bright green, and still a little crunchy. Add the soy sauce mixture and stir for 20 seconds, then add the noodles, and stir until the noodles are evenly coated with sauce and heated through. Serve immediately. 

We sprinkled sesame seeds over the noodles, because we like the texture. The noodles were tasty, if not completely authentic :)


  1. Now, I have a craving for this recipe, and I think that I'll be trying it soon :) It seems easy enough to do, but I'll probably need to get the second soy sauce.

    1. We have three different soy sauces - but to be honest, I don't know what makes one "light" - I just end up using a lighter bodied one when I see that in a recipe.
      Definitely an easy dish to do, and with noodles, easier for kids to enjoy :)


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