1. Szechuan Dan Dan Noodles
  2. Chicken with Cold-Tossed Beansprouts
  3. Oxtail Noodles with Parsley, Coriander and Spring Onion

These oxtail noodles make a wonderfully hearty and satisfying dish with a dark, shiny sauce. The cold, spicy chicken dish is often served at banquets in China; it also makes a particularly good lunch or picnic dish. The sauce, with its unique hot, nutty taste, gives the chicken an exotic flavour. For those who don't like a hot peppery taste, the chilli oil can be ommited. Menu serves 6.

1. Szechuan Dan Dan Noodles ()
    450 g (1 lb) rice stick noodles
    3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 1/2 tablespoons dried shrimps, soaked for 20 minutes, drained and chopped
    6 dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked for 20 minutes, drained, stemmed and shredded
    50 g (2 oz) Szechuan pickle, chopped
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    3 teaspoons minced root ginger
    225 g (8 oz) minced pork
    1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
    1 tablespoon red chilli oil or chilli sauce
    2 spring onions, finely chopped
    600 ml (1 pint) chicken stock salt
    freshly ground black pepper

    Preparation time: 15 minutes
    Cooking time: 10 minutes

1. Blanch the noodles in boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain and rinse. Keep warm.

2. Heat the oil in a wok and add the shrimps, mushrooms, pickle, garlic and ginger. Stir-fry for 30 seconds and then add the minced pork.

3. Mix the pork with other ingredients over high heat for 4 minutes. Mix the soy sauce, red chilli oil, spring onions and 150 ml(1/4 pint) of the stock together and pour into the wok. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Slimmer for 5 minutes, then pour in the remaining stock and bring to the boil. Divide the noodles among the serving bowls and pour on some sauce.

2. Chicken with Cold-Tossed Beansprouts ()
    1 teaspoon wine vinegar
    2 teaspoons sesame oil
    1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
    pinch of MSG
    225 g (8 oz) beansprouts, blanched in boiling water and refreshed
    2 cooked chicken breasts, cut into matchstick shreds
    1 1/2 tablespoons sesame paste or peanut butter
    1 tablespoon soy sauce
    1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    1 spring onion, finely chopped
    1 slice root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
    1 garlic clove, crushed
    1 tablespoon red chilli oil

    Preparation time: 8 minutes

1. Mix together the vinegar, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon sugar and MSG. Toss the beansprouts in this mixture. Place on a serving dish and arrange the chicken meat on top.

2. In a bowl mix together the sesame paste, soy sauce, remaining sugar, remaining sesame oil, Worcestershire sauce, spring onion, ginger and garlic. Spoon this over the chicken and then sprinkle on the red chilli oil. Serve this dish cold.

3. Oxtail Noodles with Parsley, Coriander and Spring Onion ()
    1.8 kg (4 lb) oxtail, cut up
    450 g (1 lb) rice stick noodles
    600 ml (1 pint) beef stpck
    1 chicken stock cube
    4 tablespoons soy sauce
    freshly ground black pepper
    3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
    2 tablespoons yellow bean paste
    1 tablespoon sugar
    6 tablespoons dry sherry
    5 spring onions, finely chopped
    1 1/2 tablespoons cornflour
    5 tablespoons water
    4 tablespoons chopped parsley
    3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves

    Preparation time: 15 minutes
    Cooking time: about 4 hours
    Oven: 180 degree C, 350 degree F, Gas Mark 4

1. Parboil the oxtail in boiling water for 5-6 minutes and drain. Cook the noodles in boiling water for 5 minutes then drain.

2. Heat the stock in a casserole. add the crumbled stock cube, soy sauce, pepper (to taste), hoisin sauce, yellow bean paste, sugar and half the sherry. Bring to the boil and add the oxtail. Stir until the oxtail is well coated with sauce. cover and cook in a preheated oven for 3 1/2 hours, stirring every half hour and adding more stock when necessary.

3. Place the drained noodles in a wok. Sprinkle evenly with the chopped spring onion. Pour the gravy from the casserole over the noodles and spring onion. turn over medium heat for 3 minutes, until the noodles are reheated through.

<>   Xiaoniu SuChu Hsu (p) 1998    suchu@techart.nia.edu.tw