Despite curfews and restrictions, many of us have entered a state of pseudo-lockdown this year. Our dining table may double as a work-from-home station, but it’s the kitchen that still reigns supreme as the base of our homes, once again offering an escape from the grim news cycle and the uncertainties of the outside world. does. Yet this time things are different with sourdough starters and overnight focaccia dough left over for quick no-nonsense recipes that satisfy our need for instant gratification.
Cue Hot Oil Noodles, the latest trend to take over Tik Tok and later our Instagram feeds. ASMR’s hiss about burning oil is as compelling as the hot spiced noodles that provide chop-stick after chop-stick without any of the bliss.
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Of course, there’s nothing new in the simple act of pouring your favorite aromas and spices into a bowl and pouring hot oil on top. The method aims to release and intensify the flavors, adding them to the oil of a pungent chili. An alternative approach that is less fast (and probably not as Instagrammable) involves actively frying the ingredients in a skillet for a more robust and full flavor.
Whichever method you take, once you have your base chili oil, you’re never far from a quick and remarkably delicious meal. Noodles with soy sauce and a splash of rice vinegar are the most obvious and popular candidates, balancing the dish with a welcome addition of umami. However, a versatile chili oil can easily elevate a simple cucumber salad or even replace a block of silky tofu with subtle shades of summer.
Once you start tinkering with add-ins, the possibilities are truly endless, as I recently discussed using Cookbook Editor, Francis Lamm’s Ginger Scallion Oil to calibrate a comfortable pile of carbs. Invented as the starting point for Scallion Noodles, turned them into the robustly spiced miso ginger scallion noodles.
You may recognize Lam’s famous ginger scallion sauce as a staple Cantonese condiment traditionally served as an accompaniment to roast beef. Its salty depth of flavor is as primary for local Chinese barbecue shops as it is to liven up your weeknight dinner—you can toss it on anything from eggs, tofu, to chicken and fish.
With flu season wearing us down at home, I recently took to the kitchen to make this simple yet restorative combination of ginger and scallions along with other spicy spices, mainly with an unexpected add-in, miso. took. The result is nothing short of spectacular, serving up the soul-stirring comfort you need to heal your sinuses, ward off that fatigue and let your partner know they love you.
Like all of my recipes, the ingredients below are adaptable with the ingredients easily adjustable to your liking, taste, and spice tolerance. Miso is optional, but if you often experiment with Asian-inspired dishes, I’d definitely recommend keeping a jar on hand for a unique kick of sweet and salty umami.
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Ginger Scallion Oil Noodles
does two jobs
Noodles of choice, cooked according to package directions.
2 – 3 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
Three-quarters to 1 cup scallions/fresh green onions, finely chopped (green parts only)
2-3 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
1 – 2 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes or gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)
1 and a half tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
salt to taste
4 tablespoons neutral flavored oil
1.5 tbsp light soy sauce
One and a half tablespoon dark soy sauce
tsp rice vinegar
to 1 tablespoon miso (optional)
to 1 Tbsp chili oil/hot sauce such as Sriracha (optional)
1 tsp brown sugar (optional)
– Start by adding your minced ginger and chopped scallions/spring onions to a large heat-proof bowl. Give this mixture a little salt.
– Next, add your minced garlic, chili flakes and sesame seeds.
Heat the oil to smoking point, then pour it over the ginger-scallion mixture. Once the bubbling and sizzling subside, give it a light stir to make sure the oil is evenly mixed.
Now add remaining ingredients- light and dark soy sauce, rice vinegar, miso, hot sauce and sugar. Mix well to combine.
Add your noodles, making sure they are evenly coated with the ginger-scallion oil. Serve hot garnished with more scallions/green onions.
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