Gong hei fat choy! Or Happy New Year in Mandarin Chinese. This year, we’re saying hello to the Year of the Dog during the most important Chinese holiday of the year. To celebrate, many families gather together and eat traditional foods that symbolize good luck, wealth and prosperity for the year to come. Fruits like tangerines and oranges are especially popular because they represent luck and wealth, respectively. Dim sum dishes like turnip cake represents prosperity and fried spring rolls resemble gold bars. You can even incorporate traditional foods into desserts such as with Chinese walnut cookies in which walnuts symbolize the happiness of the whole family.
Eating any kind of noodles during Chinese New Year is considered good luck because it also symbolizes prosperity. One must have item are longevity noodles. During the holiday, these special noodles are eaten all throughout China because like their name, they represent a long life. So remember not to cut or break the noodles while you’re eating them. This traditional recipe is perfect for any Chinese New Year celebration or special occasions such as birthdays and is usually served towards the end of the meal. It’s fairly easy to make as you’re cooking all the ingredients separately and then tossing together. The chewy noodles soak up all the delicious flavors of the soy sauce, sesame oil and rice wine and the addition of just a few simple ingredients like Melissa’s dried mushrooms, green onions and chopped chiles make this dish the perfect way to end a traditional Chinese New Year feast.
Melissa’s Dried Mushrooms take the spotlight in this simple yet delicious dish. Shiitake mushrooms are one of the quintessential items in many Asian pantries and serve as a culinary foundation in plenty of recipes. They give off a great earthiness that can impart a deep umami flavor that give a lot of Asian recipes their distinctive taste. When used in soups, sauces and stir fries, Shiitake mushrooms truly take things to the next level. However, fresh Shiitake mushrooms are not always readily available. That’s where Melissa’s Dried Shiitake mushrooms come to the rescue. Having our dried mushrooms stocked in your home kitchen ensures you’ll always have this flavor staple readily available when needed. Rehydrating dried mushrooms is incredibly easy and the bonus is the leftover soaking liquid that can be used as a base for a tasty sauce or in broth.
Chinese Longevity Noodles
Yields: 4 servings
- 1 package/12 oz. of longevity noodles
- 8 oz of sirloin or any lean cut of beef, sliced
- 2 cups of Melissa’s Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
- 2 cups of Melissa’s Dried Wood Ear Mushrooms
- 1 Thai Chile, chopped plus 1 Thai Chile, chopped for garnish
- 1/2 cup of green onions, chopped
- 1 tablespoon of ginger, shredded
- 2 teaspoons of sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons of peanut oil
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of Chinese rice wine
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground white pepper
- Fresh chopped parsley for garnish
1. Before you begin the cooking process, reconstitute the shiitake mushrooms and wood ear mushrooms by blanching them in boiling water for 2 to 5 minutes or soaking them in lukewarm water for 30 minutes. When they have finished reconstituting, squeeze out any excess water and pat dry with a paper towel.
2. Boil the noodles in a saucepan for around 4 to 5 minutes until done. Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Pour out the water and return the noodles to the saucepan.
3. Toss the noodles in the sesame oil an set aside.
4. Mix together the 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of rice wine, ginger, salt and white pepper. Place the beef in a small container and add the sauce, making sure all the slices of beef are covered in the marinade. Marinate for 10 to 15 minutes.
5. Heat up the peanut oil in a wok over high heat. Add the chile peppers and marinated beef. Stir fry the chiles and beef together for 1 to 2 minutes until the beef has finished cooking. Remove the beef and set aside.
6. Add more peanut oil to the wok. Add the noodles back into the wok and stir fry for 30 seconds. Pour in the remaining 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of rice wine. Add in the beef and stir fry along with the noodles and mushrooms for another 1 minute.
7. Remove from the heat and place the noodles onto a serving dish. Garnish with green onions and serve.