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Hot Oil Noodles

Dial up the deliciousness with this effortless yet impressive dish

If I haven’t convinced you already that smoking hot oil poured over aromatic ingredients such as spring onions, ginger and chilli equals flavour explosions (can I remind you here and here), then let me try one more time.

While the other two recipes produced a sauce, this one makes more of a dressing for the noodles. And we all know that dressings have to work pretty hard. We expect them to turn green plants into delicious salads. We want them to assert themselves, but not overwhelm whatever it is they’re dressing.

In this dish, the intense heat (as in temperature) of the oil that is used to create the garlickly, spicy noodle dressing works very hard indeed, while you barely need to lift a finger. And the best part is that it’s fun to make. So much so that even if I’m only making it for myself, I still delight in the spectacle of the oil sizzling dramatically as it hits the aromatics.

Having said that, you could scale this up for a spectacular dinner party trick. Get the cooked noodles and veg in a big serving bowl, scattering on the aromatics at the table. At this point the meal looks pretty lacklustre…until you come in with the heated oil and perform the sizzling action in front of your guests. As long as you do it confidently (and there are no pets or small humans around to trip over!), it’ll be a show stopper. And as a bonus, the room will smell mouthwateringly delicious too.

Serves
1
Ingredients

70g noodles of your choice
small bunch of choi sum, or other leafy greens such as pak choi or spinach
1 tbsp vegetable oil
few tablespoons of sliced spring onion
a clove of garlic, minced
few large pinches of salt
½ tsp chilli powder
½ tsp dried chilli flakes
2 tsp light soy sauce

If I haven’t convinced you already that smoking hot oil poured over aromatic ingredients such as spring onions, ginger and chilli equals flavour explosions (can I remind you here and here), then let me try one more time.

While the other two recipes produced a sauce, this one makes more of a dressing for the noodles. And we all know that dressings have to work pretty hard. We expect them to turn green plants into delicious salads. We want them to assert themselves, but not overwhelm whatever it is they’re dressing.

In this dish, the intense heat (as in temperature) of the oil that is used to create the garlickly, spicy noodle dressing works very hard indeed, while you barely need to lift a finger. And the best part is that it’s fun to make. So much so that even if I’m only making it for myself, I still delight in the spectacle of the oil sizzling dramatically as it hits the aromatics.

Having said that, you could scale this up for a spectacular dinner party trick. Get the cooked noodles and veg in a big serving bowl, scattering on the aromatics at the table. At this point the meal looks pretty lacklustre…until you come in with the heated oil and perform the sizzling action in front of your guests. As long as you do it confidently (and there are no pets or small humans around to trip over!), it’ll be a show stopper. And as a bonus, the room will smell mouthwateringly delicious too.

GET THE METHOD →

Cook the noodles in lightly salted boiling water, adding the choi sum a few minutes before the noodles are done so they can both come out at the same time.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small saucepan over a medium heat.
Drain the noodles and choi sum and transfer to the bowl you’ll be eating from. Make a little pile of the spring onions, minced garlic and salt in the centre, and top it off with the chilli powder and flakes.
When the oil is starting to smoke, carefully pour it over the noodles, aiming for the chillis.
Drizzle in the light soy sauce, give the noodles a good mix, and tuck in.
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