China: Spicy Sesame Noodles, Soybean Stir Fry, Chicken and Broccoli, and Chinese Almond Cookies
For this dinner I did a potluck style dinner with some new friends I’ve made in my new city. There were 9 of us, which is the most people I’ve had in my apartment at once, and it worked well! So grateful for my apartment, and it’s fun to have people over.
I ended up making four dishes, which was a little overambitious, but it worked out. Several days before the dinner, when I hadn’t yet planned my menu, I heard a great story on NPR about Chinese cuisine, and the guest talked about one dish in particular. The recipe is on the link as well as the radio story. I was so fascinated by her description that I decided to make it. It’s soybean with snow vegetable stir fry. Of course, I couldn’t find snow vegetable, but I read that it’s similar to picked mustard greens. Well, I couldn’t find mustard greens either, so I bought turnip greens and improvised. I was nervous, but I think it worked out okay. I’ve never cooked with turnip greens, and I’ve never pickled anything before, so it was an adventure. Here’s the recipe I use for the pickled greens. I loved cooking with soybeans (or edamame) this way and the dish was pretty tasty.
Next I made spicy sesame noodles. I had these in a restaurant in Baltimore a few years ago and loved them, and since then have wanted to make them. The recipe is from this lovely book.
I used lo mein noodles, and the food processor came in very handy for making the peanut sesame sauce. One of the cool ingredients in this dish is a cup of brewed black tea!
I also made chicken and broccoli, my favorite Chinese take-out dish using this recipe.
Finally, I made Chinese almond cookies for dessert. These turned out really well and everyone loved them. They are super easy to make (well, the food processor makes them super easy) and are very similar to a shortbread cookie (notice all the butter below).
I think I made the sesame noodle sauce a bit too thick, so that needs to be a bit thinner and served immediately, as the texture got a little odd while sitting. It’d be fun to try track down snow vegetable, as that sounds like such a fun thing to try!