Braised Chinese Noodles - 蒸面, Steamed Noodles

I learn more about Chinese cuisine and food from my friend who lived in China when she was younger. And boy if you know the guys in Shanghai cook often and cook really well ? Indeed, my friend, originally from Shanghai, picked up a lot of cooking ideas from her Dad. This 蒸面 (pronounced Zheng Mian) literally translates to Steamed Noodles but I would say: it is not all steamed but partially simmered/braised with the other ingredients.

Of course, in the US, both of us kinda tweak the recipe based on her understanding of this dish and her recollection of the taste. Chinese Five-Spice powder, 五香粉 is the key taste to this noodle dish.

Braised Chinese Noodles
Ingredients: 1tsp minced ginger; 2 cloves garlic, finely minced; Chinese long beans/string beans, sliced to finger-lengths; Five-spice marinated firm tofu (Note: available in Asian supermarkets. Substitute: firm tofu) sliced to similar lengths as long beans; 1/2 tsp brown sugar; 1-2 eggs slightly seasoned with salt and pepper, then cooked or scrambled, set aside; 1/2 to 1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder, divided use; Chinese noodles, parboiled and cooked; salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Heat oil in a wok, add ginger and garlic and fry till fragrant. Add in Chinese long beans, add 1/4 tsp Chinese five-spice powder and fry in medium-high heat till beans turn slightly tender (adding 2-3tbsps of water during frying when it gets too dry). Add in tofu, some brown sugar, fry and mix well with the beans. Allow simmer for about 5 minutes, pan or wok covered, then add in cooked eggs and mix well. Add in cooked noodles, add in about 1/2 tsp of Chinese five-spice powder and toss and mix well with the noodles and the ingredients in the wok. Add in about 1/2 cup water, mix well with noodles and ingredients, cover the wok or pan and allow simmer, wok covered, for about 8 to 10 minutes, till the flavors of noodles and ingredients/seasonings are infused uniformly as one entire dish. (Note: Due to being simmered and braised, the noodles texture is supposed to be on the "softer" side). Before serving, salt and some pepper to taste

Vegetarian. Proteins from tofu, beans, eggs. Protein vegetarian noodles!

How often do you associate Chinese Five-Spice with braised food?

I am submitting this to Presto Pasta Nights #175 hosted by Ruth (also creator of PPN) of Once Upon a Feast. Check the round-up on 6 August 2010.

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