Chef's Recipes

Shanghai-style chilled noodles

This sweet-and-sour noodle dish might look simple, but it packs a flavour punch.

By Tony Tan
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 5 mins cooking
  • Serves 4 - 6
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Shanghai-style chilled noodles

"This tangy cold noodle dish is sold in most convenience stores and street stalls throughout Shanghai. The noodles are tossed with nothing more than soy sauce and Chinkiang vinegar, and are usually topped with shredded cucumber and spring onions," says Tan. "It has been my go-to dish whenever I fancy something light and delicious. It's particularly great on a warm spring day, with some doubanjiang (chilli bean paste) for an added spicy kick. For a more substantial meal, add peas, broad beans or poached chicken, and plenty of fresh herbs."

Ingredients

  • 500 gm fresh thin egg noodles
  • Vegetable oil, for greasing
  • 1 telegraph cucumber, cut into julienne
  • 2 spring onions, cut into julienne
  • 10 gm ginger (about 1cm), cut into julienne
  • 2 tbsp roasted sesame seeds, plus extra to serve
Shanghai noodle dressing
  • 125 ml (½ cup) light soy sauce
  • 1½ tbsp Chinkiang vinegar
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1½ tbsp Chinese roasted sesame paste (see note)
  • ½ tsp caster sugar (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp chilli bean sauce (doubanjiang; see note)

Method

  • 1
    For Shanghai noodle dressing, whisk ingredients in a bowl until smooth.
  • 2
    Drop noodles into a large saucepan of boiling water and stir to separate. Boil until just tender or until cooked to your liking (2-5 minutes). Rinse under cold water and drain thoroughly. If you're not eating noodles immediately, toss in a little vegetable oil.
  • 3
    Place noodles in a large bowl and toss with dressing, cucumber, spring onion, ginger and sesame seeds. Serve sprinkled with extra sesame seeds.

Notes

Note: Doubanjian, or toban djan, is a chilli bean sauce made from fermented broad beans or soy beans. Depending on the brand, it can be very salty so use it sparingly. It's wonderfully versatile and it keeps almost indefinitely in the refrigerator. Doubanjian, and Chinese roasted sesame paste are available from Asian grocers. Beer suggestion: Cold lager. Drink suggestion by Max Allen.

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  • Author: Tony Tan