Chilli Garlic Noodles

Chilli Garlic Noodles

Firstly pardon me for the poor picture quality as these are some of the recipes and images that I created / clicked years ago when I just enjoyed cooking (still do) and clicking, hoping that some day when I have a blog of my own, would post the same. So just for kicks, posting this recipe with an old image that reminds me of how far I have come in terms of taking decent pictures for the blog. Still a long way to go, as I believe learning never stops.

Secondly, I have a confession to make – Chinese cuisine doesn’t really excite me. You must be wondering why is she posting this on the blog then? Read on …. I know for most people weekends means ordering Chinese food etc and being in Mumbai, I can only imagine this cuisine has gained so much importance that the Jain Community who don’t consume onion and garlic amongst many other ingredients also eat Chinese food. Yeah, Vegetarian Chinese joints also serve Jain Chinese. I wonder what it is made up knowing that garlic is one of the key ingredients.

Anyways, with no offence to anyone and moving forward, Chinese is something I don’t usually experiment unless my husband demands it at home. By the way, this is the only major difference between the both of us – He prefers Chinese whereas I don’t. It is not that I don’t enjoy eating, I don’t like dishes with too much soy sauce and vinegar flavor. So when he indulges in Chinese food, I go for my humble option that is either a manchow soup or a honey chilly potatoes.. ha ha .. these are the maximum two items on the menu that I order and I know they are safe to eat considering all my qualms about the overloaded sauces and vinegar.

At home, somehow, I enjoy eating Chinese as I make it soy sauce free, use loads of vegetables and no vinegar. If you have checked out my earlier blog post on Spaghetti Stir fry with veggies, you would most definitely understand what I mean.

These noodles were a part of an experiment I was conducting one afternoon with breads. I was making stuffed breads (more specifically stuffed wada pavs) for few guests visiting home and wanted to make another batch of the breads but with a different filling so ended up with the spicy garlicky noodles that were really appreciated by my guests. Since the filling was a huge hit, I decided to make noodles in the similar manner adding more vegetables etc for dinner one day and I of all the people, went for seconds which I never do in case of Chinese food. Don’t shy away from adding loads of fresh red chillies (the ones you make pickle with) and garlic. Very apt for winters, as it has to be eaten piping hot, straight from the wok under the warmth of a comforter and some Netflix for company.

Read the recipe below and make a bowl today.

Recipe for Chilly Garlic Noodles

Preparation Time – 30 minutes

Cooking Time  20 minutes

Serves – 3 persons

Ingredients

  1. 2 cups of cooked hakka noodles
  2. 2 tblsps of sesame oil
  3. 1 whole garlic nicely crushed or finely chopped
  4. Fresh Whole red chillies – 4 nos finely sliced
  5. 1 Large Onion finely sliced
  6. 1 cup of shredded cabbage
  7. A tblsp of tomato ketchup
  8. ¼ tsp of red chilli powder
  9. A pinch of sugar
  10. Salt as per taste

Method

  1. For the 2 cups of boiled noodles, empty one packet of hakka noodles in a pot of boiling and salted water. Let it cook until al dente, drain the noodles and add a tsp of oil over it to ensure it doesn’t stick nor turn dry until the final cooking.
  2. Heat a wok or kadhai, add sesame oil and once it heats up, add the finely chopped or crushed (I prefer the latter) garlic and let it roast well until slightly brown.
  3. Now add the finely sliced onions, chillies and saute it well for few seconds before adding the cabbage.
  4. The cabbage will shrink once it starts cooking and also provide some moisture. Let this mixture cook well for 5 minutes on medium heat. (don’t cover it with a lid else the vegetables will turn soggy)
  5. Add the red chilli powder, salt (careful as we have already added some salt while boiling the noodles), tomato ketchup and a pinch of sugar to control the heat and stir the mixture well.
  6. Add the boiled noodles and give it a good stir ensuring the noodles are coated with the vegetables and garlic.
  7. Remove from heat and serve it piping hot along with a gravy of your choice. Frankly, it can be consumed as it is.

Recipe Notes

  • If you plan to make this as a stuffing for your bread, then I would recommend not adding cabbage as it gives out a lot of moisture. Instead, add finely chopped mushrooms or bell peppers. Or you could just add plain noodles too and they would turn out to be really tasty too.
  • I have added few vegetables as I wanted the garlic and the red chillies to really stand out. You can, however, add vegetable like bell peppers, bak choy, mushrooms, broccoli, corn etc.
  • I like adding the fresh red chillies for making this dish which is mostly available during winters as it is also pickled with some spices. I use these red chillies to also flavour my dals or lentils along with these noodles.
  • The adults would really enjoy these noodles but I would not recommend it for the kids unless you revamp them by simply not adding the whole red chilies, which according to me, is the star element of the dish.
  • When cooking Chinese food, ensure the vegetables are slightly crunchy and not totally cooked / mushy. Always finely slice your vegetables and in that way they cook faster.

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Vidya Narayan

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