Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sesame Udon with Chile Oil, Shrimp, and Lop Cheung

Here's a dead simple and utterly delicious meal from the weekend. Ann spied a dish in a cooking magazine, a dish called something like Sesame Noodles with Chile Oil and Scallions, and she asked me to make that dish, adding lop cheung and shrimp.

Sesame Udon with Chile Oil, Shrimp, and Lop Cheung
I have just turned Ann on to lop cheung in the last few years and she loves it. What's not to love about a bit of porky sweetness in a dish, though? And I know that she likes big thick udon in preference to thinner noodles (and so do I) so I made the dish with Japanese udon rather than thinner Chinese mien.

Ten Ingredients, Ten Minutes!
What I love about this dish, besides the awesome flavor, is that it has 10 ingredients and takes no more than 10 minutes to put on the table. You see the ingredients above. The garnishes are slivered garlic, sliced green onions, peeled shrimp, and sliced lop cheung. The sauce ingredients from left to right: roasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, agave (use any kind of sweetener you like), and tamari (again, use your favorite soy sauce).

The star of the show for me and the tenth ingredient is the chile oil, below, made by pouring some oil into a pan and adding a few tablespoons of chile flakes and heating to just the boil, then turning it off and letting the oil flavor while prepping the rest of the dinner.

Chile Oil

For the dressing for a pound (500g) of noodles, start with 3 tablespoons rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sweetener, 1 tablespoon chile oil, and 1 tablespoon sesame oil.

The assembly of this dish couldn't be simpler: mix the dressing in a big bowl; cook the garlic, shrimp, and lop cheung; refresh the udon in boiling water; mix all the ingredients in the bowl with the dressing and the green onions. Toss and let it stand for a minute. Adjust seasonings to your taste. I wanted more soy and chile oil; Ann wanted more sweetener in hers. We each adjusted our own bowls.

Awesome, easy, ten ingredients and ten minutes!

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