You might have seen this familiar dish at many Chinese restaurants but wondered what it was. Introducing, home-made Shanghainese thick stir-fry noodles - flavorful and authentic, with a healthy dose of protein, vegetables, and mushrooms. These are great if you're looking for an easy and filling meal.
Whenever my family ate out, there was always a balance - how many cold dishes, vegetables, meats? Is there a soup? And most importantly (especially for me!), what carb would we order? We always had two choices: stir-fry rice or stir-fry noodles. Shanghai thick stir-fried noodles were my go-to. This recipe delivers those same flavors that I fell in love with as a kid.
- Pork: In this recipe, I used ground pork, but you can also use lean pork (which is a bit more traditional) and slice thinly.
- Bok choy: If you can't find bok choy, you can always another leafy green.
- Shiitake mushrooms: Some recipes called for dried, some called for fresh. I find it easier to use fresh so you don't have to spend time waiting for the dried ones to finish soaking.
- Thick wheat noodles: I typically just use udon noodles, which are easier to find. Most Asian groceries will sell both fresh and dried options so make sure you read the instructions on how to prepare the noodles before starting prep. In this recipe, I'll be using fresh udon noodles since that was what I could find at my local Asian grocery store.
- Dark soy sauce: Dark soy sauce is less salty than light soy sauce, and helps to add a richness in color and flavor to the dish.
- Light soy sauce: This is the typical soy sauce found in most supermarkets. You can use the low-sodium version.
- Shaoxing wine: Shaoxing wine is key when cooking with meats, it not only helps to add depth in flavor, but also removes the gamey-ness. If you don't have access to Shaoxing wine, you can sub with dry sherry or sake.
- Granulated sugar: Did you know that in China, Shanghainese cuisine is considered to be slightly sweeter than other regions?
- White pepper powder
See recipe card for quantities.
- Marinade pork in light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, sugar, and coat lightly with cornstarch. Let sit while you are preparing the mushrooms and bok choy.
- Clean the fresh shiitake mushrooms thoroughly. I find that there's always extra dirt in the crevices under the cap. Get rid of the the stems - we won't be needing those - and slice the cap thinly.
- Similarly wash your bok choy and then either pull the pieces apart individually or simply chop off the bottom stem holding the leaves togethers.
- Boil the noodles according to package (depends on if you are using fresh or dried noodles, the cook time will be different). Cook until al dente, rinse with cold water, and drain in a sieve until ready to use.
- Add neutral oil into a pan and cook the pork until lightly browned. Remove from pan and place in a separate bowl.
6. In the same pan, add a little more oil and sauté the mushrooms.
7. Add in the cooked noodles, then season with dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, and sugar. Stir.
8. Lastly add in the bok choy and stir continuously until bok choy has softened.
I find the best dishes are when you can add whatever you want that helps you enjoy the dish most.
- Vegetarian - sub ground pork for meatless crumble options. Marinade similarly.
- More volume - It's possible to add more vegetables to make the meal even more filling. Sometimes this dish includes julienned carrots and sliced cabbage which can be cooked up with the mushrooms.
Personally, I find that noodles don't sit as well overnight since they tend to stick into a lump. However, any leftovers can be stored in a tupperware overnight and then quickly heated over a pan the next day.
Shanghai Thick Stir-Fry Noodles
- Marinade ground pork in dark soy soy sauce, light soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, sugar, and coat in cornstarch. Let sit while prepping other ingredients.
- Wash and prep mushrooms and bok choy by removing stems from both. Slice mushrooms.
- Boil noodles according to package. Ensure noodles are al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside in a sieve.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan and add ground pork. Cook until browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Heat the other 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan and saute mushrooms for 2-3 minutes.
- Add in cooked noodles and season with light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, and white pepper powder. Stir well so noodles are coated.
- Add bok choy and stir until leaves have softened.
Dark soy sauce is less salty and has more of a molasses texture. It adds a beautiful caramel color to any recipe you use it in and adds more depth in flavor.
Shaoxing wine is a cooking rice wine and adds fragrance to any recipe it's used in. It's a staple in Chinese cuisine and is typically used to remove any unpleasant smells when cooking meats or fish.
Definitely! You can use lean pork and slice thinly, marinade it similarly as you would in this recipe. Some recipes use chicken breasts. You can even make this recipe vegetarian by omitting meat and replacing with a meat-less substitute or tofu.