Shanghainese Scallion Oil Noodles Recipe: Super Simple, Super Shiok

This classic Shanghainese scallion oil noodle recipe ranks as one of the most satisfyingly shiok, yet stupefyingly simple recipes that I have ever come across.  It is a classic in Jiangnan cuisine!  All you need is a pack of fresh noodles, scallions, dried prawns, oil and soy sauce and you can make yourself a plate of uber comfort food and will fill the tummy and satisfy those umami receptors!  Best of all, you can make a big batch of the scallion oil and keep it in the fridge so that you can satisfy your next noodle craving in about the same time it takes to make instant noodles, but it’s healthier and cheaper!

According to Fuchia Dunlop, this recipe was said to have been invented by a street vendor near the City God Temple in Shanghai.

Ingredients  (2-4 servings)
Fresh noodles eg la mian, ban mian
Scallions 6 (1 bunch)
Dried prawns 3 Tbsp
Chinese cooking wine 2 Tbsp
Cooking oil 1 cup
Light soy sauce

Method
1.  Add Chinese wine to dried prawns and enough water to cover and allow to soak until the prawns have softened. (30mins)
2.  Using the blade of the cleaver, bruise the white part of the scallions and slice them into 5-6 cm sections.
3.  Add oil and scallions to wok and cook at high heat until the scallions turn golden.
4.  Drain the dried prawns and add to the oil
5.  Turn down the heat and cook till the scallions turn dark brown and charred.
6.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool
7.  In a pot of boiling water, add noodles and cook for 3-4mins until the noodles are cooked. Strain well.
8.  Add 1-2 Tbsp light soy sauce to a plate
9.  Add strained noodles and 1 Tbsp scallion oil and top with scallions and prawns.
10.  Toss and adjust by adding more oil and soy sauce until you feel shiok!

Add Chinese wine to dried prawns and enough water to cover and allow to soak until the prawns have softened. (30mins)  You can use other types of dried seafood like scallops, abalone as well.

Using the blade of the cleaver, bruise the white part of the scallions and slice them into 5-6 cm sections.

Add oil and scallions to wok and cook at high heat until the scallions turn golden.

Once, the scallions have wilted and turns golden brown, strain the dried prawns and add to the oil.  Cook till the scallions turn dark brown but before they start burning. The key is to really cook the scallions till they look almost burnt.  That is when you get that great fragrance.

In a pot of boiling water, add noodles and cook for 3-4mins until the noodles are cooked. Strain well. If the surface of the noodles are gummy, rinse it in cold water, then return to the boiling water for another 20 secs.

8.  Add 1-2 Tbsp light soy sauce to a plate. There are many different brands of light soy sauce in the market, and they vary in saltiness.  You will need to adjust it according to your taste.

Add drained noodles and 1 Tbsp scallion oil.  Top with extra scallions and prawns.  You can serve this with other things like fried pork chops, luncheon meat, fried chicken karaage, char siu, omelette etc if you want to make it a more substantial meal!

Reference
Land of Fish and Rice: Recipes from the Culinary Heart of China, Fuchia Dunlop 2016

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