Fast, Simple Sichuan Noodles
This nicely balanced Sichuan sauce with just the right amount of heat is flavored with star anise and fennel seeds and makes a phenomenal, quick dressing for egg noodles of any kind. I use the aromatic soy sauce as an ingredient in anything requiring sweet soy or as a dip for dumplings or roasted Chinese barbecue. This stuff is meant to be played with in the kitchen and once you have it on hand, you will try it on everything. I even drizzle some on fried eggs.
Soy Sauce Noodles
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup dark soy sauce
- One 1 1/2-inch piece of peeled fresh ginger, crushed, plus 1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
- 1/3 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise pod
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
- 1 1/4 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, plus more for serving
- 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice wine vinegar, plus more for serving
- 1 garlic clove, sliced
- 1 pound fresh or dried thin egg noodles—cooked, drained and cooled
- 1 small bunch of scallions, thinly sliced
- Chile paste or hot sauce, for serving
In a small saucepan, combine the water, brown sugar, soy sauce, crushed ginger, cinnamon stick, star anise, fennel seeds and 1 teaspoon of the Sichuan peppercorns and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to moderate and simmer for about 20 minutes. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve; discard the solids.
In a blender, puree the sauce with the peanut butter, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, 1 tablespoon of vinegar, chopped ginger, garlic and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of Sichuan peppercorns. In a large bowl, toss the noodles with the sauce and scallions. Serve with sesame oil, vinegar and chile paste on the side.
MAKE AHEAD The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Originally published in Andrew Zimmern’s Kitchen Adventures on foodandwine.com.
Photograph by Madeleine Hill.