With flu season wearing us down at home, I recently took to the kitchen to build on the simple yet restorative combination of ginger and scallions with a host of other savoury condiments. The result is nothing short of spectacular with these ginger and scallion chilli oil noodles serving up just the soul-stirring comfort needed to fix your sinus, reverse that fatigue and get your partner to tell you that they love you.
This recipe was originally published as part of my column for Live Mint Lounge, here.
If you’re even the slightest bit active on social media, you might have seen your feeds soundtracked by the ASMR hiss of sizzling oil being poured over hot noodles. Truth be told, the tingling sounds are just as compelling as the steaming hot spicy noodles which provide chop-stick after chop-stick of unabashed pleasure.
Of course, there is nothing new about the simple act of emptying out your favourite aromatics and spices in a bowl and pouring searing hot oil on top. The method is intended to release and intensify the flavours, amalgamating them into a fiery chilli oil. An alternative approach that is less quick (and perhaps not as Instagrammable) involves actively frying the ingredients in a skillet for a more robust and full-bodied flavour.
Whichever approach you take, you’re never far away from a quick and remarkably delicious meal once you have your base chilli oil at hand. Noodles are the most obvious and popular candidate, with a splash of soy sauce and rice vinegar balancing the dish with a welcome boost of umami. However, a versatile chilli oil can just as easily elevate a humble cucumber salad or even transform a block of silken tofu with nuanced shades of heat.
Once you start tinkering with add-ins, the possibilities are truly endless as I recently discovered using cookbook editor, Francis Lam’s ginger scallion oil as a starting point to calibrate a cosy pile of carbs, transforming them into robust spicy miso ginger scallion noodles.
You might recognize Lam’s legendary ginger scallion sauce as a staple Cantonese condiment traditionally served as an accompaniment to roast meats. Its salty depth of flavours is as primed for local Chinese barbecue shops, as it is for enlivening your weeknight supper—you can toss it on to anything from eggs, tofu to poached chicken and fish.
Here, I build on this base sauce with a host of other spicy and savoury condiments that come together in a steam-billowing bowl of ginger and scallion chilli oil noodles. Save this recipe for the next time you need a carb-laden boost of comfort. It won’t disappoint you.
Much like all my recipes, the one below is endlessly adaptable too with the ingredients easily adjustable to your preference, taste and spice tolerance. The miso is optional, but if you experiment with Asian-inspired dishes often enough, I’d definitely recommend keeping a jar on hand for the inimitable kick of sweet-and-savoury umami.
Ginger & Scallion Chilli Oil Noodles
- noodles of choice, cooked according to package instructions
- 2-3 tbsp ginger, finely minced
- ¾ – 1 cup scallions/ fresh spring onions, thinly chopped (green part only)
- 2-3 tbsp garlic, finely minced
- 1-2 tbsp crushed red chilli flakes or gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)
- 1-1½ tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- 4 tbsp neutral-flavoured oil
- 1½ tbsp light soy sauce
- 1½ tbsp dark soy sauce
- ½ tbsp rice vinegar
- ½-1 tbsp miso (optional)
- ½-1 tbsp hot sauce/ more chilli oil of choice (optional)
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- Start by adding your minced ginger and chopped scallions/ spring onions to a large heat-proof bowl. Generously salt this mixture.
- Next, add your minced garlic, chilli flakes and sesame seeds.
- Heat the oil until smoking, then pour it over the ginger-scallion mixture. Once the bubbling and sizzling has subsided, give it a gentle stir to ensure that the oil is evenly mixed in.
- Now add the remaining ingredients – light and dark soy sauces, rice vinegar, miso, hot sauce and sugar. Mix well to combine.
- Add your noodles, tossing to ensure that they are evenly coated with the ginger-scallion oil. Serve hot, garnished with more scallions/ spring onions.
Enjoyed These Ginger Scallion Chilli Oil Noodles?
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