Pan-fried Noodles with Squid
Last week we harvested our first spear of asparagus and it was the best-tasting asparagus we’ve ever had. I pan-fried it and cut it into four pieces, one for each of us. This is a monumental occasion because we’ve been trying to get our asparagus to grow for 3 years now (or maybe 4?) and we have had about half a spear of asparagus since we started. I’m really hoping this spring they really take off…will keep you posted.
So, along with some asparagus that I bought (which were unnaturally huge, by the way) and some colorful peppers, I would like to share with you tonight’s meal. The addition of squid was kind of unexpected; the Asian store was out of giant squid and they only had the small ones. Squid is really good deep-fried of course, but they are really great in stir-fries too. I marinate them first and quickly stir-fry them, so they are still soft on the inside. If you overcook them, they will get rubbery which is still acceptable, but maybe not ideal.
I find it easiest to buy the fresh Chinese noodles or the packages of “yakisoba” noodles. They are already cooked, so you just loosen them apart and add them to your stir-fry. These noodles are slightly more oily and they will fry much better and even get crispy if you want them to.
Pan-fried Noodles with Squid
11 ounces fresh Chinese noodles or yakisoba noodles
¼ red pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces
¼ yellow pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces
4-8 spears of asparagus, cut into bite-sized pieces
4 medium squid (about 4 inches long), cleaned
2 tablespoons soy sauce infused with garlic*
1 tablespoon mirin (sweet rice wine)
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oil for frying
*To make soy sauce infused with garlic, add whole, peeled garlic cloves to ½ cup of soy sauce in a glass jar. Seal and store in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks and use as needed. If you don’t have soy sauce infused with garlic, add minced garlic cloves to your dish along with soy sauce.
1. Cut the squid into ¼-inch rings and place in a bowl. Add the soy sauce and mirin to the squid and stir to coat. Let it sit in the marinade for 10 minutes. Remove the squid from the marinade and reserve the liquid.
2. Heat ½ tablespoon of oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the squid pieces and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes; remove the squid and cooking liquid from the pan. The cooking liquid is good squid stock and you’ll want to save this for seasoning the rest of the dish. Wipe the pan off with a paper towel.
3. Heat the other ½ tablespoon of oil in the same wok. Add the peppers and asparagus and stir-fry over high heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the salt. The vegetables should be firm-tender. Add the noodles and the soy sauce marinade and stir-fry for 2-3 more minutes. Finally, add the squid and the squid stock and stir to combine until heated through. Serve hot with pickles.