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Vermicelli Noodles w/ Chicken & Napa Cabbage

Today, we are making chicken stir fry Vermicelli Noodles with napa cabbage. It is a popular recipe from North East Chinese cuisine. In this video, I will use the sour cabbage that I made not so long ago as a key ingredient. The little fermented touch brings the dish to a different level and I am sure you will like it.

Vermicelli noodles also known as glass noodles because they have a transparent look. What I am using today is sweet potato starch noodles. I like to use a pair of scissors to cut it into 6-inch-long pieces. If your noodles are too long, they will tangle with each other while stir-frying. Cutting dried noodles take some force, you will need a pair of heavy-duty scissors. Or you can cut them after you cooked them.

Bring 3 liters of water to a boil. Add in the noodles. Turn the heat to low and keep the pot at a slight simmer for 4-5 minutes or until the noodles are soft but slightly undercooked. You can take a bit. The center of the noodles should be a little bit chewy. Ok, that is good.

Drain the noodles completely. Rinse them will cold running water to stop the cooking process. Shake off the excess water.

Mix the noodles with 1/2 tbsp of dark soy sauce and a drizzle of vegetable oil. Put that aside.

Now, we will talk about our secret ingredient – fermented sour cabbage. This is homemade. You can click here to learn how to make it.  Slice it into 1/3 of an inch wide strips. Set it cabbage aside.

Note: If you don’t have sour cabbage, that is totally fine; you can cut up 300g of fresh cabbage. Season it with 1/2 tsp of salt for 5 minutes. Squeeze some moisture out and you can use it as a replacement.

Cut 150 grams of chicken into strips. Besides the chicken, you can also use pork or beef instead. Marinade the chicken with 1 tsp of cornstarch, 1/2 tbsp of soy sauce, and 1/2 tbsp of the pickling juice from the sour cabbage. The lactobacillus from the pickles will help to tenderize the chicken. If you don’t have sour cabbage, you can use buttermilk, or 1/4 tsp of baking soda will also do the same job. Once it is well mixed, let it sit for 10 minutes.

While waiting, let’s continue with the rest of the ingredients:

Finely dice it 1 tsp of ginger. Slice 3 cloves of garlic thinly. Separate the white and green parts of the scallion. Roughly diced the white part, we will use that for the stir fry. Cut the green part into 1-inch-long pieces. Reserve it on the side

Cut open 5-6 pieces of dried red chilies and remove the seeds.

Put these 4 ingredients together because they will go into the wok at the same time.

Slice one red chili and 1/2 of a green chili with a 45 angle.

Julienne 30 grams of carrot.

Put them together along with the green part of the scallion because they will go into the wok at the end.

You can use other vegetables you want. I choose them for the color. They make the dish look much prettier.

Before cooking, quickly mix 2.5 tbsp of soy sauce and 1 tbsp of soybean paste together. This is the soy bean paste that I am using. You can also use hoisin sauce or miso paste. Set the sauce aside.

Heat your wok until it is smoking-hot. Add 2-3 tbsp of cooking oil and toss in the chicken. If you want to make this dish vegetarian, you can replace the chicken with tofu, mushroom, or blanched eggplant. The wok is super-hot. In about 30 seconds, the chicken should be halfway cooked. Toss in the garlic, ginger, dried red chilies, and the white part of the scallion. Stir until they are fragrant.

Drizzle in 1 tbsp of Chinese cooking wine from the side of the wok. Throw in the sour cabbage. Stir for a minute. Push everything to the side and add in the noodles along with the sauce. Continue to mix until the noodles absorb the flavors.

Add in the chilies, carrot, the green part of the scallion. Keep cooking until the vegetables are a bit soft. Turn off the heat. Before serving, add a drizzle of sesame oil for the nutty flavor. Give it a final toss and you are done.

If you have ever taste sweet potato starch noodles, you will fall in love with it’s texture. It is a little bit bunchy, gooey and tender – very interesting. This is like a noodle salad. You’ve got a little bit of protein, some vegetables and noodles. Everything balances so well. The flavor is outstanding. I hope you give this a try soon….


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