This recipe is loosely based on a traditional noodle dish called soy sauce chow mein, made by stir-frying noodles with soy sauce, sesame oil, bean sprouts and scallions and served as a side dish. We’ve developed this version to include a protein in the stir-fry, so it makes a complete weeknight meal that can be prepared in a little over 30 minutes. We've also made it easy to customize with different types of proteins and leafy greens as an alternative to bean sprouts. The sauce has a good balance of savory, sweet and umami to showcase the flavor of the shrimp from the noodles; it is pretty close to the traditional version but with fish sauce added for more umami flavor. A good tip for every stir-fry is to have all the components ready as there is no time to prep during the high-heat cooking.
Bring a wok or a large pot of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons salt. Cook the dried noodles until just softened and the noodles have separated, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and run the noodles under cold water. Drain thoroughly.
Cut your choice of protein into 1/2-inch-thick slices (if using shrimp, leave them whole). Whisk 2 teaspoons of the light soy sauce, 1/4 teaspoon of the sugar and the cornstarch together in a small bowl until combined. Add the protein, toss to coat and set aside to marinate.
Mix the remaining 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons light soy sauce with the oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, ground white pepper and the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar in a small bowl until the sugar has dissolved. Set the seasoning sauce aside.
Heat a wok or a large skillet over high heat until smoking. Swirl 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil around the hot wok and heat until smoking again. Spread the cooked noodles in a thin even layer and fry undisturbed until the noodles are crisp on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Flip and fry until the other side is crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer noodles to a plate and set aside.
Heat the wok over high heat until smoking. Swirl in the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, spread the marinated protein in an even layer and cook undisturbed until browned on the first side, about 2 minutes. Flip the protein and stir-fry until seared on the other side, about 1 minute. Add the onion and the white parts of the scallions and stir-fry until softened and starting to brown and the protein is cooked through, about 3 minutes.
Add the bean sprouts or leafy greens, cooked noodles and seasoning sauce in this order. Stir-fry until the sauce is evenly distributed. Swirl the shaoxing wine around the sides of the wok, toss in the green parts of the scallions and stir-fry until combined. Enjoy hot!
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