Masterclass: Chongqing noodles

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 4 - 6 people

"This dish is usually served on its own, but I've added a recipe for braised beef, a popular accompaniment" says Tony Tan.

  • 1 tbsp green Sichuan peppercorns
  • 40 gm ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1-1½ litres (4-6 cups) chicken stock
  • 500 gm fresh thin wheat noodles (see note)
  • 60 gm roasted peanuts, crushed
  • 100 ml sesame oil
  • 50 ml soy sauce
  • 150 gm (⅓ cup) Sichuan preserved vegetable (see note), thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp (¼ cup) salted vegetable (see note)
  • 1 spring onion, thinly sliced crossways
  •  
  • Braised beef
  • 700 gm stewing beef or beef shin
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 spring onions (white part only), cut into 2cm pieces
  • 5 thin slices ginger
  • 2 tbsp Sichuan chilli bean paste (doubanjiang)
  • 1 star anise
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • ½ tsp five-spice powder
  • 1 litre (4 cups) chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp rock sugar, or to taste
  •  
  • Chilli oil
  • 100 gm small dried red Sichuan chillies
  • 500 ml (2 cups) sunflower oil
01   For braised beef, cut beef into 3cm chunks and blanch in a saucepan of boiling water (4-6 minutes). Tip into a colander and rinse well.
02   Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add spring onion and ginger and stir-fry until tender (1-2 minutes). Add chilli bean paste, star anise and Shaoxing wine and stir-fry until fragrant (1-2 minutes). Add beef and remaining ingredients, bring to the boil, reduce heat to low, partially cover with a lid and simmer until tender, adding extra stock or water if sauce reduces too quickly (1¾-2 hours). Keep warm.
03   For chilli oil, snip off chilli stems and cut chillies into thirds with kitchen scissors, discarding any exposed seeds (or they’ll burn).
04   Heat a wok over low heat, add chillies and stir-fry until fragrant and toasty (4-7 minutes). Add 1 tsp oil and stir-fry until chillies turn glossy and a shade darker (1½-2 minutes). Transfer to a mortar and pestle, cool for 5 minutes, then pound into coarse flakes and return to wok.
05   Heat remaining oil in a saucepan until it begins to smoke (10-12 minutes). Turn off heat and cool for 5 minutes, then carefully pour oil over chilli flakes and stir (be careful, hot oil may spit). Set aside to cool and infuse for 2-3 hours.
06   Return wok to medium heat, add Sichuan pepper and stir-fry until fragrant (3-5 minutes). Set aside to cool, then crush to a fine powder with a mortar and pestle.
07   Blend ginger and garlic in a blender with 250ml water and a pinch of salt to a thin purée.
08   Bring chicken stock to the boil in a saucepan, then reduce to a gentle simmer. Cook noodles in batches in a wok of boiling water until tender (4-5 minutes).
09   Divide peanuts, sesame oil, soy sauce, Sichuan preserved vegetable, salted vegetable, 2-3 tbsp chilli oil with crushed chillies, crushed Sichuan pepper and 1-2 tbsp ginger-garlic purée into warm serving bowls. Add hot noodles, ladle in hot stock and top with beef and spring onion.
NoteLook for Yang Chuen wheat noodles. Sichuan preserved vegetable (zha chai) and salted vegetable (ya cai) are available from Asian grocers.

Topics:

CHINESE, PEANUTS, MASTERCLASS, SICHUAN PEPPERCORNS, TONY TAN, BEEF, CHILLIES

Recipe:

TONY TAN

Photography:

BEN HANSEN

Styling:

BHAVANI KONINGS

FEATURED IN

May 2017

May 2017

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