Wuhan – Re-Gan Mian ~ Hot & Dry Noodles
There is no country starting with alphabet W. We decided to do a city or a region starting with this alphabet but only catch is we cannot repeat that country for the alphabet it starts with. Had I done C for China, I could not have done Wuhan, China for W. So for W it is Wuhan. Wuhan is the capital of Hubei Province, China and is the most populous city in Central China. It is a major transportation hub with dozens of railways, roads and expressways passing through the city. Since it is a major hub, Wuhan is often referred as “Chicago of China”. Wuhan is a cultural, economic, financial, political and transportation center of China.
One of the popular dishes from this city is Re-Gan Mian or hot & dry noodles. I came to know about these noodles when I was searching for breakfast ideas for the June marathon. I wanted to do this for breakfast then itself but saved it for my W. Hot and dry noodles are a popular breakfast in Wuhan and are sold in street carts from 5 am to midnight. “Re” means hot and “Gan” means dry. These noodles are first cooked and let to dry. Before serving, the noodles are dipped in hot water to warm the noodles and then served with a sauce. This is a quick and easy recipe though the recipe has a long ingredient list and procedure looks lengthy. If you are making a vegetarian version, noodles can be put together in less than 30 minutes. We usually like stir fried noodles and this was different to what we are used to. I would not say we loved it but the noodles were flavorful soaked in the sauce. I would not mind making this again when I need to fix a meal for just myself, as it so easy to put together.
- 16 oz. Fresh Shanghai Noodles (La Mien) (I used fresh plain noodles) check notes
- 4 Scallions ~ Spring Onions chopped
- 1 ½ – 2 sliced Cabbage
- 2 medium sized Carrots or 1 cup julienned Carrots
- 4 tsp. Sesame Oil
- 1 – 2 tsp. toasted Sesame Seeds (optional)
- 1 tsp. ground Sichuan Peppercorns or per taste (I used black Pepper Powder)
- ½ – ¾ lbs. boneless Chicken Thighs, about 4 pieces cut into small strips
- 1 – 1 ½ tsp. Soya Sauce
- Salt & Pepper to taste (mind you soya sauce has sodium in it)
- 4 tbsp. Sesame Paste (I used 4 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds, powdered)
- 4 tsp. Light Soya Sauce
- 4 tsp. Dark Soya Sauce
- 1 tbsp. Chinese Black Vinegar (or adjust to taste)
- ½ – 2 tsp. Sugar (I used ½ tsp.)
- ½ tsp. Salt or adjust to taste
- 4 tsp. Sesame Oil
- 4 tsp. Chili Oil or to taste
- ½ – ¾ cup Hot Water (I used ½ cup)
- 4 tsp. Tean’s Crispy Prawn Chili or Xo Sauce (I used Sriracha chili garlic paste)
- Cut the chicken and marinate it for about 10 – 15 minutes.
- In a large pot put water to boil with 1 tsp. of salt.
- While the water comes to a boil, grill the chicken pieces in a pan with some oil. Turn the chicken around and cook until done. Keep the chicken aside until ready to use. I forgot the ingredients and quantities I used for this chicken. I am giving approximate measures. Chicken can be left out or can use leftover grilled or cooked chicken or store bought cooked/grilled chicken strips.
- Once the water comes to a boil, blanch cabbage for 2 minutes or until tender. Remove from water and keep aside.
- Blanch julienned carrots in the same boiling water and remove using a strainer and keep aside. Or carrots can be microwaved in bowl with 1 – 2 tbsp. of water until tender.
- In the same boiling water add noodles and cook until cooked. Do not overcook the noodles. It took about 10 minutes to cook my noodles.
- While the noodles are cooking, mix together all the ingredients listed under sauce until well mixed. Keep aside until needed.
- Once the noodles are cooked remove the noodles using a pair of tongs or a strainer and run under cold water to remove excess starch.
- Dip the noodles in the same hot water the noodles were cooked to reheat the noodles. Remove from water and place in a serving bowl.
- Add sesame oil and toss to coat.
- Pour the sauce over the noodles, add pepper and toss for about ½ – 1 minute until noodles are well coated with the sauce.
- Sprinkle sesame seeds, chopped scallions, carrots, cabbage and chicken pieces. Serve immediately.
- I never tasted these noodles before and not sure how much of sauce is normal. I felt the sauce was bit too much but that did not bother me. I liked the noodles soaked in the sauce and had some left in the bowl after finishing off the noodles.
- Noodles – The recipe called for Shanghai Noodles or La Mein. I could not find these noodles in the Chinese store. I asked a Chinese customer in the store and showed her the recipe. She suggested I use fresh plain medium or thick noodles. I think I used thick noodles. I still wasn’t convinced I need to buy those plain noodles and asked another lady and told her how I was going to make it. When I mentioned that I am going to toss it in a sauce, she suggested I use cooked noodles. That day I bought the plain noddles and used it for this recipe.
I have not tried these cook noodles and will update it here once I try this recipe with cooked noodles.Couple of weeks ago I picked up cooked noodles and made it today. I did not like the noodles rather these noodles had this weird egg smell. Since I bought the noodles 2 weeks ago and since the packet didn’t have a sell by date, I trashed the noodles. This was going to be my lunch today and since I had already made the sauce and blanched the vegetables, I used vegetable hakka noodles. I cooked the noodles for about 6-7 minutes and tossed it with the sauce and followed the recipe to T. The only difference is I did not use chicken today. These hakka noodles worked just fine but these are thin compared to the ones I used when I first made this dish. I guess if one can not find fresh Shanghai noodles or fresh plain noodles, one can use hakka noodles. I also came across recipes where thin spaghetti was used.
- Chicken – Again this is optional and I completely forgot what all I used to grill this chicken. I made this June and I thought I made a note of the ingredients I used. For some reason, I can’t seem to find the ingredient list for the chicken.
This day in 2012 – Cornflakes Coconut Cookies