Everyday Fried Noodles (Tian Tian Chao Mian)

Everyday Fried Noodles (Tian Tian Chao Mian)

The silken noodles in this northern Chinese stir-fry are a perfect foil for crunchy fresh vegetables; a little ground pork gives the dish a savory depth.Todd Coleman

One of the best things about living in northern China is the abundance of noodles, and this simple, salty-sweet stir-fry of silken noodles and crisp-tender vegetables is one of my favorite ways to use them. When my friend Sun Guoying makes it, she introduces dry and wet ingredients to the wok in a strictly prescribed order. First, carrots and onions are stir-fried to draw out their sweetness and are then removed from the wok before they overcook. Next, ground pork is browned with minced ginger and garlic, which release their fragrance into the hot oil. Dark soy sauce and rice cooking wine—two staples of Chinese stir-frying—are added and boiled along with sugar to create a concentrated sauce that will cling to the parboiled noodles, which complete their cooking in the wok. What I love best are the grace notes added at the very end: the strips of fresh, salted cucumber and the drizzle of fragrant sesame oil.