Wednesday, July 24, 2013

WW: Stir-Fried Cilantro Chili Noodles with Egg

Wok Wednesdays wokking through Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge
by Grace Young

Wow! What fabulous flavor! I can't stop thinking about this stir-fry.

I know there are people out there that will shy away from this dish for their dislike of cilantro. All I can say is, you may be sorry. Grace mentioned on FB (we are very fortunate that Grace herself is an active participant in Wok Wednesdays) that for those of you not wanting to use cilantro, you can sub in basil, parsley, or even dill, though she herself has never tried these herbs in this stir-fry.

Using those alternate herbs will definitely change the dynamics of this dish. I suggest making half the recipe using cilantro to see what you think, or make this for a pot-luck dinner or lunch, then you can have yourself just a taste - but once you do, you may want to grab the whole thing for yourself and run! It's that good - seriously.

For this recipe you start out by making an egg "pancake". It is just two eggs, beaten, then cooked just until the bottom starts to brown and the egg becomes set; flip it over to finish cooking, for about five more seconds. Transfer your pancake to a cutting board to cool. Once cooled it is sliced into thin strips.

While setting up your mise en place, soak your vermicelli rice noodles as instructed in the recipe. After soaking, you are to cut the noodles into 6- to 8-inch lengths using kitchen shears. I was lucky, the noodles that I purchased were already cut to size.

I was going to make only half the recipe to be served along side our salmon. In the end I decided to make the whole recipe and just send the leftovers into work with Andy for lunch.

I enjoyed this so much, I opted for seconds and left most of my salmon on my plate.

Success meter (1-3): 3

 Mise en place

Bowl 1: Beaten egg 
Bowl 2: Ginger, Anaheim pepper - sliced and minced (the picture showed them sliced, though the ingredient list called for them to be minced. I liked the look of the sliced, but wanted to have minced as well - to get a little spicy kick with every bite.)
Bowl 3: Broth - chicken or vegetable (I used vegetable, for I had an opened box in the fridge.)
Bowl 4: Soaked rice noodles
Bowl 5: Chopped cilantro, plus two stems for decoration
Bowl 6: Sugar, salt, and pepper
Bowl 7: Sesame oil

Just discovered my wok will double as a crepe pan!

After the egg has cooled, you slice it in quarter-inch strips. I also cut the longer strips in half - I don't think it was really necessary to do so.

When it comes to noodles, I find it easier to use tongs to mix everything together.

I am one who likes cilantro, and even I hesitated at adding the full amount (1 cup) at first; but I have learned to trust Grace's recipes - and it was perfect.

 Loved it.

My noodles appear thicker than the ones in the photo shown in the book. I used vermicelli rice noodles as called for, though I may have soaked them too long in fear they would not be al dente with the short cooking time (two minutes) in the wok, or maybe the size differs slightly from brand to brand.

The noodles had a slight gummy sticky texture, but my husband thought they were great. I didn't mind it so much, for this stir-fry was delicious. I do want to make this again, and not just because it's wonderful, but soaking the noodles as instructed¹ and not giving into my intuition to soak them longer, and see how they turn out.

One of the rules of the Wok Wednesdays group is we are asked not to post the recipes here on our blog. If you would like the recipe, you will find it on page 266 of Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge, which you can purchase at your local bookstore or find it at your local library. I highly recommend purchasing the book - you won't be disappointed. 
Wok Wednesdays is an online cooking group. If you would like more information click here, or visit us on Facebook. Would love for you to join us!
 ¹Soak noodles in warm water to cover for 20 minutes or until they are soft and pliable.

After the initial 20 minute soak, my noodles were "somewhat" pliable, but not soft. I drained the water and added the hottest tap water and soaked for about another 5 minutes. Still feeling the noodles were on the firm side, I once again drained the water and added boiling water and soaked again for about another 5 minutes. They were closer to al dente, but the soaking water was milky. I am assuming this is starch leached out of the noodle - perhaps lending to the stickiness.


  1. Wow. That looks awesome -- your pics are great, as always. Might be a few weeks before I start getting caught up on the WW recipes, and I might go in reverse order after seeing this one...

  2. This looks and sounds delicious! Gorgeous presentation, Cathleen!

  3. Cathleen, I adore your colorful serving platter for this wonderful stir fry - my kids adore the eggs that I make in my wok, it is a fabulous technique to know and I must say that the recipe you presented today sounds awfully tempting too. I love the way you take pictures of all the steps of the process!
    Have a great weekend!

  4. Cathleen, this looks delicious! I love stir frys and have never added cilantro but I want to try it now. Your wok has a well seasoned look! If you can do the eggs in it that's a good sign. I don't think mine is quite so well seasoned. Every time I read your Wok Wednesday posts I wish I could get my act together and participate!

  5. Your photos are great as usual. FYI, I soaked my noodles for 10 minutes, because that was what was on the package.


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