Celebrate Chinese New Year like a dragon

Chosen Bites: Take a weekday meal from "ho-hum" to "wow" with the big flavors of this Sichuan Noodles dish.

January 26, 2012 13:07
2 minute read.
Sichuan Noodles

Sichuan Noodles 311. (photo credit: Laura Frankel)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Chinese New Year is a good time to add variety to your home cooked meals. A number of different styles contribute to Chinese cuisine, but perhaps the best known and most influential are Guangdong (Cantonese) cuisine, Shandong cuisine, Jiangsu cuisine and Sichuan cuisine. These styles are distinctive from one another due to factors such as available resources, climate, geography, history, cooking techniques and lifestyle.

I love the flavors of Sichuan Chinese food. Sichuan peppercorns add a lemony flavor unlike white or black peppercorns. I also love the fact that I can have an amazing full-flavored dinner ready in about 30 minutes.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Sichuan Noodles

This delicious dish can be ready in minutes and can take a weekday meal from "ho-hum" to "wow" with big flavors and multiple textures.

1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns*
1 star anise
1/2 pound ground beef or turkey
3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup peanut oil
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
3 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
½ cup finely chopped scallions
1 medium fennel bulb, diced
1 cup chopped bok choy leaves
½ cup shredded carrots
2 tablespoons sesame paste
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons chili oil or 1 spicy chili, chopped
1 cup chicken stock
12 ounces fresh or dry Chinese egg noodles

1. Heat a wok or heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the peppercorns and star anise and stir-fry for about five minutes until they brown slightly and start to smoke. Remove them from the heat and allow them to cool, then grind and set aside.

2. Combine the ground beef or turkey, 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of the salt and mix well. Heat a wok or skillet, add the oil and when the oil is hot, deep-fry the beef or turkey, stirring it with a spatula to break up the pieces. When the meat is crispy, about four minutes, remove it with a slotted spoon and drain it on paper towels.

3. Pour off all but two tablespoons of the oil. Put a saucepan containing 3 to 4 quarts of water on the stove and bring to a boil.

4. Reheat the wok with the remaining peanut oil and sesame oil and stir-fry the garlic, ginger and scallions for 30 seconds, then add the fennel and bok choy and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes before adding the sesame paste, the remaining soy sauce, sugar and salt, the chili oil and chicken stock. Simmer for four minutes. Return the meat to the pan and stir.

5. Cook the noodles in the boiling water for two minutes if they are fresh, five minutes if they are dried. Drain in a colander. Transfer them to a serving bowl or individual bowls. Ladle on the sauce and top with the fried meat mixture. Sprinkle with the ground Sichuan peppercorns, star anise and serve.

*Sichuan Peppercorns are really the outer pod of a tiny fruit commonly found in Asia. Not at all related to white or black peppercorns, they are grown and used as a spice in Chinese cuisine.

Sichuan pepper has a unique aroma and flavor that is not hot or pungent like black or white pepper, or chili peppers. Instead, it has slight lemony overtones and creates a tingly numbness in the mouth that sets the stage for hot spices.

Sichuan peppercorns can be found in many spice shops, Asian markets and online.

Related Content

Cooking class
June 11, 2014
Cooking Class: Lump it, love it