Noodles are a symbol of longevity and are served throughout the year. At the Chinese New Year in particular, extra-long noodles are included on the feast menu, the longer, the better. For extra-good luck, don’t cut the noodles!
1-½ lbs medium-size Asian dry flat wheat noodles
3 Tbsp peanut oil or Roasted Sesame Oil
2 Tbsp Minced Garlic
3 Tbsp Minced Ginger
3 Tbsp hot bean paste (less if you want lower “heat;” available at Asian grocery stores; omit if ingredient is unavailable)
3 Tbsp regular bean paste (Hoisin sauce may be substituted; available at “regular” grocery stores and in Asian ones)
1-½ lbs ground pork
1/2 lb sliced white or Baby Bella mushrooms
2 Cups firm Tofu, cubed
3 Tbsp white wine
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Cups of blanched* bean sprouts (fresh only – omit if only canned ones are available)
2 Cups peeled, seeded cucumber, in small dice
1 Cup chopped green onions, white and green parts
Cook noodles according to directions on the package, about 5 min. Rinse in large colander under cold water.
Heat the oil in Dutch Oven, wok, or other large heavy pan, over medium-high heat. Add garlic and ginger and brown for about 30 seconds. Lower heat to medium, and add the two kinds of bean paste (if used), stirring for another minute.
Add the ground pork, using a stir-fry utensil or wooden spoon to break up the pork into tiny bits. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pork is mostly browned.
Stir in the chopped mushrooms and cubed tofu. Add wine and soy sauce, heat and stir for 3-4 minutes until warmed through.
Stir in blanched bean sprouts.*
Assembling the dish:
Add the cooked, drained noodles. Toss to combine and distribute ingredients, and to transfer warmth of the pork-tofu mixture to the noodles.
Serve in a large bowl, garnished with cucumber and green onions.
* To blanch bean sprouts: Rinse them under cold water. Drop them in boiling water for 1 minute and drain.