About this recipe:Chinese noodles are double cooked, first in water until al dente and then in a frying pan until crisp and brown. If you'd like to spice things up, replace the dark sesame oil with chilli oil.
450g (1 lb) Chinese wheat noodles *see note
250g (9 oz) asparagus
2 tablespoons rapeseed oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small knob root ginger, minced
225ml (8 fl oz) water
1 tablespoon cornflour
2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine (or sherry)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon fermented black beans *see note
225g (8 oz) spinach with stems, rinsed
1 dessertspoon toasted sesame oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Add to shopping list
Turn this recipe into a shopping list you can print, email, view on your mobile or shop online. It's free! Powered by Whisk.com
Method Prep:15min › Cook:30min › Ready in:45min
In a large pot of water, boil noodles until al dente. Drain well. Rinse with cool water until the noodles are cool.
Break off the tough ends of the asparagus, and cut the rest of the spears into 5cm (2 in) lengths. In a large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger, sauté for 1 minute, making sure not to brown the garlic. Add the asparagus and half of the water. Simmer for 2 minutes.
Put the cornflour into a small mixing bowl, stir in the remaining water and the rice wine or sherry. Stir well. Add this mixture, the soy sauce and black beans to the simmering vegetables. Let the sauce boil for a few seconds, then add the spinach and stir until it wilts. Remove the frying pan from the heat.
Heat the remaining rapeseed oil in a frying pan over high heat. Divide the pasta into four mounds, and place the mounds of pasta in the hot frying pan. Flatten the mounds in the frying pan so that more surface area will brown, reduce the heat to medium high, and fry the cakes for at least 5 minutes, until they develop a golden-brown crust on the bottom. Turn the cakes over, and fry them for 3 minutes.
While the noodle pancakes cook, reheat the vegetables and the sauce slightly. Add the sesame oil, salt and pepper to the vegetable mixture. Place the noodle pancakes on plates, spoon the sauce and vegetables over and around the pancakes, and serve.
Fermented black beans are small soy beans preserved in salt. They have a strong, salty flavour and should be rinsed well before use. You can find them in Asian supermarkets, and they are also called Chinese black beans or salted black beans.
When buying the Chinese wheat noodles, look for either lo mein or cou mein - both are wheat based, the latter being a thicker variety.
Forget flops with our collection of Pancake videos! We'll show you how to make everything from traditional pancakes to savoury crepes, and more. Watch now!
Delicious! I wasn't sure if the pancakes had turned out right or were worth the effort, but then tried a bit with noodles that had been boiled and not fried and definitely see the point now. They may not have been pancakes per se, but they were slightly crispy and delicious and the asparagus and spinich on top was delicious! 5 year old daughter liked it too! - 14 Aug 2011
This was quite nice but I felt the sauce was missing something (a little sugar, perhaps?). My 'pancakes' fell apart when I was trying to turn them, and rather than crisping up they ended up being very oily. I might make this again, using other vegetables such as beansprouts - and with a little extra sugar! - 20 Jul 2012
Wow!! This is now one of my favourite recipes, and it really impresses a crowd! I made them exactly as directed, except for cooking the noodle pancakes over medium-high heat, not high. They were burning on high. I let them fry for about 3 min on either side. This time may vary depending on how well your pan conducts heat. I will make these again and again and again! It is much easier than it sounds, and totally worth it! - 24 Jul 2008