Back in my family’s restaurant days in the 1980s and ’90s, there were many dishes that didn’t sell because they were unfamiliar. Dry-fried green beans, stir-fried potato strips, hot-and-sour cabbage, and rice vermicelli were among them. When customer demand forced us to shift to buffet-style, we included all of these dishes and many others. That’s when people learned to love rice vermicelli. I always keep a pack in the pantry and can make these noodles in a flash, using whatever veggies and protein I have on hand. This recipe will get you started. - Hsiao-Ching Chou
(c)2021 by Hsiao-Ching Chou. Excerpted from Vegetarian Chinese Soul Food by permission of Sasquatch Books.
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 stalks green onions, finely chopped
- 1/2 medium carrot, julienned (about ½ cup)
- 1 stalk celery, sliced ⅛ inch thick on the bias
- 2 Cups baby spinach leaves
- 1 Cup beech mushrooms, separated
- 1/3 Pound dried vermicelli noodles (also called rice stick), soaked in warm water for 20 minutes to soften
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 1 Tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 1/2 Teaspoon sesame oil
Step 1: Preheat a wok over high heat until wisps of smoke rise from the surface. Swirl in 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and let heat for a few seconds until it starts to shimmer.
Step 2: Add 2 stalks chopped green onions and stir-fry for about 10 seconds.
Step 3: Add 1/2 cup juienned carrot and 1 stalk sliced celery and stir for about 30 seconds.
Step 4: Add 2 cups spinach and 1 cup beech mushrooms and stir. Turn the heat down to medium.
Step 5: Add 1/3 pound dried vermicelli noodles, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes to soften noodles and stir-fry for 1 minute to combine. Add 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil. Stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes, or until all the ingredients are incorporated. Serve while hot.