You can also whip up batches of the sauce for holiday and hostess gifts, packaged in French Working glasses with hand printed labels. With a ribbon, attach printed instructions on how to garnish and serve. We think you and yours will like the noodles, too. Looking forward to your feedback.
|Dragon Noodle Sauce is on the left with freshly dressed noodles in the cooking pan.|
For a feast, consider serving the noodles with Salt and Pepper Shrimp or Crab Cakes with Special Mustard Sauce, Oven-Baked Egg Rolls and Quick Cucumber Pickles. My post on Celebrating Chinese New Year explains (in quite some detail proving once again that I am my father's daughter) the homemade and store bought Asian pantry items in the ingredients list. For a fun twist, serve Mai Tais or Pineapple Martinis with the noodles.
I like to add a fair amount of lemon zest to the noodles as a garnish. Leading up to the event, every time I use a lemon, I zest it first before juicing. Store the peel in a fold of waxed paper and then wrap in aluminum foil for extra protection. The zest can be used directly from the freezer.
The sauce below makes enough to cover four pounds of noodles. That's a really big party. Of course, you can divide the recipe in half or go ahead and make the full amount with the proactive plan of storing the extra sauce in the refrigerator for future snappy weeknight meals with leftovers at the ready for packable lunches in the following days. Beats a soggy sandwich, that's for sure!
1 cup Ma-La Oil
1 cup Ginger Syrup
3/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsps black soy sauce
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsps unseasoned rice vinegar, preferably Marukan or Mitsukan brands
1/2 cup juice from Pickled Ginger
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsps freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup Spicy Citrus Chili Oil
1 Tbsp "goop" from Spicy Citrus Chili Oil
1 Tbsp Thai Kitchen Roasted Chili Sauce
2 teaspoons sea salt
|Left: Spicy Citrus Chili Oil, and Right: Ma-La Oil|
2 pounds spaghetti
grated zest of 2 scrubbed lemons or more, as needed
3/4 cup thinly sliced green and white scallion rings
1/4 cup black sesame seeds, toasted
grated red radish, for garnish
green and white scallion rings, for garnish
toasted black sesame seeds, for garnish
On the side:
roasted salted peanuts
1. Combine all the sauce ingredients, whisking vigorously to blend. Set aside, or refrigerate until ready to use if making a day or two in advance.
2. Cook the noodles to "al dente" in salted, boiling water, according to package directions. Drain the noodles, giving the colander several good shakes. Transfer to large bowl and stir in to the noodles about 2 cups of the sauce. Let sit for 10 minutes so the noodles can absorb the liquid.
3. Taste the noodles. If they have absorbed the sauce and seem dry, add a bit more dressing to moisten and toss again. Add the lemon zest and black sesame seeds. Toss well to mix. Taste and adjust with more dressing and/or lemon zest if needed. The taste should be bright and sparkly. At this point, the noodles may be sealed and refrigerated for up to a day. (If you are working in advance, you might like to wait until serving to add the rest of the garnishes so the vegetables are fresh and crunchy.) For best flavor, bring to room temperature or serve only slightly chilled.
4. To serve, mound the noodles in a bowl, stir in grated carrot and radishes. Decorate the top with additional black sesame seeds and sliced scallions. Tuck in a pronged pasta spoon for easier lifting of helpings. Let guests add peanuts and cilantro to individual servings.