I got a bunch of peppers for roasting from my CSA, so I perked up when I stumbled upon chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's recipe for chili garlic egg noodles. The description sounded luxurious and addictive to me: shallots and garlic simmered in ample olive oil and then combined with fish sauce, roasted red peppers, and chilies, heaped on a pile of noodles dressed with just soy sauce, vinegar, and honey. It turns out that it tastes even better than it sounds. I have made small adjustments to the original recipe because why in the world would you strain away the tender fried shallots and garlic?? Please, make this! It will reward your effort.
Makes 3 servings
Chili Garlic Sauce
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup sliced shallots
1/2 cup sliced garlic
2 Thai bird chilies, diced
2 roasted red bell peppers, diced
1 1/2 teaspoons nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 package (12 ounces) Umi Organic ramen noodles
6 tablespoons chopped herbs such as fresh mint leaves, Thai basil, and scallions
Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Add the shallots and garlic and season lightly with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture bubbles, then continue to cook until the shallots are very soft, about 20 minutes. Add the chiles, peppers, and nam pIa. Stir well; taste and adjust the seasoning.
Combine the soy sauce, honey, and vinegars in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, then remove from the heat and cool.
Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Gently pull apart and loosen the noodles. Add the noodles to the water and boil 2 minutes, stirring often. Drain in a strainer and rinse quickly. Shake well to remove excess water.
Put the noodles and soy-honey mixture in a large mixing bowl and toss until the noodles are well coated. To serve, put a bundle of noodles at the bottom of each serving plate. Spoon on the chili-garlic sauce, garnish with mint, basil, and scallions, and serve.
Photos by Shawn Linehan.