Yo Po Mian
A staple dish from the Shaanxi Province in China’s central northwest, yo po mian literally means “oil sprinkled noodles.” It’s traditionally made with biang biang, or hand-torn flat noodles, but wide wheat noodles are used here for a quick weeknight meal. (In a pinch, any dried noodles will work.) This dish packs a lot of flavor, but its preparation is deceptively simple: Noodles and greens are topped with raw garlic and chiles, then hot oil is poured over the top, which coaxes the flavor out of the aromatics. Yo po mian is typically very garlicky, but that’s been dialed back here with just four cloves. (Use more or less, depending upon your personal preference.) You could add ground Sichuan peppercorns for tangy spice, and if you have dark soy sauce, you can substitute it for half of the soy sauce in this recipe, as it will add deep sweetness and rich caramel flavor.
- Serves: 4 persons
- Kosher salt
- 12ounces dried wide wheat noodles
- 4heads baby bok choy (about 12 ounces), trimmed and sliced lengthwise into 4 pieces
- 4small garlic cloves, peeled and grated
- 8teaspoons soy sauce
- 4teaspoons black vinegar
- 1teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more to taste
- 2scallions, thinly sliced
- 1handful cilantro leaves
- 8tablespoons neutral oil, such as grapeseed or canola
Step 1Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook according to package directions until just al dente. When they are about 45 to 60 seconds from being done, add the bok choy and press the greens down to submerge them. Cook for 45 to 60 seconds, until they are bright green and just tender. Drain, and divide the noodles and greens between 4 deep noodle bowls.
Step 2Divide the garlic between the four bowls of noodles, then top each bowl of noodles with 2 teaspoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon black vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, some scallions and a small bundle of cilantro leaves.
Step 3In a small saucepan (if you have one with a spout, it is very helpful for pouring the oil), heat the oil over high until it is smoking. (To test, touch the oil with a wooden chopstick or skewer; the oil should bubble vigorously.) Very carefully pour the oil over the garlic and toppings, dividing it evenly among the bowls. Toss to coat the noodles and serve immediately.