Mama often makes this noodle dish for lunch. The Cantonese like using spare amounts of Smithfield ham; its flavor resembles that of a famous ham from Yunnan province in China. But for such a small amount, I use prosciutto to save time.–Grace Young
LC UMAMI NOTE
These Cantonese noodles stir-fried with shiitakes, soy sauce, and sesame oil are umami at its weeknight best.
Mama’s Noodles with Mushrooms and Ham
- 6 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 8 ounces flat dried rice noodles
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon finely shredded ginger
- 8 ounces (about 4 cups) mung bean sprouts
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 3 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 ounces prosciutto julienned
- 1 scallion thinly sliced
- Cilantro sprigs
- 3/4 cup cold water
- In a shallow bowl, soak the mushrooms in the cold water until softened, about 30 minutes. Soak the noodles in a bowl with enough warm water to cover until they’re soft and pliable, about 20 minutes.
- Drain and squeeze the mushrooms dry, reserving the soaking liquid. Cut off and discard the stems and thinly slice the caps. Drain the noodles. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in the vegetable oil, add the ginger, and stir-fry 10 seconds. Add the bean sprouts and stir-fry 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the sugar and stir-fry for 1 minute or until the sprouts are cooked but still crisp. Transfer to a shallow bowl and toss with 1 teaspoon sesame oil and 2 teaspoons soy sauce.
- Add 1/2 cup reserved mushroom soaking liquid, the remaining 1 teaspoon soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon sesame oil to the unwashed wok. Add the rice noodles and warm over medium heat, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and the noodles are just tender. Add the bean sprout mixture and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir-fry 1 minute until combined. Transfer to a platter. Sprinkle with the shredded ham, scallion, and cilantro.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
After eating Grace Young’s Mama’s Noodles with Mushrooms and Ham, my umami cravings were sated. I sometimes find it difficult to find good recipes using dried shiitakes, so I was pleased to find this.
We really enjoyed the crunch of the bean sprouts which, for some reason, are often absent from my grocery stores, so it was a treat. Though I regularly use mushroom “stock” in other things, I had not done so in a stir fry. It was a revelation.
The prosciutto was an interesting addition, too. In spite of the ginger, my first few bites were a little lackluster. The more I got into it, the more likable it became. By the end I was sad it was all over. My husband, finding it a bit dull, stirred in a bit of Sriracha sauce, which he exclaimed to really add more flavor.
However, next time I would be tempted to add more vegetables and a touch more sugar. The dish was simple and honest and had just the right amount of slurpiness factor to be satisfying.
Originally published October 18, 2004