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Hot Oil Noodles with Bok Choy
This recipe is our version of northern China’s you po mian, a simple, flavor-packed noodle dish known for coming together in a flash. Cooked noodles and lightly blanched greens are topped with soy sauce and vinegar plus grated garlic, chopped cilantro and thinly sliced scallions. The finishing touch is a few tablespoons of hot oil poured over the top that sizzles when it hits the ingredients, mellowing the pungency of the aromatics and bringing out their aromas. Flat, moderately wide wheat noodles are ideal, and they don’t need to be Asian. Fettuccine or pappardelle are great options; dried udon works well, too. Malty, subtly sweet and a touch smoky, Chinese black vinegar is worth seeking out; if not available, balsamic vinegar makes a solid replacement. Make sure to use heat-proof bowls that can withstand the temperature of smoking-hot oil.