Easy Pan Fried Noodles

This crunchy side dish is so much better than plain noodles.

The crunchy exterior, giving way to the soft noodle insides makes this side a winning addition to any Asian menu.  You can pan sear the cakes ahead of time and reheat them in the oven right before serving making it an easy option.

Serves 6

1-9.5 ounce package Japanese somen wheat noodles
Peanut oil for frying

Bring a large saucepan full of water to a roaring boil.  Add enough salt to make the water resemble  the ocean.  Add the noodles stirring to separate the strands.  Bring water back to a boil and continue cooking, stirring frequently until al dente, about  1 to 2 minutes.  Drain the noodles and working quickly, use tongs to grab a serving portion of noodles and place them on a oiled cookie sheet, doing your best to make them into a circle of even width.  Do not rinse or add oil into the noodles themselves, you need the starch to hold the strands together.  If the noodles become glued together before you have and a chance to make them into cakes, dip the noodles back into the boiling water for 1 second to loosen them.  This does remove a bit of the starch but will enable you to continue making the individual noodle patties.  You can also make one large patty using a dinner plate as your guide.

Heat a large saute pan over medium high heat and add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan.  Heat the oil until simmering and add the noodle cake/cakes being careful to not crowd them.  You may have to make them in two batches, keeping the first batch warm in a 200 degree oven as you cook the second batch.  Cook them, undisturbed until nicely browned, about 3 to 5 minutes then turn over and cook the other side until browned.  You may need to add more oil, especially if you made one large cake.  Drain on papertowels and serve immediately.  If you made one large cake cut into 8 wedges.

You can make these ahead of time, just reheat on a cookie sheet for about 5 minutes at 350 degrees until hot.


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