Spicy State Fair Fried Noodles

By • August 11, 2011 • 29 Comments

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Author Notes: Visit any fair or carnival in Hawaii and the longest line is often at the fried noodle booth. Fried noodles are a beloved favorite; dressed in a flavorful sauce, they are filled with fresh vegetables and or meat, and hot from the wok, irresistible. Fried noodle recipes are varied and it is not a stretch to imagine that every household on the island has their favorite. This is my interpretation of fried noodles, including two ingredients I have been using a lot lately, tamarind paste and kochujang. I’ve found that tamarind paste adds a sour-sweet note that enhances soy based sauces. Kochujang adds heat, but in a rich, earthy way. It may seem like there are many vegetables in proportion to the noodles, but they cook down quite a bit, while the noodles seem to expand, as they are heated and loosened. I did not include meat, although feel free to add 8 ounces of lean chicken or pork if desired. A note on traditional fried noodles: One ingredient that you will usually find in Hawaiian fried noodles is kamaboko, the pink and white fishcake. I have never cared for kamaboko and so left it out (subbed matchsticks of French breakfast radishes). However, if you are a fishcake fan, by all means, add it in. This can also be made vegetarian by replacing the fish sauce with more tamari - start with 1/2 teaspoon more tamari and add to taste. gingerroot

Serves 2 generously, 4 as part of a meal

For the spicy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon agave
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • 1 teaspoon kochujang (Korean chili pepper paste)
  • 1 teaspoon wheat free tamari
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  1. Place ingredients in a small bowl. Stir to combine. Set aside until ready to use.

For the fried noodles

  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 4 French breakfast radishes, ends trimmed, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled, cut into 1 ½ inch lengths and then cut into matchsticks
  • 4 leaves of Napa cabbage, ends trimmed, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 stalk celery, trimmed, thinly sliced on the bias
  • 2 1/2 ounces mung bean sprouts
  • 1 1/2- 2 ounces aburage (deep fried bean curd), cut into thin slices and then halved (I used two pieces)
  • 1 package (5.5 ounces) fully cooked Yakisoba noodles (I use Sun Noodle brand – check your Japanese market in the refrigerated or frozen section)
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • Shichimi togarashi for sprinkling on top
  1. Spin all of your washed and cut vegetables in a salad spinner to get them as dry as possible. Set near your stove.
  2. Place a wok on the stove and crank up the heat. You want it almost to the point of smoking. Add sesame oil. When the oil is glistening and you can smell it, with one hand begin to add vegetables by the handful, using your other hand to stir (I use long cooking chopsticks for this) and toss the vegetables as you add them. Continue until you have added all your vegetables. Toss and cook until cabbage and bean sprouts begin to wilt.
  3. Add noodles and toss, to get them loose and incorporated into the mixture.
  4. Add spicy sauce. Continue to cook; toss and stir until noodles are evenly coated and combined with the vegetables, and mixture is hot, a few minutes more.
  5. Remove wok from heat. Add sliced green onions. Serve in bowls, sprinkled with shichimi togarashi, if desired. Enjoy!
Jump to Comments (29)

Tags: can be made vegetarian, easily doubled or tripled, Easy, fair food, fast, fried noodles, savory, spicy

Comments (29) Questions (0)

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over 3 years ago lapadia

A sumptuous feast, gingerroot!

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

Thanks so much, lapadia!!

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over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

i would love a big ol' bowl of this right now.

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

Wish I could send you a big bowl right now! Thanks, mrslarkin! xx

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over 3 years ago wssmom

I want to come to this fair!!!

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

Thank you, wssmom! A food52 county fair tour might be interesting...though with creations like fried butter, also short-lived! Lol.

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over 3 years ago cookinginvictoria

Yum -- these noodles sound and look really delicious. I wish Canadian country fairs sold these noodles, LOL. Love the fact that these are pretty much vegetarian. If I cannot source kochujang, is there an acceptable substitute? Sriricha or maybe Thai chile paste?

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

Thanks cookinginvictoria! I think Hawaii might be starch heaven, with all the noodles and rice we consume, lol. I think sambal oelek and a touch of dark miso might make a good substitute if you cannot find kochujang.

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over 3 years ago Lizthechef

Save me a place in line...Got my sticks in my back pocket - thumbs up! ps I will skip the fish sauce, knowing that less salt will still allow your recipe to shine.

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

Thank you, Liz! I really appreciate your comment.

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over 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Love everything about this! Easy! Delicious! Healthy!

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

Thanks so much, a!

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over 3 years ago EmilyC

Yum! I'd definitely stand in line for a bowl of your fried noodles!

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

Aw, thanks, EmilyC!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Aaaaah, fried noodles. I can practically taste your sauce right out off the screen.

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

Thanks so much, boulangere! Scratch-n-taste screens would be the ultimate.

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks for this recipe!

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

You're welcome, Sagegreen! I'd love to hear your thoughts if you try it.

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over 3 years ago TiggyBee

I love your balance of flavors!! <3

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

Thank you TiggyBee! Unbelievably, when I made the noodles with only agave, tamarind, kochujang and tamari, they tasted like they needed salt (and I'm not one to over salt my food by any means). The fish sauce and Worcestershire round out the other flavors.

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Yum, gingerroot! This sounds fabulous.

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

Thanks, hardlikearmour! It is quite flavorful and relatively speaking, healthy fair fare (lol).

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over 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I second that lori, these sound absolutely fantastic. Love this gingerroot!

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

Thank you, sdebrango! It is really easy to whip together.

Lorigoldsby

over 3 years ago lorigoldsby

I wish we had these at our state fair!

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

Thanks, Lori! It really is a Hawaiian fair/carnival staple.

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over 3 years ago healthierkitchen

Yum! sounds great! I recently bought a tub of kojuchang in anticipation of some experimentation. Look forward to making this!

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

Thank you, healthierkitchen! Lately I have been reaching for the kochujang over the sriracha when in need of some spice – I really love how it has a rich, almost earthy flavor. I'd love to hear your thoughts if you try this.

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over 3 years ago healthierkitchen

While at the Fancy Food Show earlier this summer, I tasted Annie Chun's Korean Sweet and Spicy Sauce. I think this homemade version will be much better!