Taiwanese-inspired fried vermicelli

I was feeling lazy yesterday, so I decided to make this easy noodle recipe.

I’m calling it “Taiwanese-inspired” because of the spices added. It’s not the most authentic, but I created a delicious meal in less than 45 minutes and sometimes that’s a win in it of itself.

Taiwan has always felt like a second home to my husband and me. My husband and his family immigrated to the US from Taiwan, and both of my parents graduated from National Taiwan University. If you haven’t been, it’s a magical island with some of the friendliest people and tastiest Chinese food. And when you arrive in Taiwan, there’s a certain relaxed vibe in the air that feels remarkably different than its neighbors such as Hong Kong and Mainland China.

The spices coupled with the dried shrimp and shiitake mushrooms make this dish packed full of umami. Enjoy!

Taiwanese-inspired fried vermicelli

Taiwanese fried rice vermicelli ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 6 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons rice wine
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground star anise
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 cups dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1 cup sliced scallions (separate the green parts from the white parts)
  • 2 tablespoons dried shrimp
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoons ginger, minced
  • 8 ounces dried rice vermicelli
  • salt to taste
  • fried shallots* (optional)

Takes 45 min,
serves 4.

Instructions

noodle_nights_taiwanese_vermicelli_process

  1. Marinade the pork with the light soy sauce, rice wine, white pepper, star anise, cinnamon and cornstarch. Set aside for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Soak the dried mushrooms in hot water until soft. Slice the mushrooms and set aside. Reserve 1/2 cup of the mushroom water for use later.
  3. Soak the vermicelli noodles in cold water for 10 minutes. Drain the noodles and set aside.
  4. Soak the dried shrimp in hot water for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  5. Heat the wok over high heat. Make sure the wok is smoking hot before you add the oil. Wait ~1 minute for the oil to heat up. Then toss the garlic, ginger, dried shrimp and stir fry for a minute for the flavors to come out. Then add the pork and stir-fry until the meat starts to turn brown.
  6. Add the mushrooms, mushroom water, bean sprouts, green scallions and stir-fry for another 1-2 minutes, until soft. Finally, add the vermicelli and stir for a few minutes until the noodles soften (but not too long, or else they’ll get soggy). Scrape the mixture into a serving bowl and garnish with the leftover scallions to serve.
  7. Serve!

Note: My original plan was to add scrambled egg strips to the noodles, but I decided at the last minute to skip this step. If you want to add the eggs, just whisk 3 large eggs, fry them and slice into thin strips. Toss them into the noodle dish.

You can substitute the cinnamon and star anise powder with ground Chinese five-spice. I didn’t have five-spice readily available so I used the other two spices (five-spice powder includes cinnamon and star anise anyway).

*You can also add fried shallots before serving for additional umami. I’m not a fan of store bought shallots, but I found a recipe to make fried shallots using the microwave. Less mess and more flavor!

Taiwanese fried rice vermicelli
Eat your noodles!
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