When we tried our hand at making it, the only downside was that the final dish was bland. The vegetables were nicely crunchy, the pork added a chewy texture, the noodles were slippery and delicious, but the flavor seemed to be lacking. The elements of a fragrant and well-seasoned dish were there, too: ginger, garlic, soy sauce, rice wine, and sesame oil were all present. We wanted each of them to be jacked up several notches!As unexciting as this was to us, we do wonder if this was maybe how the dish was supposed to taste. We're not experts on Chinese cuisine by any means, and we know better than to expect every Chinese dish to have the spiciness of Szechuan cooking or the deep soy flavors of eastern cooking. Does anyone know more than us about how this northern Chinese dish should be flavored?
Other than the seasonings, this was a great dish to make on a weeknight. It came together quickly and easily, and it would adapt well to whatever leftover meats or vegetables we have in the fridge. We used a cast-iron skillet instead of a wok. If we continue doing stir-fries, we'll eventually invest in a wok, but for now a cast-iron skillet works fine!
Authentic or not, we will definitely double all the seasonings next time. We also advocate a drizzle of Sriracha hot sauce on top or a few red chili pepper flakes in the stir-fry.
Any other recommendations for making this recipe or another version of it?
Get the Recipe: Everyday Fried Noodles (Tian Tian Chao Mian) from Saveur Magazine
(Image: Emma Christensen)