Born in Shanghai and raised in New Mexico, Chichi Wang currently resides in Manhattan, where she divides her time between writing, cooking, and tracking down the best noodles in the city. Visit her blog, Mostly Tripe.
- 6 ounces mung bean or sweet potato vermicelli
- 3 to 4 tablespoons chili oil
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 to 2 teaspoons Chinkiang vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 to 2 tablesoons tahini, optional
- 3 tablespoons roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Bring a pot of water to boil. If you are using mung bean vermicelli: add vermicelli to the boiling water and remove pot from heat. Soak until they are softened but not mushy, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain vermicelli and rinse under cold running water. Set aside. If you are using sweet potato vermicelli: cook the vermicelli in the boiling water according to the instructions on the package, about 7 to 15 minutes depending on the width of the noodle. Drain vermicelli and rinse under cold running water. Set aside.
Meanwhile, combine chili oil, soy sauce, chinkiang vinegar, sugar, salt, and tahini in a large bowl and whisk until homogenous. Add noodles and toss to coat. Top with chopped peanuts, scallions, and cilantro. If served cold, mung bean noodles may be made an hour or so in advance and refrigerated. Served either hot or cold, sweet potato noodles may be served made a day in advance and refrigerated until you are ready to eat.
To serve hot: Reheat noodles in a saucepan over medium heat after dressing them, adding liquid as necessary to prevent the sauce from drying out or scorching.