On a budget

Noodle stir-fry in hoisin-soy sauce

(Wendy maeda/globe staff/file 2007)
August 20, 2008
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Serves 4

Noodle dishes tossed with lots of vegetables are great weeknight staples that can incorporate sophisticated flavors and still manage to be kid-friendly. Stock your pantry with a few basics, such as hoisin sauce and soy sauce, and you can create your own noodle stir-fry at a moment's notice. The secret is a sauce that is thick enough to cling to the noodles without being gummy. If the sauce is too thin, the noodles will sit in a puddle, which won't be appealing to anyone. In this Asian-flavored hoisin-soy sauce, cornstarch is the best thickener; it works quickly (simply boil the liquid it's in) and won't cloud the sauce like flour. Use vegetables that offer contrasting colors and textures. In this recipe, crisp bok choy is paired with tender mushrooms, bright bell peppers (you decide on the color), and verdant scallions. - KERI FISHER

Salt and pepper, to taste
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 pound linguine
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small head bok choy, sliced 1/2-inch thick, stems and leaves separated
8 ounces white mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 medium red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.

2. In a small bowl combine stock, soy sauce, hoisin, and cornstarch.

3. Add the linguine to the boiling water and cook, stirring often, for 8 to 10 minutes or until it is tender but still has some bite.

4. Meanwhile, in a large flameproof casserole that will hold the linguine and all the vegetables, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the bok choy stems and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, or just until the stems begin to soften.

5. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, or until edges begin to brown.

6. Add the bell peppers and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly, or just until they begin to soften.

7. Add the bok choy leaves and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes or until all vegetables are tender.

8. Stir the chicken stock mixture again. Add it to the vegetables and cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring, or until the sauce thickens.

9. Drain the linguine into a colander. Add the linguine to the vegetables and toss to combine.

10. Add the scallions, salt, and pepper. Keri Fisher

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