Notes: Prepare the ingredients for this stir-fry while the noodle pillows bake; cook the mixture (step 2) just before the pillows are done.
1 1/2 pounds asparagus, rinsed
1 1/2 cups fat-skimmed chicken broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 pound shelled, deveined shrimp (31 to 40 per lb.), rinsed
4 noodle pillows (see below)
How to Make It
Snap tough stem ends off asparagus. Cut spears at a 45° angle into 1/2-inch-thick slices. In a small bowl, mix broth, soy sauce, cornstarch, and white pepper.
Set a 14-inch wok or 12-inch frying pan over high heat. When hot, add oil, ginger, and garlic; stir until garlic begins to turn golden, about 30 seconds. Stir in asparagus and add 3 tablespoons water; cover and cook just until asparagus is bright green, 1 to 2 minutes. Add shrimp and stir, uncovered, until they are opaque in center of thickest part (cut to test), 2 to 3 minutes.
Stir broth mixture and add to pan; stir until sauce boils and thickens. Add salt to taste.
Set a noodle pillow on each of four dinner plates. Spoon shrimp and asparagus stir-fry equally over noodle pillows.
Making noodle pillows:
In a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, bring 3 quarts water to a boil. Add 12 ounces dried thin Asian wheat noodles or dried vermicelli pasta and stir to separate. Cook until barely tender to bite, 3 to 7 minutes. Drain and return to pan. Mix in 2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil and salt to taste.
Divide noodles into four equal portions; set each mound about 2 inches apart on two 10- by 15-inch nonstick baking pans. Pat each into a 1/2-inch-thick round.
Bake pillows in a 425° oven until most of surface is crisp and browned, 15 to 20 minutes (switch pan positions halfway through baking). Serve hot.
Yech, what a waste of perfectly good fresh shrimp and asparagus (which actually came out pretty well). IF you must make this, serve over anything but the 'noodle pillows' (though I guess they tasted exactly as the recipe describes; undercooked sesame oil covered spaghetti), and completely forgo the sauce.
Seems like a lot of people enjoy this dish, so maybe I've just gotten used to the flavor found in Grace Young recipes.
Gave this 3 stars only if you eliminate the noodle pillows. My husband and I loved the shrimp and asparagus with the sauce but didn't enjoy the noodle pillows at all. We both agreed it would be better served over rice.
Although this recipe seemed somewhat simple, it turned out fantastic and my family loved it. I did reduce the amount of noodles to a more reasonable 8 oz instead of 12 because I thought three ounces per person was too much and contributed too many calories; this allowed me to cut one Tbs. of oil for the noodles further reducing the calories. I kept everything else the same. It made a lot of sauce and at first I thought it was too much, but it was good with the noodles. I will certainly make this again.