This Shanghainese scallion noodles recipe is a weeknight symphony in simplicity

We start with a symphony of scallions. Thinly sliced, they transform into crispy, golden strands while infusing the oil with their essence
In frame: Scallion noodles
In frame: Scallion noodles

Craving a soul-satisfying weeknight meal that sings with bold flavors? Look no further than Cong You Ban Mian, a Shanghainese noodle dish that's as simple as it is delicious. This recipe by Christopher Kimball is all about maximizing flavour with minimal ingredients.

In frame: Scallion noodles
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We start with a symphony of scallions. Thinly sliced, they transform into crispy, golden strands while infusing the oil with their essence. This fragrant oil then becomes the base for our savory-sweet sauce, enriched with browned ground pork and a touch of soy sauce and sugar. The secret? Patience! Resist the urge to over-stir – it's all about letting the scallions crisp and the pork develop a deep, rich brown.

For the noodles, think thin and springy. Non-instant ramen or lo mein noodles are perfect partners for this flavorful dance. A sprinkle of fresh chilies adds a playful kick, balancing the richness and making this dish a true crowd-pleaser. So, ditch the takeout menus and whip up a pot of Cong You Ban Mian. It's a weeknight wonder that's sure to leave you wanting more.

Scallion noodles with ground pork

Start to finish: 35 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

2 bunches scallions

10 ounces dried Asian wheat noodles (see headnote)

⅓ cup grapeseed or other neutral oil

8 ounces ground pork

⅓ cup soy sauce

3 tablespoons white sugar

Kosher salt

1 or 2 Fresno or jalapeño chilies, stemmed and sliced into thin rounds (optional)

Method:

  • In a large pot, bring 4 quarts water to a boil. While the water heats, cut the scallions into 2- to 3-inch lengths, then slice lengthwise into thin strips, reserving the whites and greens separately.

  • To the boiling water, add the noodles, then cook until tender (refer to package instructions for cooking times).

  • Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water until cool to the touch; set aside.

  • In a large skillet over medium, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the scallion whites and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes.

  • Add about half of the scallion greens and cook, stirring occasionally, until well-browned and beginning to crisp, another 5 to 8 minutes. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl and set aside.

  • Add the pork to the oil remaining in pan and cook over medium, stirring to break the meat into small pieces, until the meat is well-browned and crisp, 7 to 10 minutes.

  • Stir in the soy sauce and sugar, then bring to a simmer, scraping up any bits stuck to the pan.

  • Reduce to low and add the noodles and fried scallions. Cook, tossing to combine, until the noodles are heated through, about 1 minute.

  • Remove from the heat, then taste and season with salt. Toss in the remaining scallion greens.

  • Divide among individual bowls and top with fresh chilies (if using).

In frame: Scallion noodles
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