Saturday, February 6, 2016

Jixiang Ruyi*

Phyllis Louise Harris 
February 6, 2016 

*”May good fortune be according to your wish” is a traditional Chinese New Year greeting and a great way to start the new year. February 8 marks the beginning of the year of the monkey and for the next two weeks we celebrate the beginning of spring. It is also a time to pay bills, clean the house and prepare especially lucky food. 

Whole fish including head and tail indicates abundance ahead. Oranges, representing the color of gold, promise good fortune. Noodles ensure long life. And, date cake is served to promote advancement in an upwardly mobile fashion year after year. 

It is also a time to gather with friends and relatives and enjoy the foods of the season. One of my favorites is Lian Ban Mien, Noodles with Sesame Dressing from “Asian Flavors: Changing the Taste of Minnesota since 1875.” It is based on a recipe by the Grande dame of Chinese cooking, Florence Lin, and is easy to make, store and serve. Topped with freshly cut vegetables and meat, it is also very colorful as well as delicious.

Lian Ban Mien
Page 47 – “Asian Flavors”

Serves 8 – 10

1 pound fresh egg noodles
2 tablespoons corn oil

Blend together -
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons corn oil
½ teaspoon coarse salt
4 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons Chinese dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons cold water
2 teaspoons Szechuan or Hunan hot chili sauce

Slivered toppings**

Place the sauce in a covered container and set aside.  When you are ready to serve cook the noodles, drain and rinse with cold water. Drain again. Toss with corn oil. Noodles should be at room temperature. Serve noodles in individual rice or soup bowls with the sauce topped with slivered **radishes, scallions, cucumbers, pea pods, cooked chicken or ham, fresh bean sprouts or whatever is available to give the noodles color and texture. Have additional sauce and toppings on the table for diners to add as well. The sauce keeps for weeks in the refrigerator. Just bring to room temperature and stir before using.

How easy is that?! And, so delicious. If you want to make your own noodles, you’ll find that recipe in “Asian Flavors” as well. Gonghe Xinxi, Happy New Year!


Read more about Asian food in Minnesota and try more than 160 recipes in Asian Flavors: Changing the Tastes of Minnesota since 1875, in bookstores and on
Watch the EMMY® award winning “Asian Flavors” television show based on the book on tpt MN. Check local TV listings for broadcast times or view the show streaming online at: