Thursday, 27 May 2010

Linguine Chinese Style

Being called Mr Noodles, it should come as no surprise that I also like pasta. One of my favourite pasta dishes is spaghetti all'aglio, olio e peperoncino. I mean what's not to love about noodles coated with olive oil, garlic and chilli ?

This simple dish is something that I occasionally rustle up but over the years I've adapted it depending on what I have in the store cupboard. On this particular evening, it took on a Chinese hue as I combined linguine (I didn't have any spaghetti in) with Chiu Chow chilli oil*, sesame oil, olive oil and last but not least, garlic.

Gently warm slithers of garlic in olive oil whilst the pasta is cooking. When the pasta is cooked, add to the olive oil and garlic. Add a dollop of the Chiu Chow chilli oil and mix in thoroughly. I also like to add sesame oil at the end. Serve as a main or as an accompaniment as I did with some steamed fish and pak choi.

* = Named after the city from which it originates, Chiu Chow chilli oil is a blend of dried garlic, chilli pepper powder, salted chilli peppers, soy sauce, and sesame oil in a soybean oil. It's widely available in Chinese supermarkets and I recommend the Lee Kum Kee brand.


  1. Love it! Will have to pick up a jar of chiu chow chilli oil next time!

  2. Try this combination next time for a change:

    Per person:

    2 tsp oyster sauce
    1-2 tsp chilli sauce (I would recommend Siracha)
    1 tsp sesame oil
    1 tsp light soy sauce
    1 tbsp oil in which shallots or garlic have been fried (or just plain oil if you haven't the time or have not previously prepared the oil)
    Pinch of white pepper
    1 stalk spring onion, trimmed and thinly sliced

    Mix all together, then dress the cooked noodles/pasta with the sauce. If you find the flavour is not pronounced enough, just increase slightly the amount of the ingredient(s) that you like.

  3. Sounds like something practiced and perfected during university days ;-)

    I think the wife will be keen to try this the next time we run out of food in the fridge and we're lazy to nip out to Sainsbury's.

  4. As a avid lover of noodles, I have to say, this is also my favourite Italian dish! Love your blog BTW!

  5. I love simple dishes like this, and it does sound as though i need to add that Chiu Chow chilli oil to the store cupboard alongside my chilli bean paste. I bet this tasted good too.

    Have you ever done it the other way round - Rice noodle al ragu for example?

  6. Su-Lin - I knew you'd love this having seen your recipe with 'crispy prawn chilli' last month. Happy 3rd birthday to 'Tamarind & Thyme' !

    LChinese - great combo for lo mein. You really ought to start blogging !

    WB - you're crediting the student 'me' with far too much cooking ability ! I will be honoured if 'PigPig' adopts one of my 'recipes' !

    Anon - thanks and thanks !

    Gworm - I haven't really mixed in pasta sauces with Chinese/Asian noodles but I have experimented with 'Indian-ising' noodles like they do that in India and Malaysia. What I have done though is serve Chinese noodles as a side to Western dishes e.g. pork chop w/fried noodles.

    Chiu Chow chilli oil goes with loads of things and I can get you a jar, the next time I do a 'Chinese' shop.

  7. Ooo, might have to take you up on that offer, unless I find a jar first - is it fairly easy to fine in Chinese grocers in London?

  8. Gworm - Chiu Chow chilli oil is widely available but on a recent shopping trip, I couldn't find the Lee Kum Kee brand. It has to be Lee Kum Kee. I'll give you a shout if I find some.....

  9. Ain't nothing wrong with using linguine in a Chinese dish!! I've just recently got hold of a bottle of crispy prawn chilli (thanks to @sulineats) and I have been adding it to EVERYTHING western or eastern :)

  10. Catty - or am I using Chiu Chow Chilli Oil in an Italian dish? I think chilli oils and pastes work well with all noodle dishes, pasta included!