Kid in the Kitchen Kid in the Kitchen by Melissa Clark

This beauty is garlicky, gingery, and as spicy as you dare—it’s best when it bites back just a little. Most of the prep time for this East Asian–influenced pan-fried noodle dish is spent slicing (have your chef’s knife ready). Once that’s done, the dish comes together in minutes.



  • 1 cup thinly sliced scallions (about 1 bunch, both white and green parts)

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari, or more to taste

  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar or sherry vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 6 ounces soba noodles, rice noodles, or thin spaghetti

  • 2 tablespoons peanut or grapeseed oil, plus more for tossing

  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 cup / 65 grams thawed frozen peas or shelled edamame (optional)

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Sriracha, sambal oelek, or other hot sauce, or to taste

  • Juice of 1/2 lime, or to taste

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves

  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds or chopped roasted peanuts (optional)

Put a colander in the sink. Place a plate or sheet pan next to the sink. Set out all your ingredients.

Fill a pot with water for the noodles. Place it on high heat and let the water come to a boil while you start making the sauce (it will take a while to boil).

In a small bowl, combine the scallions, soy sauce, ginger, vinegar, sesame oil, and salt. Set aside.

When the water comes to a boil, add the noodles and cook for only half the time listed on the package directions (the noodles should still be quite firm but not breakable). Carefully drain the noodles in the colander and then, while they are still in the colander, toss them with a little oil. Spread the noodles out on the plate or sheet pan to keep them from sticking to together.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons peanut oil for about 20 seconds. It will thin out as it heats, but it shouldn’t get hot enough to smoke. Add the garlic and cook until it is crisp and pale golden around the edges, 1 to 2 minutes. Keep an eye on it—garlic burns really quickly. If the garlic starts to turn brown, pull the pan off the heat to let it cool down for a few seconds. Add half of the scallion mixture (save the other half for later) and use a wooden spoon or tongs to fry and toss the mixture until it is fragrant, about 1 minute.

Raise the heat to high and add the noodles. Fry, tossing and mixing, until the noodles are hot and lightly coated with the sauce, about 30 seconds. Add the peas if using, the Sriracha, and the remaining scallion mixture. Continue to stir-fry until the peas heat up, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lime juice. Serve garnished with the cilantro and sesame seeds.

Tips & Tweaks

• Because the sauce for this recipe is so intensely salty and pungent, you don’t need to salt the noodle cooking water.

• The key to this dish is to boil the noodles until they are only halfway done (they should be pliable but still firm in the center). They will finish cooking when you panfry them.

• You can swap the peas or edamame for 2 cups of (choose one):

• Baby spinach or other greens

• Sliced radishes

• Corn kernels

To make it meaty or mushroomy, add either of these to the pan after the garlic browns:

• 1/2 pound ground meat (pork, turkey, and chicken work well) or vegan meat

• 1 cup sliced shiitake caps. Let the meat or mushrooms cook until golden (about 5 minutes) before adding the scallion mixture

Reprinted from Kid in the Kitchen. Copyright © 2020 by Melissa Clark. Photographs copyright © 2020 by David Malosh. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.