A Versatile Chinese Pasta Salad

Times Staff Writer

Dear SOS: I would love to have a recipe for the Sichuan Pasta Salad from the Plum Tree Inn in Santa Monica.


Dear Reader: It's the dressing that makes this Chinese-style pasta salad, which you can turn into a meal by adding meat, shellfish or poultry. SICHUAN PASTA SALAD

1 pound wide noodles

1 1/2 cups chicken broth


2 1/2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1/3 cup catsup

3 green peppers, diced

1/2 cup sliced water chestnuts

1/2 cup diced bamboo shoots

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon minced ginger root

1/4 teaspoon soybean paste

1/3 cup water

4 teaspoons cornstarch

Chopped green onions

Sesame oil

Cook noodles in boiling water 5 minutes or until just tender. Rinse with cold running water. Drain again.

Combine broth, salt to taste, sugar, soy sauce and catsup in saucepan. Bring to boil. Add green peppers, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, garlic, ginger root and soybean paste. Cook until green peppers are tender, about 4 minutes.

Stir water into cornstarch until smooth. Stir small amount of hot mixture into cornstarch mixture until smooth. Add cornstarch mixture to broth mixture in pan. Cook, stirring, until sauce is shiny, about 2 minutes. Pour sauce over cold noodles. Toss carefully to mix well. Sprinkle with chopped green onions and drizzle with some sesame oil. Makes 6 servings.

Dear SOS: I would appreciate a copy of a recipe for cinnamon rolls from Longhi's, a popular restaurant in Maui, Hawaii. We pigged out on the buns for breakfast and haven't stopped thinking about them ever since.

--MRS. E.R.

Dear Mrs. E.R.: We like them, too. LONGHI'S CINNAMON ROLLS

1/2 cup warm water

1 package dry yeast

Granulated sugar

2/3 cup milk, scalded and cooled

Melted butter

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups whole-wheat flour

2 1/2 cups white bread flour

1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 cup chopped walnuts, optional

1/2 cup raisins soaked in water until plumped


Combine water and yeast, stirring until dissolved. Stir in 1 tablespoon granulated sugar. Let stand 15 to 20 minutes or until yeast begins to bubble. Combine yeast mixture, milk, 1/4 cup melted butter, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, eggs and salt in large bowl and mix well. Add whole-wheat flour and mix well. Add enough bread flour to make semisoft dough (it should be stiff enough to knead.) Knead on floured board until smooth and elastic, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking.

Place dough in greased bowl, then turn over to grease top. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Punch dough down. Knead briefly, then let rest about 10 minutes. Roll out on floured board into large, thin rectangle, about 23x14 inches.

Brush with about 1/4 cup melted butter. Combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and walnuts. Sprinkle over dough. Drain raisins and sprinkle evenly on top. Roll dough into cylinder shape as for jellyroll, starting with long edge. Seal edges. Slice into 10 rolls. Place, cut side down, on greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Bake at 350 degrees 20 to 25 minutes or until browned. Brush with butter. Cool slightly. Drizzle with Icing. Makes 10 rolls. Icing

2 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons corn syrup

Juice of 1 lemon or orange

Combine powdered sugar, corn syrup and lemon juice. Blend until smooth.

Dear SOS: Some time ago you printed a recipe for Chinese Pepper Steak that was the best ever. If I don't come through with a dinner built around the pepper steak I promised a friend, I will be in the dog house.


Dear Mary: Chinese Pepper Steak is a wonderful way to make use of flank steak. CHINESE PEPPER STEAK

1 pound flank steak

1 green pepper

1 sweet red pepper

3 tablespoons light soy sauce

3 tablespoons dark soy sauce

3 tablespoons Sherry

1 teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoons cornstarch

3 tablespoons peanut oil

4 thin slices ginger root

Cut flank steak into narrow strips about 2 1/4 inches across grain. Cut peppers into strips same size as meat. Mix soy sauces, Sherry, sugar and cornstarch in large bowl. Add meat, toss and let marinate about 1 hour.

Heat wok or skillet and add 2 tablespoons oil and heat until hot. Add ginger slices and cook until oil has captured flavor of root, about 1 minute. Discard ginger. Add drained meat strips and cook, stirring, until done as desired. Remove meat. Add remaining oil and heat. Add green pepper strips and stir-fry until appear waxy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Combine with meat and serve. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Dear SOS: I am a big fan of the honey bran muffins at Ralphs grocery store bakery. Could you get their recipe?


Dear Pat: The recipe for Ralphs' muffins that we have printed throughout the years contains molasses, not honey. You can, however, brush the tops of warm muffins with honey. RALPHS' BRAN MUFFINS

1/4 cup shortening

1/4 cup molasses

1 egg

1 cup bran

3/4 cup milk

1 cup sifted flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup finely cut dates

Blend together shortening and molasses. Add egg and beat well. Stir in bran and milk. Let stand until most of moisture is absorbed. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to molasses mixture with dates and stir only until blended. Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees 30 minutes. Makes 12 small muffins.

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