Joyce Chen is the chef credited with bringing northern-style Chinese cuisine to the United States. She invented the flat-bottom wok with a long handle, making it easier for the home cook to create authentic stir-fry dishes. Her daughter Helen Chen was one of my favorite chef instructors in culinary school. If you don’t own a wok, a heavy-bottomed skillet is a great substitute.
Any type of fresh or dried noodle can be used in a stir-fry. I used the thick dried rice noodles but udon, soba, or wide egg noodles will work as well. Most Asian style noodles only need to be soaked in hot water to soften, but follow the cooking directions on the package for the best results. Once the noodles are cooked you’ll drain until dried and then toss with a splash of sesame oil to prevent sticking. Now the noodles will be ready for your stir-fry. A stir-fry cooks fast and at a high heat, so make sure to have all your ingredients prepared and ready to go.
Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Drain the noodles and toss with the sesame oil and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the brown sugar and a generous pinch of salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, peanut butter and Sriracha hot sauce.
Heat 2-3 tablespoon of the neutral oil in a wok over high heat until shimmering and hot. Add the garlic cloves and piece of ginger and stir-fry until fragrant, 10-12 seconds. Remove and discard. Add in the steamed asparagus pieces and stir fry 2-3 minutes. Transfer asparagus to a bowl. Pour the eggs into the wok and scramble until softly set, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the asparagus. Add more oil if needed. Place the noodles in the wok, add the soy/vinegar mixture, and toss with tongs or a spatula until coated, about 1 minute or so. Add the eggs and vegetables back into the wok and toss until heated through, about 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat, and toss with the scallions, lime juice and peanuts, if using.