Five-spice shrimp and noodles with plum sauce

Makes 4 servings

The complex flavor of Chinese five-spice powder and the sweet-sour taste of plum sauce combine beautifully in this memorable dish. You’ll find these Asian ingredients in Asian markets and in most supermarkets.

½ cup Chinese plum sauce
¼ cup water, or as needed
8 ounces thin Chinese wheat-flour noodles
1 tablespoon canola oil
4 ribs bok choy, cut diagonally into ¼-inch thick slices and greens shredded
½ cup minced red bell pepper
2 scallions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces medium shrimp (about 20), shelled and deveined
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
Toasted pine nuts for garnish

Bring a saucepan of water to a boil over high heat.

Stir together the plum sauce and water in a small bowl. (Add water, as needed, to bring the sauce to a maple-syrup consistency.) Set aside.

When the water comes to a boil, add the noodles. When the water returns to a boil, stir once to separate the noodles. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook until tender, about 3 minutes; drain well. Return the noodles to the pan and toss with about half of the sauce. Cover to keep warm.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bok choy (with greens), bell pepper, scallions, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add the shrimp and five-spice powder; cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until the shrimp are cooked through.

To serve, arrange the noodles in bowls and top with the shrimp-vegetable mixture. Drizzle with the remaining sauce.