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Assam Fish Noodle Soup

30 Mar

When mum was here, she brought with her a whole box of spices from Malaysia. It was lent and it was Friday and I was racking my head as to what to make. Wyld Man isn’t big on fish. I wanted something different. I thought of the box of spices and thought-what can I make with those? What it I used it on fish (they were mostly spices for poultry or beef dishes.) When I was back in Malaysia, there was a shop near dad’s clinic that sold this delicious fish head assam soup with noodles. It was EXTREMELY yummy. Golden, milky, spicy and hot. I craved it. I didn’t know how to make it. I made a guess. And so this recipe was born.

Ingredients

Frozen fish, dried noodles, Nyonya Steam Fish Spices, turmeric powder, okra, tomatoes, milk, African seasoning, salt, pepper and sugar.

Uncle Sun's Brand of Nyonya Steam Fish Spice Paste

This is the first time I’ve used this brand. I imagine you could use substitute brands with similar ingredients. I didn’t take a picture of the ingredients list on the back, but I would hazard a guess and say that any paste with chili, shallots, ginger, garlic, turmeric, lemongrass, galangal should do as well.

Boil some water

Cut the stalk of the okra heads.

I used about 10 little okras for two serves.

Quarter the tomatoes

I used 3 large tomatoes.

Cube the fish

I used Nile perch that were on special-you could use anything as a substitute. The dish has so many spices in it that even fish that smell usually smell fishy won’t. You can also use fish heads for a more intense flavour.

Heat some oil in a pot

Add spices into the pot and stir.

Do not burn the spices. Pour in when the pot is medium hot.

Add the fish and stir.

Add okras

Add a tablespoon of turmeric powder

Add a few dashes of African seasoning

Masterfoods

Fill half the pot with boiling water

Add tomatoes

Add half a carton of milk

Add sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes till the soup has thickened considerably. Add your dried noodles and boil till the noodles are soft and floats.

YUMMY!

Chicken Mee

10 Feb

I bought 3 chicken carcasses yesterday morning and made stock with it. And I spent a good 40 minutes picking off the bits of chicken on the bones-there was quite a lot of it. And I decided to cook a dish with it last night. I wanted something fast and simple. So I made Chicken Mee.

Mee is the Malaysian word for fat yellow noodles. Meehoon is the word we use for thin noodles, like rice vermicelli. I explained the difference to Wyld Man last night-and he said “I’ll call you MEE now, and MEEHOON after the baby comes.” Hrumph!

Anyways. These were the ingredients I used.

Carrots, Celery, Dark Soy Sauce, Chili Sauce, Oyster Sauce, Eggs, Shredded Chicken, Garlic, Dried yellow noodles, salt and pepper

First, I boiled some water with which to soften the mee.

Setting the kettle boiling

Put the dried mee in a bowl.

Pour boiling water over the mee

And leave for 5 minutes till softened. Different brands will take different times to soften.

I peel and slice my carrots lengthwise. They look like canons ready to fire!

Cut quarter lengthwise again till no more than 1 cm in width.

Turn 90 degrees and chop into squares. Like in the frozen vegies pack.

Wash anc cut the celery sticks where the stems branch out.

Cut the the bottom stems lenthwise like the carrots

Turn 90 degrees and chop

By this time the mee would have been sufficiently softened. Loosen up with a fork.

Drain.

The brand of oyster sauce that I use-Ayam Brand, which means Chicken brand in Malay.

Add about 2 big tablespoons.

Dark Soy Sauce.

Wyld  Man loves this sauce….bottle. He keeps bugging me to finish it so that he can use it for beer bottling. It’s a crown seal you see. It means that the you can use a beer cap on it repeatedly. Most glass bottles are screw caps which isn’t ideal for beer. But I’ll blog about beer another time.

Add 2 big tablespoons.

Chilli Sauce.

Mae Ploy brand is a brand I’ve heard mentioned in cooking blogs. This sauce has lots and lots of chili seeds in it. But it’s not really hot. Just a thick sweetness with a teeny bite.

2 big tablespoons. Maybe I should just abbreviate this to 2BT

Mix it up and thoroughly coat the mee with the sauces.

Have a taste and correct whatever is missing.

Heat the wok/pan with some oil.

As I’ve explaing before, I would normally use a wok. But I have electric stovetops instead of gas, and my wok is not completely flat-bottomed. So I elect to use a big pan instead. Works just as well.

At the same time, heat some oil in a non-stick pan.

Break a couple of eggs into a bowl and...

...stir

Pour it into the non-stick skillet. Leave to set at low heat.

Take a teaspoon of garlic.

You can use freshly cut and minced garlic. But I’m lazy.

Add to the oil.

Add the garlic before the oil gets too hot, or the garlic will get burned.

I add my shredded chicken.

You can substitute this with any meat-just be sure to cut it bite-sized or use a mince. Minced pork or diced chicken will do as well.

Add the celery and stir.

Add a dash of oyster sauce

Here you can add a bit of chicken stock or water-half a cup, to prevent the bottom from burning.

Add the carrots, and a dash of dark soy sauce.

Add more stock or water-another half cup and let simmer a bit with the cover on to soften the vegies.

Add the mee and stir with two forks to avoide breaking the mee into small bits

Remember the eggs from before? Break them up and add them in.

If you want your mee a bit wet or saucy, add a bit more water/stock and cover till boiling.

Take off the heat and serve.

Yum!

Wyld Man likes MEE!!

Chinese Style Rice Vermicelli (Meehoon)

28 Jan

In the first 3 months of my pregnancy, I had a craving for noodles. Fat noodles, short, thin, long, wet and dry-I wanted it all, and that was all that I wanted. I’ve never cooked meehoon before then, but decided to try my hand at  making up my own version of meehoon. Wyld Man likes it, and so did a friend who came to dinner once. And it’s been a regular feature at the Wyld dinner table. Here’s a step-by-step photo guide to making your own.

Ingredients

Minced pork, Carrots, Silverbeet, half a red onion, rice vermicelli, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, honey soy sauce, eggs, sugar and salt  (not shown). Also not shown is oyster sauce-I forgot about it coz it wasn’t in my fridge!

The brand of rice vermicelli that I use. Here I used the empty packaging to hold peeled carrot skin.

Soak one packet of rice vermicelli in hot water till soft.

Drain

Add the honey soy sauce-I used Kikkoman brand. Or substitute with chilli sauce. Or you can do without too.

I use a very generous drizzle-1/3 cup

Light soy sauce

Another generous drizzle. 1/3 cup

Dark Soy Sauce

1/3 cup

Oyster Sauce

2 big tablespoons

Stir together. At this point, taste it and add whatever sauce you think it's missing.

Grate 2 medium carrots roughly.

Wash and drain silverbeet and chop off the ends.

You can susbstitute with celery, spinach or any leafty vegie.

Slice the silverbeet into strands.

Peel off the skin from the red onion.

Dice

Break 3 eggs.

Break the yolks and stir.

Heat your wok/pot on high. Add oil when hot.

I would normally use a wok for this-but I have an electric stove top, and a wok which is not completely flat-bottomed-which means that energy gets wasted and is not conducted to the steel. My pot works just fine for this though.

Heat a non-stick pan and add oil.

Add the red onions to the big pot.

Pour in the eggs into the non-stick pan.

I do these two steps at the same time to save time.

While the eggs cook....

wait for the onions to become translucent.

When the eggs have fully coagulated and set, break into small bits.

A restaurant would roll the eggs and slive them thinly, but they taste the same either way. My way saves time and saves washing an oily cutting board.

Put in the pork mince.

Make sure to break the mince up and cook till it is no longer pink.

Can be substituted with chicken cubes.

Add the grated carrots.

Add the silverbeet.

Stir thoroughly and taste. I decided that mine needed a boost.

Out came the oyster sauce. 3 tablespoons.

And I added a tiny bit of sugar too. 1 tablespoon.

Add the rice vermicelli.

Stir with 2 forks to avoid breaking up the vermicelli strands. Taste.

Add the fried egg bits.

Stir around and you’re done!

Serve hot and garnish with some parsley.

And I like mine with some chilli sauce. Yum!

Chinese Style Meehoon

Ingredients

Half a red onion-diced

1 packet of rice vermicelli (rice sticks), soaked till soft in hot water.

2 medium carrots-grated

5 stalks of silverbeet-sliced

3 eggs- beaten

400 g pork mince

1 tablespoon sugar

4 tablespoons oil

Seasonings for Rice Vermicelli

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup dark soy sauce

1/3 honey soy sauce

1/3 cup oyster sauce

Method

Pour in the seasonings for rice vermicelli and mix thoroughly. Set aside.

Heat wok on high. Add oil and fry the red onions till translucent.

Heat nonstick fry pan with a little oil, and pour in the beaten eggs. Cook and turn over till set, break eggs up and set aside.

Add the pork mince into the wok and break mince up. Add a sprinkle of salt. When mince is no longer pink, add carrots and silverbeet and stir.

When vegetables are soft and cooked, add the rice vermicelli and the eggs. Stir thoroughly.

Taste and season with sugar and oyster sauce.

Serve hot.

Makes 5-6 servings.