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Posts Tagged ‘noodles’

Sizzling hot dishes to keep you warm         

Sizzling hot dishes to keep you warm

Pearlyn’s been really sick…but now she’s ready to enter into and embrace the warmth, vibrance and pleasures spring has to offer. Last week, I was sick as a dog. I had a serious case of tonsillitis and was suspected to have glandular fever. Thankfully, I responded to antibiotics or else you wouldn’t hear from me for a long, long time. I was not too happy that I had to cancel a catering engagement at the last minute, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed that more opportunities will come knocking on spring’s doors!

I know it’s spring and that a winter-like post is probably not very wise but this once again was one of the many pleasures I got to experiment this winter. For those not in Tassie, winter this year was a very cold affair for us, which suits me just fine as the snow and cold are probably one of my best friends!

You know how during those cold winter nights, all you want to do is sit in front of the fireplace, with the TV or stereo playing something light in the background, a glass of wine in hand, feet tucked into the soft, fluffy carpet, a doona or a rug over you and digging into a nice steaming hot bowl of soup or plate of stew. That’s the ideal picture…perfect even some might say. This winter, I pinched a couple of sizzling hot plates off ah koh and had the best 3 dinners of my entire winter! 🙂 Oh well, mine wasn’t exactly the picture above – more like sitting in front of the heater, at a study desk in front of my computer and watching “Friends” as I ate off the hot plates – but what the heck, I was close enough to the above dream!

Personally, I think the hot plates were one of the greatest creations of men. Regardless of whether it’s a cold winter’s night or a hot summer’s evening, nothing served on a hot plate would come with any less amount of “oohs” and “aahs” from the people it’s serving. Who would have thought that a cast iron dish on a wooden board would create so much hype and anticipation? If you haven’t tried a meal on a sizzling hot plate, you need to. Somehow, even the most simple dishes taste absolutely stunning on them. 

I haven’t had yee mee for a long time. I don’t really know what these noodles are called in English, but they are these round coil of noodles which have been deep fried hence are really crispy. In Malaysia, it’s normally served on hot plates hence the famous “Tit Ban Yee Meen” (Hot Plate Yee Mee). Call me fussy, some may even say weird, but in my mind, yee mee is best served on a hot plate that’s why I’ve never cooked it in Tassie since I didn’t own a hot plate! But the instant I got my hands on Ah Koh’s hot plates, I knew this was the dish I was going to whip up.

Hot Plate Yee Mee (Tit Ban Yee Meen)

Ingredients:

  • Yee mee
  • Bok choy
  • Chinese shitake mushrooms
  • Prawns
  • Chicken thigh fillets, cut into bite size pieces
  • Baby corn, sliced lengthwise
  • Garlic
Seasoning:
  • Soy sauce
  • Oyster sauce
  • Chinese cooking wine
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Pepper
  • Sesame oil
  • Corn flour
Method:
  • Marinade chicken with the above seasoning for at least 2 hours or overnight. Soak mushrooms in warm water to allow it to soften. Drain and squeeze out the water.
  • Heat a wok on high. Add oil and fry minced garlic till fragrant. Add chicken and toss well. When chicken is about 80% cooked, add corn, mushroom and bok choy. Allow to simmer for a while. Add the prawns last. Mix corn flour with a little bit of cold water and add into mixture. 
  • In the meantime. place the hot plate on another stovetop, and allow to heat on medium. Drizzle with sesame oil. Put 2 pieces of yee mee on the plate and allow them to brown a little so it’s nice and crispy.
  • Season to taste and ladle the hot stirfry and grave onto hot plate. It will sizzle and gravy will thicken a little. 
  • Serve immediately.

Among some of the other dishes whipped up during my triple sizzling hot nights were hot plate tofu, cik kong (black vinegar) pork chops and spicy stir fry. Hhmm…Yum! Just thinking about them now makes my mouth water! The hot plate tofu is probably another of the famous hot plate dishes often served. I normally make something similar without the hot plate but this time round, frying the egg tofu using the hot plates was a lot more fun and definitely looked a lot tastier!

Hot Plate Tofu (Tit Ban Tau Foo)

Ingredients:

  • Chicken/Pork mince
  • Egg tofu, cut into half inches slices
  • Egg
  • Spring onion, chopped finely, split white from green parts
  • Garlic, minced finely
Seasoning:
  • As above
Method:
  • Season mince with the above seasoning. 
  • Heat a wok on high and fry garlic and bottom white part of spring onion till fragrant. Add mince and toss well together.
  • Add seasoning and cornflour mixture, allow to simmer.
  • In the meantime, heat hot plate on another stovetop. Drizzle with olive oil. Place tofu and allow it to brown on both sides. Remove and drain on kitchen towel. 
  • Crack an egg onto hot plate and make sure it coats the whole plate well. Once egg has set, place tofu on top then ladle mince and grave over it. Sprinkle remaining spring onions and serve immediately.

I’ve decided that the next 2 items I’m going to be investing in to make my all my winter nights to come sizzling hot and on fire are the hot plate and the claypot. After you’ve tried it, you’ll be converted like me. 

 

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Asam Laksa



asam laksa, originally uploaded by pearlyn83.

I made this a couple of weeks ago. The best asam laksa I’ve had in Malaysia was in Penang. One of my closest friend, Shaun, comes from a family where asam laksa runs in their blood! :p His grandparents, I was told, sold the best asam laksa in Penang before they retired. Last year, when I visited Penang and stayed with his family, I had the honour of trying Penang’s best asam laksa. Boy, was it good! Unfortunately, mine here is not made from scratch. It’s very hard to get the fresh ingredients and spices in Tassie so I had to use the instant pack ones you get from Malaysia. Stupidly, I forgot to take a photo of the pack I used but I believe you can get it from supermarkets etc. Everytime I make asam laksa, Shaun comes over for dinner. He was aghast at the way I first served the noodles and taught me the authentic way of doing it. According to him, it’s not suppose to look nice and presentable as in like restaurant looking food, but you are suppose to pour the soup over the noodles, drain it and then only refill it with soup. It’s meant to give the last minute stuff you add a good mix and ensures the soup’s not cold. Guess it’s always good to have someone with asam laksa blood in their veins to teach you stuff like that! 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack of asam laksa mix (enough for 8-10 large bowls)
  • 1 1/2 can of Ayam Brand sardine
  • 1 can of pineapple
  • Cucumber
  • Red onions, sliced
  • Fresh chillies
  • Lettuce, sliced thinly
  • Laksa noodles
  • Shrimp paste (hei go/har go)
  • Mint leaves, optional

Method:

  • Boil soup base according to instructions on packet. It normally says to boil for 30mins or something like that, but I like to boil mine longer as it gives it extra taste.
  • Add 2/3 of the sliced onions and bring to boil.
  • Mash the sardines up and add to soup. Add fresh chillies. Lower heat and boil for 1 hour at least.
  • Boil a kettle of water. Soak noodles for about 1 minute. Drain well.
  • About 5 minutes before you are ready to serve, add half the can of pineapple. Divide noodles into individual bowls, add a bit of onions, pineapple and lettuce in each one.
  • Ladle some soup into the bowl, drain and refill the bowl with soup. Garnish with mint leaves and a spoon of shrimp paste and serve hot.

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loh shu fun aka tear drop noodles, originally uploaded by pearlyn83.

Loh Shu Fun (direct translation would be rat tail’s noodle) is my favourite noodle. Back home in KL, I would often request to have my noodles swapped with Loh Shu Fun. It’s been about 4 years since I’ve had it. The closest thing to it was the laksa noodles from the Chinese Emporium. One day, I was talking to the lady boss at the chi empo and she asked what I was gonna do with the laksa noodles I bought. I said to make laksa and if there are leftovers then to fry. I told her I miss loh shu fun so this was the best substitute. She told me that the shop actually sells it but not regularly. Since then, everytime I go to chi empo, I’d check if they had any in stock but each time I leave disappointed. A couple of weeks ago, I promised to cook Asam Laksa for a couple of friends so I went down to Moonah to get the noodles. I opened the refrigerator and just grabbed a pack of noodles without thinking. As we were queueing, I picked up the noodles and realised I had taken the wrong one – I actually took loh shu fun instead! I was so excited, I had to buy it even though it cost me $4.20! Finally, I can cook proper Fried Loh Shu Fun! mmmm….

Ingredients:

  • Loh Shu Fun
  • Mince pork/chicken
  • Garlic, minced
  • Bean sprouts
  • Dark and light soy sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Sugar
  • Kicap manis
  • Oyster sauce
  • Sesame oil

Method:

  • Season mince with soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, salt, pepper and sesame oil.
  • Boil a kettle of water and soak noodles for about 5 minutes. Drain well.
  • Heat wok with oil. Fry garlic till frgrant.
  • Add meat and fry till nearly cook. Add noodles. Fry and add seasoning according to taste.
  • Lastly, toss in the bean sprouts and fry briefly. Serve hot.

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Fried Noodles, originally uploaded by pearlyn83.

This is the easiest way to fry noodles ever! Seriously, it requires no more than 10 minutes and is cheap to prepare.

Ingredients:

  • Egg noodles
  • Diced bacon
  • Spring onions, chopped (the roots only)
  • Garlic, minced
  • Dried shitake mushrooms, soaked and sliced thinly
  • Egg
  • Sesame oil
  • Oyster sauce
  • Salt

Method:

  • Bring a kettle of water to boil. Place noodles in large bowl and soak with the water. Do not boil noodles in water as it’ll become too soggy and won’t taste good.
  • Allow noodles to soak for about 2 minutes, then use a fork to untangle it. Further soak for another couple of minutes.
  • Once noodles have untangled and looks soft, drain and run it under cold water then toss with sesame oil.
  • Place a few mushrooms in a microwave tupperware, add hot water and microwave for about 2 minutes. Drain and slice.
  • In the meantime, heat the wok and oil. Add garlic and spring onion, fry till fragrant. Add bacon and mushroom. Lastly add the egg(s).
  • Add noodles and seasoning. Adjust taste accordingly. Garnish with spring onions before serving.

Note:

  • Add any ingredients you want. If you are not into bacon, mince chicken or pork is equally good. I added chicken thighs as there were leftovers from my chinese rice dumplings. If you are using other meat besides bacon, pre-season it with salt, pepper, soy and oyster sauce.

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Prawn Mee, originally uploaded by pearlyn83.

Prawn Mee (or Hokkien Mee as the Penangnites call them) is my favourite hawker dish. Whenever I’m at a hawker centre, unless I was sick or didn’t feel like it (which wasn’t often), I would definitely order this dish. Since coming to Aus, I would have to say this has been my strongest craving. Last year, a close friend shared the secret to his grandmother’s Prawn Mee. After a few trial and errors, I finally made a soup base which even I would have to say I am proud of. For those of you wanting to make this at home, I suggest you start storing the prawn shells (every single one of it, especially the head) ahead of time. I collected mine over a period of 4 months before making this dish. The soup was boiled for nearly 10 hours over low heat. The only thing I am still trying to perfect is the chilli. Anyone with a good recipe to share? :p

Ingredients:

  • Prawn shells (lots of it)
  • Belacan
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Sugar
  • Bean sprouts
  • Pork fillets
  • Eggs, hard boiled
  • Noodles

Method:

  • Pound (or blend) prawn shells till mashed up.
  • Heat oil in wok and fry belacan till fragrant. Add prawn shells and fry till fragrant.
  • Boil water, add prawn shells to water and bring to boil. Lower heat and allow to soup to boil for at least 6hours. Add salt, pepper and sugar according to taste.
  • Just before serving, steep pork in soup till cooked. Slice it, set aside. Halved the eggs and blanched bean sprouts.
  • Divide noodles, pork, egg and bean sprouts into bowls and pour soup over. Bon appétit! :p

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