The Newbie Cook
- 16,395 forkfuls since 16.Oct.10
Making everything for the first time
I feel really lazy today. I have had to deal with a lot of things regarding my immigration, current job, possible future jobs, and worrying about the previous subjects. And there’s also a husband who has a cold and demanded that he should be babied. My only kitchen activity will be opening a jar of 7-herb Ragu, tossing in a head of minced garlic, half of a chopped onion, a small knob of butter and a bacon and mushroom topping. And, of course, pasta. Some might say that it’s still considered cooking but it just feels wrong to take credit for spaghetti sauce that I didn’t make out of scratch.
However, I was more diligent last week. Aside from cooking up a storm almost every day of the week (even when we were in DC), I managed to try three completely new recipes. One is the dish which I’m just about to talk about as soon as I finish my small talk.
When I was in Singapore five years ago, I ate in kopitiams (food courts) almost everyday. I was particularly addicted to crispy fried noodles and I would order it often. Since then, I tried to find a similar dish in several Southeast Asian restaurants but nothing came close to the inexpensive but lovely noodles in Singapore’s kopitiams. So, I figured that I may as well try making it myself.
The first time I tried cooking crispy fried noodles a month ago ended in disaster — it was not edible at all. The result of this second experiment was not as wonderful as the Singaporean version but it is definitely edible. Who knew that crispy fried noodles would be such a pain to cook?
The noodles I’m familiar with were loosely cupped over a bowl. This one is more like a noodle cake that was browned on both sides. I’m not perfectly satisfied with it yet so I intend to tweak it until I get it right even if it takes 50 more tries.
In the meantime, here’s the recipe. It’s another version of my this pork and broccoli stir fry noodles I made a while back. Feel free to tweak it yourself. One thing’s for sure: saucy stir-fries taste so much better over a bed of crispy noodles than soft ones.
Stir-Fried Pork Over Crispy Noodles
One pack (8 oz) egg noodles
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 lb ground pork
1/2 cup red wine
half a head of broccoli, cut into chunks
1/2 yellow bell pepper, sliced into strips
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
4 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp cornstarch
soy sauce and ground black pepper to taste
Cook noodles according to package instructions. Drain and separate into 3-4 bowls. Let cool.
Over medium heat, saute garlic in olive oil until fragrant. Add the ground pork and fry for around 10 minutes or until well cooked. Add red wine. Once it boils, lower the temperature and add the vegetables. Cover pan and let it simmer for 8-10 minutes until the vegetables are tender but not soggy. Uncover and stir in oyster sauce. Dissolve cornstarch in cold water and mix into the meat and veggies, stir until it thickens. Remove from heat and add soy sauce (if too bland) and ground black pepper according to your taste.
Fry each noodle “cake” in canola oil, turning once to cook both sides. Take care not to burn it; take it out of the pan as soon as the edges show a hint of brown. Let rest over a paper towel to soak up all the excess oil before transferring to a plate. Pour stir fried pork over noodles.