Noodles with Prawns and Leeks – A Chinese New Year special

It’s time for Chinese New Year, the biggest festival here in Singapore. I’m sure you are aware of the Chinese Zodiac. It is called Sheng Xiao and is based on a twelve year cycle, representing an animal sign each year. Last year was the ‘Year of the Dragon’ which represents authority, dignity, honor, success, luck and capacity. This year it’s the ‘Year of the Horse’ which is a sign and symbol of traveling, success, freedom, passion and leadership. I also read that since horse is a social animal and red is connected to love, horse is treated as a Romantic Star in Chinese Zodiac. So what does your zodiac say about this year? 🙂

Every year during Chinese New Year in Singapore, ‘Niu Che Shui (牛车水)’ popularly known as Chinatown, is decorated beautifully with lanterns and symbol of the Chinese Zodiac of that year and it is something you wouldn’t want to miss!! Although I had seen the decorations on news and websites, I knew I had to visit it myself like every year! So I went yesterday evening and got quite a few shots! It was very crowded and I loved it that way…isn’t that how it’s supposed to be during a festival? The whole place seemed so lively and full of joy 🙂

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Food was in abundance everywhere, every stall had lots to offer starting from Chicken Satay, Hokkien Mee (fried noodles), Steamed Buns (Xiao Long Bao), Satay Bee Hoon (a fusion dish between Chinese and Malay) and on and on…. the list is endless! I had the satay and was craving for more and more!! But I couldn’t have too much since dinner was already waiting for me at home 🙂

The Chinese New Year special recipe for today is Prawn noodles. I cooked the noodles with leeks, carrots and a few other common ingredients used in Chinese cooking. The sauce I prepared for this dish was kind of the usual brown sauce used in Chinese cooking , but I added some chili sauce to add in to the color and spice up the dish.  This was the first time I was cooking a dish with leeks; the soft buttery texture of the prawn and the mild onion flavor of the leeks absorbed in the sauce, turned out to be incredible! 🙂

Xin Nian Kuai Le , 新年快乐 (Happy New Year) to you and your family 🙂

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Preparation Time: 25 minutes

Cooking Time: Around 15 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

Cooking oil – 2 tablespoons

Egg noodles – 4 blocks, soaked in water for 10 to 15 minutes

Prawns – 390 g, medium sized, cleaned, head removed and de-veined

Leeks – 5, leaves removed, stem chopped into 1 inch long size

Carrots – 2, sliced into thin round discs

Ginger – 1 teaspoon, grated

Garlic – 3 cloves, chopped

Prawn stock/vegetable stock – 1 cup

Chili oil – a few drops (optional)

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For the sauce:

Ginger – 1 teaspoon, grated

Dark Soy Sauce – 2 tablespoons

Rice Wine – 1 tablespoon

Cornstarch/cornflour – 1 tablespoon

Prawn stock/vegetable stock – 1/4 cup

Chili sauce – 2 tablespoons

Sesame oil – 2 teaspoons

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Mix all the above ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and set aside.

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Step 1: For preparing the noodles, heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in an U-shaped vessel. Add the garlic and fry for 15 seconds. Add the stock, followed by the noodles (discard the water in which the noodles were soaked). Let it simmer for around 2 to 3 minutes until the noodles have absorbed most of the stock, but not all. Transfer to a serving dish. Set aside.

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Step 2: Heat the remaining oil in a wok. Add the grated ginger and cook for 10 seconds. Follow by adding the carrots and the leeks. Cook for around 2 to 3 minutes or so until the carrots and leeks are soft.

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Step 3: Add the sauce along with the prawns. Toss well for around a minute so that the prawns are well coated with the sauce and soaked with the seasonings. Turn off the stove and quickly pour the whole mixture over the noodles.

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Step 4: Pour a few drops of chili oil over the prawn and leek mixture as per your preference. Serve hot as a stand alone dish or with soup and other Chinese dishes.

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