Quick vegetable noodles

It’s such a pleasant day today….finally it has rained again!! I can smell the sweet and fresh fragrance of the rain….it’s so refreshing!! A cup of coffee and here I am writing this post after a long long time. Yes…. the past few weeks have been very busy with work and other stuff and I haven’t done much cooking either. A hectic phase I guess!

Today’s recipe is a dish I prepared few days ago for dinner. I wanted to keep the noodles simple and hence prepared it only with vegetables and egg tossed in the usual sauce. When you have stuff going on and not much time on hands, this is just the right dish as it doesn’t take much time and is quite alluring to the taste buds as well.

I’m sure you will enjoy cooking this dish as much as I did 🙂

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Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 to 12 minutes

Serves: 3

Ingredients:

Cooking oil – 3 tbsp

Noodles – 4 blocks (you can choose the noodles of your choice)

Kailan – 200 g, washed and cut as desired

Spring Onion – 300 g, chopped

Egg White of 2 eggs

Garlic – 4 tsp, finely chopped

Vegetable stock – 2 cups

Salt – to taste

For the sauce:

Mix all the ingredients below in a bowl.

Dark Soya Sauce – 1.5 to 2 tbsp

Rice Wine – 2 tsp

Sesame oil – 2 to 3 tsp

Chili sauce – 2 tbsp

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Step 1: Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Add 2 tsp of the minced garlic and stir for 10 seconds. Add the kailan and mix well with the oil and garlic. Cook for 1 to 2 mins until the leaves are soft. Transfer to a dish and keep aside.

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Step 2: Heat the rest of the oil in the pan. Add the minced garlic and spring onion. Mix well for around 30 seconds. Add the vegetable stock followed by adding the noodle blocks. Once the noodles are a little soft, add the sauce mixture. Cook for another 1 to 2 minutes until the noodles have absorbed only a part of the sauce mixture.

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Step 3: Now add the egg whites. Mix well and check for salt. Transfer to a serving dish. Add the cooked kailan on top so that it covers the noodles.

Step 4: Serve hot as a standalone dish or with delectable sides of your choice.

To print this recipe click here: Quick vegetable noodles

If you’ve enjoyed reading or cooking the above recipe, do subscribe to my blog by clicking the“Follow” button and “Like” my Facebook page at the top right hand corner for regular updates. Help spread the joy! 🙂

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Thick Vermicelli Soup

Last weekend was again a good break from the daily monotonous life. We took a short break from work and visited Macau. Macau is one of the two Special Administrative Regions of the People’s Republic of China, the other being Hong Kong. The country is mainly known for its casinos. I must admit I have never seen such grand hotels till date. Almost every hotel and casino we went to were magnificent and striking! It seemed like we were transported to a rich man’s land and yes it was!

Macau was previously administered by Portugal from the mid 16th century until late 1999 and it was interesting to note the Portuguese influence there – a lot of churches and old buildings built-in Portuguese style and even the cuisine has quite a lot of Portuguese dishes. We tried quite a few along with Chinese dishes as well. During the day time, we went for sight-seeing around the city and visited places like the A-Ma temple, Ruins of St. Paul’s and few other churches, the local markets and the science centre. And every night it was time for casinos! And even though we didn’t win a lot of money, we felt rich by simply being there 😀

My favorite spot in the city was ‘Senado Square’ – it is a paved area in the centre of the former Portuguese colony of Macau, enclosed by the buildings of the Leal Senado, the General Post Office and St. Dominic’s Church. The square is paved in the traditional Portuguese pavement (information from Wikipedia). The place looked beautiful, especially at night with the fountain and the nearby buildings lit up. I can go on and on about the trip but I’ll stop here and instead post some pictures for you to enjoy 🙂

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Macau Tower

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Senado Square
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That’s the ‘Grand Lisboa’

I wanted to prepare a Portuguese dish (influenced by the ones I had tried in Macau) and post it but didn’t have the time yet to test it. So that will come a bit later. For today, I’m posting a vermicelli soup recipe which I had prepared few days before the trip. I remember I wasn’t in mood for anything spicy that day but instead wanted something light and filling. Hence soup seemed to be the best option and I decided to use the vermicelli I had in stock to make it thick and satisfying to the stomach. I prepared the soup with  chicken and few vegetables, and added some light spices to add in extra flavor. I served the soup with some wholemeal bread and we enjoyed this light dinner 🙂

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Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: Around 10 minutes

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

Olive Oil – 1 tbsp

Vermicelli – 100 g (2 small packets)

Chicken – 200 g, cut into 1 to 2 inch long thin pieces

Egg white of 2 eggs

Carrots – 1 large, cut into thin discs

Ginger – 2 tsp, shredded or cut into thin long pieces

Parsley or Coriander leaves – 1/2 to 3/4 cup

Dried Mint leaves – 2 tsp

Paprika – 2 tsp

Chili powder – 1 tsp (optional)

Cumin powder – 2 tsp

Chicken stock – 1 cup

Salt – to taste

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Step 1: Heat the olive oil in a U-shaped vessel or pan. Add the onions and ginger and stir for around 30 seconds.

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Step 2: Add the carrots followed by paprika, chili powder and cumin powder. Mix well and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.

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Step 3: Add the chicken and mix well with the rest of the ingredients. Cook for a minute or so.

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Step 4: Add the chicken stock followed by the vermicelli, dried mint leaves and parsley/coriander leaves. Let it cook for another 2 minutes or so until you start getting the aroma. Add the egg whites now. Mix well. Check for salt and add only if required.

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Step 5: Transfer to a serving bowl and serve hot as a standalone dish or with freshly baked bread.

To print this recipe click here: Thick Vermicelli Soup

If you’ve enjoyed reading or cooking the above recipe, do subscribe to my blog by clicking the“Follow” button and “Like” my Facebook page at the top right hand corner for regular updates. Help spread the joy! 🙂

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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.

If you’ve enjoyed reading or cooking the above recipe, do subscribe to my blog by clicking the“Follow” button and “Like” my Facebook page at the top right hand corner for regular updates. Help spread the joy! 🙂

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Chicken Noodles

Before writing this post, I got a bit curious about noodles. Where did noodles actually originate from? So I did a quick search and found the following on Wikipedia:

“In 2002, archaeologists found an earthenware bowl containing the world’s oldest known noodles, measured to roughly 4000 years BP through radiocarbon dating, at the Lajia archaeological site along the Yellow River in China. The noodles were found well-preserved. They were described as resembling the traditional lamian noodle of China, which is made by “repeatedly pulling and stretching the dough by hand. The composition of the oldest noodles was studied by a team of Chinese researchers, who determined the noodles were made from foxtail millet and broomcorn millet. The earliest written record of noodles is found in a book dated to the Eastern Han period (25–220) of China.Noodles, often made from wheat dough, became a staple food for people of the Han Dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE). In Tang Dynasty, the noodles were first cut into strips, and in Yuan Dynasty, the making of dried noodles began.” This was quite interesting! It’s impressive to note how people actually came up with the food that we so love and enjoy today!

I’ve tried quite a few types of noodle dishes here at the food courts and restaurants and also when I travel. Starting from Bee Hoon, Hor Fun, Pad Thai, Mee Goreng, Laksa, Rice noodles, Glass noodles etc, I’ve tried almost all of them. But it’s still not the end. There are so many more dishes yet to try and every time I keep craving for more! It’s amazing how you can add ingredients of your style and taste and make it into a great noodle recipe.

Even when I say that… I had a lot of trouble making noodles at home. It always became sticky and somehow I was never satisfied with the dish and so I was always scared to try them at home. So, when I was discussing the same with my colleague, she said “Oh! It’s very simple. I’ll teach you how to make the basic noodle dish at home.” I was totally excited hearing this and I came back home that day and tried the recipe. Since then, I’ve never been scared to try noodles…it has been fun always! I will post my noodle recipe learnt from her later.

Today I’m posting a simple chicken noodle recipe. This doesn’t take much time and has an authentic Chinese taste. It needs only the basic ingredients and some sauces of course. I made it along with the Hot and Sour Soup (posted earlier) – a perfect and complete meal! Try it out and let me know your experience 🙂

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Serves: 4

Preparation Time: Around 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients:

Cooking Oil – 4 tablespoons

Chicken – 300 g, boneless, thinly sliced

Egg noodles – 1 medium sized packet

Bean sprouts – 1 bowl

Green Onion (Scallion) – 3, chopped

Marinade:

Ginger juice – 1 teaspoon (Grate around around 1/2 cup of young ginger. Mix with 2 tablespoons of water. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and you will have around 1/4 cup of Ginger juice.

Pepper – 1/4 teaspoon

Cornstarch/Cornflour – 1 teaspoon

Soy Sauce – 1 teaspoon

Rice Wine – 1 teaspoon

Sesame Oil – 1 teaspoon

Water – 1-2 tablespoons

Seasonings:

Chicken Stock – 1/2 cup (you can use stock cubes as well)

Soy Sauce – 1 tablespoon

Oyster Sauce – 1 tablespoon

Rice Wine – 1 teaspoon

Sugar – 1 teaspoon

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Step 1: Soak the noodles in warm water for around 10-15 minutes or until soft and then drain the water.

Step 2: Combine the marinade ingredients in one bowl and set aside. Combine the seasonings ingredients in a separate bowl and set aside.

Step 3: Heat around 3 tablespoons of oil in a wok and add the noodles. Fry the noodles for very short time until they are golden grown and crisp (maybe for around a minute). Remove the noodles immediately and place on a clean serving dish.

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Step 4: Add the remaining oil to the wok and stir fry the chicken along with the marinade mixture over high flame for another minute, until cooked.

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Step 5: Add the seasoning mixture, bean sprouts and green onion and continue to fry until the sauce thickens and you have the consistency you want. Turn off the flame and quickly pour the chicken mixture over the noodles.

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Serve hot!

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A few tips:

  • You can use any other meat or seafood instead of chicken. 
  • You can add other sauces and vegetables of your choice to make the dish suit your palate.