Tuesday, May 28, 2013

crispy noodles: a matter of assembly

What is it with me and egg whites? For some bizzare reason, I always have egg whites lurking around in my fridge. It is no wonder that I've had to think of 101 ways to use them up!

Today I had about 5 egg whites, left over from my baking. Since I had already made meringues a couple of weeks ago, it was way too soon for another egg-white dessert.

I decided to make crispy noodles today. Of course this being the home-made version, I needed it to be simple and quick. I depend on the hot broth to soften my noodles and since the noodles are already pre-cooked anyway, my recipe for crispy noodles is simple. Very, very simple.

So simple, in fact, it is a matter of assembly.

I bought my crispy noodles from the supermarket. You can get really big ones, or smaller versions like the one I got.

In a heated wok, I added some vegetable oil and stir-fried the garlic. Once it was slightly brown at the edges, I poured stock and water into my wok.

Once the stock started boiling, I blanched my ingredients one at a time - vegetables, prawns, squid and chicken breast. Once cooked, they were removed from the wok using a strainer. The chicken breast was then shredded, and these were set aside.

The rest of the ingredients (which were already cooked) - the ngor hiang and the fish cakes - were sliced and set aside.

To my stock, I added the slushy mixture of potato starch and water, and stirred until I achieved the consistency I wanted. It should be thick and glossy. I then turned the fire off, and added the egg whites, salt and pepper.

To serve, assemble the ingredients. First the vegetables and shredded chicken.

Then the fish cake, Japanese fish cake and fish ngor hiang.

Followed by the prawns and squid.

I topped everything with fried shallots and cubes of lardon. Then I added some broth and it was time to eat!

There you go. My super simple crispy noodles. Enjoy!

Crispy Noodles In Thick Broth (Serves 4)

4 crispy noodles
300g green leafy vegetables (like cai xin or endives), cut, washed and drained
1 chicken breast, poached and shredded*
12 prawns, shells removed and de-veined*
1 squid, cut*
2 pieces ngor hiang, sliced *
2 pieces Japanese fish cake, sliced*
2 pieces fish cake, sliced*
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 litre water
2 tbs garlic, minced
2 tbs vegetable oil
4 tbs potato starch, added to 4 tbs water (at room temperature), stirred to remove all lumps
1 tbs fried shallots (optional)
1 tbs lardon (optional)
5 egg whites
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Ground white pepper (adjust to taste)

*Can be substituted with other meats/fish.

1. In a heated wok, add vegetable oil and fry garlic.
2. Add water and stock. Bring to boil.
3. Blanch vegetables, then prawns and squid. Set aside.
4. Cook chicken breast. Cool, then shred. Set aside.
5. Slice fish cake, ngor hiang and Japanese fish cake. Set aside.
6. Add potato starch and water mixture to stock. Stir until stock thickens. Add more potato starch/water mixture if you prefer a thicker broth. Turn off heat.
7. Season with salt and pepper, add egg white. Wait a few minutes before stirring.
8. Assemble and serve immediately.


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