Saturday, September 13, 2008

Noodles in a hurry

When tight on time or eager to eat, I quickly review the contents of my fridge, freezer, and cupboards. I'm not always willing to wait half an hour for rice to cook and I always enjoy bringing new life to older leftovers that need eating. I find that my cooking is incredibly dependent on what is #1 on sale and #2 what seems to be left leftover from meals previous. Like most Asians, I find it necessity to be well stocked on rice and noodles of various types. For my quick fix meals, I use "rice stick" noodles. They are similar to (or the same as) what is used for making Vietnamese spring rolls. I've attached pictures from two separate (but very similar) uses of these noodles to produce distinctly different meals. I wish I was a better cook with more consistency. My meals tend to wander in flavor since I don't always measure or record amounts of ingredients used. I'm also not one to run out to the store to get one ingredient that may be lacking. I enjoy my improvise methods and think that they make food life interesting. This dish is certainly one of the more fast-paced cooking adventures I enjoy. I can have this full meal prepared and plated in about 10-15 minutes.

Pictured first is a more successful use of leftover meat from a crockpotting batch of pork roast. The second 2 provide better detail to the ingredients used but proved to be slightly less tasty (still good though!).

The brand of noodles used will vary your cook time but generally speaking, it's very short. I slightly overdid them for the second set of photos and they were only cooked for 3 minutes. 2 minutes on my stovetop seems to work best.

Ingredients are mostly optional.
  • Bundle of rice stick noodles
  • few cups water
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger, chopped or puree
  • 2 Tbsp Oyster Sauce

  • Noodles pictured at top of post
    • shredded pork (cooked for hours with soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, onions, and I think some orange juice)
    • broccoli crowns, chopped
  • Noodles in second set of pictures, just above
    • 1 hot pepper, diced
    • 1 red pepper, bite size pieces
    • handful of peeled shrimp
    • fish cake, sliced
    • 2 Tbsp curry powder
    • 1 green onion stalk, chopped

In a medium sized pot, bring water to a boil. Drop the noodles into the boiling water and cook for a very short time (2 minutes for me!).

Drain the noodles over the sink and rinse with cold water. Set noodles aside.

Heat a large wok with oil. Add aromatic ingredients (garlic, ginger, hot pepper, onion) and let cook for a minute.

Add vegetables and meat/shrimp to the hot wok. Stir fry until tender/done.

Add the noodles with a 1/4 cup of water to the wok so that they do not stick to the bottom. Add the oyster sauce to the noodles and mix well. If desired, add additional seasonings (curry powder) and remainder of ingredients to be cooked.

Mix all contents of the wok as best you can. The noodles have a tendency to stick together. I use a metal spatula to aid in the breaking up of noodle chunks. If the noodles begin to stick together too much, add a small amount of water to the wok and continue to mix. After 3 2-3 minutes of mixing, the dish should be done and ready to serve. I like my green onion uncooked so I add it last to each plated serving. Depending on your tastes, you may wish to add some soy sauce to the wok if you like well salted meals.

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