A lovely thing about cooking is being able to cook for people whenever, as long as there’s a kitchen. It doesn’t have to be fully equipped, although the essential knife, pot and hob is necessary.
Anyway, what I really mean to say is, HELLO FROM HONG KONG! I’m staying in my sister’s apartment right now and just made us some brunch. Due to her very busy work schedule, she hardly has the time to make her own meals at home. As a result, there isn’t much food in the house. The night before I bought a packet of spaghetti from the grocer’s downstairs and together with a couple of frozen goodies in the freezer, this was what we had this morning. Yum.
Asian Fried Spaghetti
- Minced garlic is the KEY ingredient. I cannot emphasise that further. Prepare.
- Ingredients sliced and chopped up appropriately, fried and tossed with minced garlic in vegetable, sunflower or peanut oil.
- Pasta added once cooked to al dente. In goes salt and pepper for seasoning. ‘Herbage’ is a bonus.
It’s been a while since I’ve been back to Singapore, and aside from many other things, I miss the food there. I thought I was dealing fine with the abstinence of Singaporean cuisine, until I was reminded of my beloved Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee. My stomach grumbled to the rhythm of the words as they entered my ears. No, I’m not talking about the black sauce variant from Kuala Lumpur.
I’m talking about this:
It’s far from anything you’d get in the hawker centres back in Singapore, but it’ll do. Craving, momentarily satisfied.
What you’ll need:
- Fresh yellow egg noodles
- Fresh white rice noodles
- Whole prawns, heads and shell on
- Pork belly
- Pork lardons (optional)
Prawn Soup Stock
- Before you get down to frying the noodles, you gotta have the prawn soup stock ready. Here’s how I did mine. Peel and shell the prawns, then cut the squid into rings. Into a pot, dump the prawn peelings and heads. Also, in goes the peeled prawns, squid and pork belly. Here, I like adding a couple of smashed garlic cloves too. Then fill the pot with boiling water so that there’s just enough to cover what’s inside. Let it boil away before turning it down to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper, so it eventually becomes a peppery and tasty almost-thick sort of soup.
- Keep a check on the peeled prawns, squid and pork belly. Once they’re just cooked, fish them out. Slice the pork belly thinly and set all aside.
Fried Prawn Noodles
- In a screaming hot wok, drizzle some oil.
- This next step is strictly optional. Fry bit of pork lardons and remove when brown and crispy. Leave the rendered fat in the wok. It is liquid gold.
- Then, in goes an egg. Erratically break and beat it as it cooks.
- Before the egg gets proper fried, toss in the noodles, both yellow and white. Add a ladle-full of that awesome prawn soup stock you made earlier. This will soften the noodles. Stir till there is no more soup left in the wok.
- Toss in the beansprouts and stir about.
- Then, add another ladle-full of the soup stock and cover the wok for at least 20 seconds. This is an extremely important yet understated step. Commonly overlooked, this will allow the noodles to absorb all the goodness from the soup stock.
- Remove the lid and toss in the cooked prawns, squid and sliced pork belly.
- Moving everything in the wok aside, make space for a teaspoon of chopped garlic. Fry that till fragrant, before combining with the noodles and all.
- At this stage, I like to add the bits of crispy fried lard to join the party. Heart-stoppingly extravagant.
- Add a little more soup stock to wet the noodles. In my opinion, the best of this dish are those that have gravy to slurp at the end.
- Chives go in, while the fire goes out.
- Serve with more chives atop, a halved lime and some kickass sambal, which I haven’t tried my hand at making, yet. This time, I substituted with trusty feisty chilli padi.
- Welcome a couple of Aroma Fairies, then dig in right away. Your stomach cannot wait any longer. For me, I’d like to commend Will Power for allowing me to take a photo before savagely devouring the noodles and all its brilliance.
One of the first meals I prepared for myself when I was younger. Beginner level.
Fried Rice is probably the laziest dish in the world. After pre-made meals from the frozen section, that is. Choose whatever you’d like in your meal. Then, simply cut everything up, and fry it all, together with rice and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, and you’ve got a proper meal right there. Best part is, because you’re deciding what goes inside, it can be a vegetarian meal as well!
For best results, use rice that’s sat in the fridge overnight. The rice comes out not gooey at all and sometimes even crispy. Freshly steamed rice tends to be a tad sticky.
Also, if feeling extravagant, serve with a fried egg.