Wednesday, October 3, 2012
The only dish that comforts me, Noodles. I can have it in any form, even boiled with a sprinkle of Salt n Pepper. That’s how much I love Noodles. Being from Calcutta did help develop this fetish for Chinese in more than one way. I, like many others believe that you get the best Chinese in Calcutta; be it the road-side joints to the most classy Restaurants, the taste is impeccable. There is no time in the day when I do not have appetite for some noodles, can be simple instant noodles too.
I have been struggling with making this delectable dish for a long time now. Sometimes I did not get the noodles boiled right, sometimes I did not cut the veggies with the right precision, sometimes I overcooked the veggies & sometimes the veggies were more than the noodles. With time and patience, I have succeeded in dishing out my all time favorite, Chicken Hakka Noodles with accuracy just right for our taste buds & I proudly declare that this tastes much better than what we find in most Restaurants around here in the Western part of India.
Chinese preparation demand some basics to be absolutely clear.
· The first, in my opinion is, the food needs to be cooked on a very high flame. You simply cannot get the flame to low or medium and try to get it right.
· Second would be, the time; as it is cooked on very high flame, we do not need to devote too much time. Chinese dishes cook very fast.
· Third, if the vegetables are cooked perfectly, you have got it all wrong, the crunch has to be there in the veggies in a Chinese preparation.
· Lastly (as important as the first 3), the vegetables needs to be cut with ultimate precision, make sure they are thin strips, do not cut them in different sizes, all vegetables need to be approximately of the same thickness.
Here is what you will need to make Chicken Hakka Noodles (If you are a Vegetarian, skip the Chicken & the Egg, it will still taste wonderful, just add a little more of the veggies) - Will serve 2.
Hakka noodles – pre boiled in salted water, strained under running water (to get rid of the starch) – 200 gms
Chicken breast cut into strips (I used mini pieces as Hubby went late to the Butcher & managed only 300 gms, I had plans to make Chilli Chicken but 300 gms was too less. Hence, I made the same noodles I had in mind, only chopped & added the Chicken in it) – 300 gms
Egg - 1
Onion – 1 medium – sliced thin (I did not have Spring Onions available)
Carrot – 1 medium – sliced thin
Green Beans – about 5 – chopped into 1” pieces
Green Bell Pepper – ½ of a medium – sliced thin
Cabbage – 1/4th of a medium – sliced thin
Dark Soy Sauce – 2 tbsp
Red Chilli Sauce – 1 tbsp
Green Chilli Sauce – 1 tbsp
Ginger finely chopped – ½ tsp
Garlic finely chopped – 1 tsp
Green Chilli – 2 – chopped
Chilli Oil – 2 tbsp + 1 tbsp (Can use Cooking Oil totally if you do not have Chilli Oil, we like the zing hence use it in all Chinese preparations)
Cooking Oil – 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
· Once you strain the noodles, make sure there is almost no water in it, put it in a bowl and add 1 tbsp of Chilli Oil in and mix with hands and set aside.
· In a Chinese wok or any other non stick Pan with a big surface heat 2tbsp of Chilli Oil & 2 tbsp of Cooking Oil.
· Once the Oil is hot, add the sauces one by one, keep the heat to low, otherwise it might splutter.
· Add the chopped Ginger, Garlic & Green Chillies.
· Add the Chicken pieces & increase the flame to high, keep mixing quickly like in stir frying.
· I had lowered the flame to medium & covered for about 3 minutes for the Chicken pieces to get cooked.
· Once done increase the flame to high again and add the Vegetables & keep stirring, they will be done (as per Chinese preparation) in no time. I would say in about 3 minutes.
· Add the noodles little by little and keep mixing.
· Add salt and pepper to taste and mix well.
· Scramble an Egg in a different Pan & add to the noodles.(I did in the same one).
· Serve hot.