Friday, September 21, 2018
Noodles has always been the favorite, my comfort food. It took me years to master the art of making them though, I could never get them boiled right (al dente in the world of pasta), almost always they turned out over cooked. Even today, when I am not paying attention, it gets over cooked, though everyone eats happily, I am the only one who seems to notice the texture has gone wrong. The point I am trying to make here is, if you get your noodles boiled right, most of your job is done, the only thing left is tossing up some other ingredients of your choice and voila!
This is a popular meal at my home, be it breakfast or dinner. This can be put together in about 20-30 mins. I use a variety of ingredients, capsicum, green beans and carrots being the staple vegetables, I add some thinly sliced cabbage at times too. Sometimes I add some diced, boiled or fried chicken, sometimes mushrooms, prawns and eggs, depending on whatever I have available. Amongst the sauces, I use some hot and sweet, dark soy, green and red chili sauce always, occasionally I add some hot sauce, sweet and sour sauce or black pepper sauce for a different flavour.
The vegetables need to be minimum, do not add too much and never wait for them to get cooked thoroughly. The trick is to add a handful of vegetables and fry them at high heat for approximately 3 minutes, the vegetables need to retain their crunch. Chopping them the right way is also something to be considered, try to make thin slices of all vegetables, similar size for all is best.
Noodles – I use egg noodles, as thin I can get in the market.
Carrot, Capsicum, Green Beans, Cabbage – thinly sliced – each a handful
Onion – 1 – thinly sliced
Green Chili – I add 2-3 with little slits so that the dish does not become extremely spicy, and people who like spice can still take a bite from the chilies.
Mushrooms – sliced thicker than the vegetables (optional)
Chicken – cubed and fried/boiled with a dash of salt and pepper (optional)
Eggs – fried and scrambled (optional)
Dark Soy Sauce
Green Chili Sauce
Red Chili Sauce
Hot and Sweet sauce
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Note: All the sauces are to your taste, use as you like it, skip if you would rather.
Add a teaspoon of salt to water, bring it to a rumbling boil and add noodles to it, when the noodles are no longer stiff and can bend and coil easily, switch off the flame.
Drain the noodles in a colander, run cold water on it to stop the cooking process and set aside. Some add oil to the noodles, I do not prefer it.
Heat oil in a wok/kadhai, once the oil is heated, add the onions and the other vegetables, add a dash of salt and pepper and keep stirring, remember never to lower the heat, Chinese dishes are supposed to be cooked at very high heat to get the right texture.
Add the mushrooms too, they will release some moisture, make sure the moisture is completely evaporated.
At about 3 minutes the vegetables should be cooked to perfection, however, if any moisture from the mushrooms remain, make sure that evaporates before continuing.
Add the noodles, salt, pepper and the sauces of your choice and mix.
Add the already cooked chicken, eggs, prawns and whatever else you want and mix thoroughly.
Your perfect hakka noodles is ready to be eaten, enjoy your meal and let me know if you liked it.