Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Romance of the Chinese Fried Noodles

I am no ordinary strand,
for I have been submerged
into an indescribable heat.
Golden hair, I am meant to be supple.
Kneaded, pulled, delicately flavored,
I knew how to obey.
Once confident of how I was,
now confused with this stiffness;
For I do not seem to mix perfectly
With anything: not tomato, not cheese nor olive oil
I am like a dry earth.

I wait for you to arrive
And here you are,
a no ordinary match.

Like a dark and still and mysterious water,
it is your reason I wanted to know...
I heard that you are a fusion
of fragrant spices, burnt sugar,
Oil and soy gathered from the fields,
Humble and deliciously unpretentious,
For whom are you truly made?

So come,
Smother me with your kisses.
Sweet, salty, glorious liquid and your colorful entourage
Gifted by the earth and the sea:
White scallops, young carrottes,
tender octopus arms,
curled crevettes,
Crisp snow peas,
Quiet fungi, slender bok choy stalks
-tossed in a heterogeneous silence.

And I will soften shamelessly in your presence,
Crumbling in delicious surrender
As you seep into my world-
Running your savory fingers into every strand,
And every string of my yearning.
Warm me, flavor me, soften me up
I will obey.

Together we entwine
In a fluid perspiration, damp and limp
thoroughly mixed up
Not knowing whose hunger we please-
Ours? others’?

We are finished
by a tide
of fragrant jasmine tea.

To prepare fried noodles :

Cooking oil for deep frying
Round egg noodles (about 250 g)
1 T garlic, minced
½ C peeled, deveined shrimps
½ C octopus arms, uncooked
½ C scallops , uncooked
11/2 C white fish chunks
½ C wood- ear mushroom (fresh), hydrate first in warm water when using dried
1 C snow peas
1 C cauliflower
1 carrot, medium size, cut thin diagonally
4-6 stalks, bok choy

1 ½ cups seafood stock
3 T cornstarch, dissolved in 4 T water
3 T oyster sauce
1 1/2 T sesame oil
Salt, pepper, five- spice powder

1. In a large wok, heat oil. Loosen egg noodle strands. Then deep fry just enough portion at a time, until golden brown. Drain, set aside.
2. Remove majority of oil from wok and just leave a little for stir- frying, about 1 T. Over high heat, quickly stir- fry garlic, shrimps, scallops, octopus arms, fish, about 2 minutes or until cooked.
3. Add mushrooms and vegetables. Stir- fry for about 4 minutes.
4. Make a well in the middle by pushing the mixture on the sides, then pour the stock into the well.
5. Stir in the dissolved cornstarch.
6. Combine oyster sauce sesame oil, salt, pepper, five spice powder altogether in a small bowl. Stir into the thickened stock and let simmer for a few minutes until transparent.
7. Mix the vegetable and seafood into the sauce.
8. On a platter, place fried noodles, and pour the seafood sauce directly on top. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4- 6 servings.

To eat: Observe how the fried noodles soften upon touching the sauce. Make it a point that each biteful is sufficiently sauced, but not soggy.
Enjoy, it’s the feeling that counts.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for warming up my day! It was delicious right from the first word! I thought I was reading a poem describing decadent hedonism and let me tell you, it left me longing for a bowl of the precious strands. Your recipe sounds terrific and I want to try it, but I think I'll take a cold shower first. ;-)

elay said...

siguraduhin mong makapag-luto ka nito when i get home..!

foodhuntress79 said...

Thank you. You know, sometimes with all of these food, I almost end up personifying what I eat. Hahah... Zen chef, about the recipe, if I have to be very honest with you, I don't measure ingredients when I cook. All except for baked products. But to post a recipe, it requires a lot of measuring...Anyway, probably next time I'll write about and ode to a bloody stew :)