Saturday, March 28, 2009

South-East Asian Stir-fried Noodles

South-East Asian Stir-fried Noodles
Home Cooking

Lol at the name of this dish but my explanation is...

The original recipe that inspired me was for 'Singaporean fried noodles' but I've altered it so much that it's barely more than a slight influence. As a result, I have no idea what my noodle dish is supposed to be culturally. 'South-East Asian' is a safe bet but I'm leaning towards Malaysian. There probably isn't a genuine Malaysian dish like this but the flavors and ingredients are a mix between Singaporean and Indonesian tastes so if you're curious about how these noodles taste, it's somewhat similar to those cuisine styles.

After days and days of Indian food (I noticed a trend that I was cooking curry, baking naan, eating at Indian restaurants and drinking Chai), I decided to ease myself out of full-flavored food... gradually...

South-East Asian is spiced and sometimes pungent but it is a definite step down from Indian food. My house is such that there are not many windows so whatever I cook will influence how every room smells for many days to come.

I got so overwhelmed by smelling curry every time I came home that it was definitely time for a change.

Since I had a host of random Asian ingredients lying around, I thought a stir-fry would be a good option. When I read about a stir-fry noodle dish that used vermicelli noodles, I thought it would be perfect since it saved me buying noodles or cooking rice.

South-East Asian (possibly Malaysian) Stir-fried Noodles
Serves 2-3


  • 1 egg
  • 1 sml white/brown onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 100g pork sirloin (or 1 pork chop), cut into thin strips
  • 150g tofu (I used firm/fried tofu), chopped into cubes
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • dash of Chinese cooking wine
  • 1 clove of crushed garlic
  • 1 sml block of grated ginger (to make a tsp-full)
  • About 100g dried vermicelli
  • 1 handful of bean sprouts (about 50g, I used frozen)
  • 1/4 wom bok (Chinese cabbage), torn/cut into large pieces
  • 1/4 cup kecap manis (or to taste)

Note: the procedure may look complicated but it simply involved getting a few things ready and stir-frying it all together in the end. Most of these steps can be done in advance.

1. Mix together the dark soy, garlic, ginger and Chinese cooking wine with the pork and tofu pieces and leave to marinade for at least 30min. I was given an awesome 9-minute marinator for my birthday so I used that.2. Soak the vermicelli and bean sprouts in some warm water. Once soft, drain and set aside.
3. Meanwhile... beat the egg in a bowl. Fry it in a pan with some oil to make a mini-omelet. Set aside.4. In a large wok, heat up some vegetable oil and fry the onion with some curry powder. Once it begins to tenderize, remove from the wok and set aside.
5. In the same wok, fry the pork on high heat until it begins to change color. 6. Add the wombok to the wok and turn down the heat. Pop on the lid and let the wombok cook. It should release water as it's cooking and begin to shrink and tenderize whilst soaking up the juices from the pork.7. Return the onion to the wok along with the tofu and bean sprouts. Once everything is pretty much cooked, stir-fry in the vermicelli and the egg omelet (omelet will get cut up in the stir-frying process, which is what we want).
8. Flavor the noodles with kecap manis (sweet Indonesian soy sauce) to your liking.
9. Serve with some fresh shallots.

This dish has a lot of steps but it's easy to do. Stir-fries are excellent ways of getting rid of left overs. I'm quite happy with how this turned out and it's boosted my confidence in Asian cooking.

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