My folks had people over for National China Day and while my dad is normally dormant in the kitchen, he always comes out guns blazing to try and impress guests.
My parents don't usually cook with rice noodles but mum tasted something like this at another family friend's house and they decided to whip up something similar.
I tuned in to get some insight into Chinese cooking since it's about time I got shown the ropes. Dad went into 'education' mode and explained that there are 2 principles important to this dish: color and texture. Color is fairly straight-forward to understand. He chose ingredients that would look vibrant together: egg for yellow, BBQ pork for red and cucumber for green. As for texture, the idea is that you try to replicate the same shape for all the ingredients. In this case, he said that the noodles were the 'main focus' and since they are long and thin, we should make the other ingredients long and thin too.
The quantities in this dish are adjustable. We made a huge batch since it was for an event but feel free to cut back. The majority of ingredients are either cooked beforehand or don't require cooking so it's just a matter of incorporating it all together.
Tri-colored Rice Noodle Stir Fry
- 1 large packet of rice noodles, approx 750g dry weight
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 400g BBQ pork (char sui)
- 3 cucumbers, washed
- 1 carrot
- 1 x 250g can of chicken broth
- salt and white pepper to taste
1. Soak the rice noodles in boiling water until softened. Drain and set aside.2. Heat up 2-3 tbsp vegetable oil in a wok or large non-stick frying pan. Pour in the beaten eggs and wait until it's set before flipping (you're essentially making a giant omelet). Remove once cooked - try to keep the omelet intact (which, you can see from the photo, isn't the case with our omelet...)3. Prepare all your ingredients by chopping the meat, cucumber, carrot and omelet into matchsticks.
4. Heat up some more oil (about 3 tbsp) in the wok and stir fry the rice noodles until they're starting to color. Pour in the chicken broth... this may seem weird but the idea is for the noodles to soak up the flavor, since they're quite flavorless on their own. They'll swell up and be more juicy too. Season the noodles to taste.
5. Add the BBQ pork at this stage and stir fry for a bit.6. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir fry enough to distribute everything evenly. Be gentle because whilst a bit of noodle breakage is inevitable, you don't want to whip it all into mush.
7. Dad likes the crusty bits of fried noodle that accumulate on the bottom of the wok so he keeps the heat on for a bit longer... when you're ready to serve, plate up!
This is a really simple meal idea for small or large groups (large is fine, provided your wok is large enough). You can alter the ingredients to add/subtract what you like and don't like. The basic principle is quite easy to follow.
It's a nice alternative to fried rice or fried egg noodles and tends to be a bit healthier too. In the Summer months, rice noodles can be served cold/room temperature which is great if you want to prepare the dish beforehand and let guests help themselves.