I seldom have noodles for dinner when I was living with my parents. This is mainly because my dad considers rice-with-three-dishes- and-a- soup is a proper dinner as compared to one pot of stir-fry noodles. In my household, we normally prefer to have noodles for breakfast and lunch instead of dinner.
However since living away from home, I don’t remember the last time I have cooked my dad’s so-called “proper” dinner. Don’t get me wrong, I truly enjoy a full on meal like I used to have with my family. It’s hearty, fulfilling and often well-balanced meals. Nowadays, the only time I have more than one dish on my dinner table is either I’m at a restaurant or potluck parties. I actually count my blessing whenever I make simple home cooked meals let alone trying to make a “banquet” dinner.
Whenever I have my favourite tv shows coming up (showtime during dinner time), I’ll make sure the food is ready when the show starts. My daily little pleasure is to eat and watch tv at the same time – a habit which I have cultivated since childhood. On the night of the final episode of Masterchef (Australia), I was contemplating whether I should go out and quickly grab some take-out. Then I decided against the idea as it can sometimes take up more time than expected. Also, a good portion of Australian population would be tuning in to the final and probably shared the same thought of getting take-outs as well. So I deduced that I was better off by cooking something simple like this stir-fry noodles.
All the ingredients in this recipe requires little time to cook. The longest cooking process in this recipe is probably blanching the noodles, other than that, it’s just a step up from salad making or frying an egg. You can use any asian greens of your choice. Personally, I have this fondness towards chinese kale (aka chinese broccoli and gai lan). It has thicker leaves as compared to bok choy and choy sum and because of this, it’s more forgiving if you have accidentally over-stir-fried the dish (especially I need to run back and forth from the kitchen to the living room to make sure I haven’t miss the show).
Anyway, I’ve got to run to catch another show now. Can you believe it, it will be Thursday tomorrow! 2 more days to weekends. Woohoo!
Noodles with Chinese Kale & Shitake Mushrooms
Serves 3 people
350g fresh hokkein noodles (blanch as per packet instructions)
7 -8 fresh shitake mushrooms, sliced
2 shallots, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4-5 stalks of asian kale
2 tbsps sweet soy sauce / ketjap manis
2-3 tbsps oyster sauce (to taste)
1. Saute sliced shallots in 3 tbsps of oil until golden brown (see photo above). Remove the fried shallots and spread them out on a flat plate. Leave the remaining shallots-infused oil in the pan/wok.
2. Heat up the oil and saute the mushrooms until aromatic.
3. Add garlic and saute further until aromatic.
4. Add kale and 2 tbsps of water. Cook until the vegetables become slightly soften.
5. Add noodles, sweet soy sauce and oyster sauce and mix to combine all the ingredients. If the noodles start to stick at the bottom of the pan/wok, add a little water. Cook for 3-5 minutes.
6. Sprinkle fried shallots over the noodles just before serving. You can garnish the noodles with some fresh spring onions and chilles. It also goes well with sambal.