Simple Chinese noodles
Traditional Chinese noodles
If you have been reading this blog, you certainly won’t be too surprised by my ‘passion’ towards noodles. :)))) For example, last night, I was talking to my husband about our forthcoming traveling plans; if we are staying in an apartment or apartment hotel, where we can cook our own food, I will take some noodles with us to cook. … Ha… yes, that really shows how much I love noodles.
Noodles in the Supermarkets
I know I have already posted a couple of homemade noodle recipes, but we cannot always really have hand-made noodles every time we want to have noodles, after all, it takes some effort. An alternative is to buy the noodles from the supermarket and cook them straight away.
These ‘ready-to-cook’ noodles are really not a bad idea if you just want a quick fix noodle dish. They are made from fresh flour, and turned into ‘dried’ form. I was talking to my mother-in-law once about making noodles at home; she told me that in the old days in Spain, women used to make similar ‘ready-to-cook’ ‘Spaghettis’ at home, her mother would make quite a bit, and ‘sun dry’ them in the yard, so every time she could just use these homemade ones. I would love to try those noodles, but I guess the weather here is not good for drying them up, … and I am lazy. :)) So I just go to the supermarkets.
Nowadays, many oriental supermarkets offer a wide range of noodles; this includes noodles of different shapes — wide, thick, thin…; or different flavor –green tea flavor, spinach flavor…; or made from different kinds of flour — wheat, rice flour…
Northeast Chinese noodles are slightly different to Cantonese noodles, as they are rather plain. For example, when I grew up, the most popular ones in northeast China were the basic ones made with plain flour, without eggs; they came in two shapes: wide and slim ones (the latter one has a particular name called ‘Long Xu Mian’, as it is slim like the beard of dragons. :))
In northeast, the dry noodles in a package are called ‘Gua Mian’, as in ‘hanging noodles’. It is said that, in the past, people would hang the noodles on the bamboo stick to let them dry. The noodles after cooking are called ‘Mian tiao’, as ‘flour strips’, which we are more familiar with.
This noodle recipe follows the most basic method of cooking the most basic noodles (I used the slim ones, but not as slim as ‘Long Xu Mian’. :)) — A method that my parents have been using for years, and my grandparents used to cook throughout their entire lives. It is quick, easy, and healthy.
This simple noodle recipe is very good for a quick noodle treat, and also very good for comforting stomach, or when you have cold (for example), lost taste for food, it can help you sweat a little bit to cool down the body temperature. :) It can be a good easy meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Traditionally, the dish consists of just a bowl of plain noodles, but it is very common to put an egg in the wok, (very similar to poached eggs), as well as any green leaves of your choice.
(for two people)
Plain ‘ready-to-cook’ slim noodles (normally 120gm for one portion for ladies, 200gm for guys)
Dried Chinese noodles
lettuce, eggs, oil, ground sichuan pepper, spring onion, salt, sesame oil, MSG/mushroom/Chicken/vegetable essence (optional)
Chop half of spring onion into small pieces, and roughly chop some lettuce leaves.
1) In a heated wok, pour in around 2 -3 tablespoons of oil.
Stir frying spring onion
2) When oil is hot enough, add in chopped spring onion, and 1/2 teaspoon of ground sichuan pepper.
3) When the smell of spring onion and sichuan pepper rises up, add in 3 soup bowls of water. (cold or boiled water are both good.)
Spring onion and sichuan pepper
Boiling the noodles
4) Bring the water to boiling, add in the noodles, stir well to prevent them from sticking together.
5) When the ‘soup’ in the wok is boiling again, crack one egg directly into the soup, Do Not stir until the egg is forming slightly harder.
Adding an egg
6) Add in 1 teaspoon of salt, 2 tablespoon of light soy sauce.
7) When the noodles is getting softening, add in chopped lettuce leaves.
Adding salad leaves
Noodles, egg and salad leaves
8) When the noodles is completely done, add in 2/3 teaspoon of MSG/mushroom/Chicken/vegetable essence (optional), turn off the fire, add in a few drops of sesame oil.
This basic noodle recipe is very easy and quick. The only thing that you need to pay attention to is not to overcook the noodles, otherwise they could get too soft; also, make sure that you eat them as quickly as you can before they all stick together.