Thursday, August 19, 2010

A mi fen (rice noodle) stir fry that would make chefs proud

This had originally started out as a post with some 20+ photographs, and as I type, they are still attached to this post. But, I've decided, they must go. I haven't the stamina to complete such a lengthy post, and I don't think you'd want to follow such a post all the way to its end.

Perhaps less than photographs will suffice.


Mi Fen (Rice Noodle) Stir Fry

This is easily the best, hands down, mi fen stir fry I have ever made. This is something I would proudly create for others, chefs even. Seriously, it's that good. But, this is not one of those super quick or easy things to make. And, I apologize, I have no measurements to share for this recipe, not because I have secrets I desire to keep clandestine, but I functioned in a normal mode of operation for me (cooking by taste and smell, with no exact measurements in mind and none holding me back).

Four "things" were cooked separately, in preparation for this dish. This time around, I am listing the ingredients and directions unconventionally, with each component or thing separately cooked in preparation for the stir fry. Ready? The ingredients will be listed by number, with instructions following.

Component #1
1. 1/2 red onion.
2. a little bit of olive oil.

Peel and cut the onion thinly, then into thirds. In a large pan (I use the same pan to cook all the components, without washing the pan from cooking one component to another; this keeps the flavor of what was previously cooked), on low medium heat using just a bit of olive oil, cook the onion until it's transparent. Then set aside, leaving behind any remaining oil and juice residue from the onion.

Component #2
3. cabbage - which I got garden fresh from a friend.
4. chicken broth.
5. water.
6. garlic.
7. sea salt.
8. oyster sauce.

Add the garlic to the pan. Still on medium heat, once the garlic has been sizzling a bit, add the cabbage that has been rinsed and cut very finely. I added water and chicken broth to prevent the cabbage from getting too dry and sticking to the pan. Place the lid on the pan. Stir occasionally. I also added sea salt and oyster sauce. Cook until fairly tender (which was more than a few minutes for me). Once done, set aside. I kept a fair amount of the juice with the vegetable (instead of keeping all the juice/soup in the pan).

Component #3

9. 3 eggs.
10. 3 tomatoes - fresh from my dad's garden - diced.
11. chicken broth.
12. sea salt.
13. soy sauce.
14. olive oil.
15. garlic - diced.

Add a tad bit more olive oil into the pan, with some garlic cut into small pieces and the white parts of 2 green onions cut finely. Turn the stove on low medium heat. Once the garlic and green onions have been sizzling for a bit, add three beaten eggs (with a little bit of chicken broth added at the end of the egg beating phase) to the pan. When the eggs are nearly well cooked add in the diced tomatoes. Cover for a minute or two. Add soy sauce and sea salt; not too much is needed.

Before Component #3 is cooked. the rice noodles need to be soaked in hot water, like so:

Component #4
16. rice noodles - 1 package.
17. green onions - the white parts - cut finely.
18. green onions - the green parts - cut finely.
19. water.
20. chicken broth.

Mix the following ingredients in a bowl (for a sauce):
21. sesame oil.
22. aged rice vinegar.
23. soy sauce.
24. cane sugar.
25. sea salt.
26. barbecue sauce - b/w 1 tsp & 1 tbs - CAUTION: this is not what we normally think of as barbecue sauce. I didn't keep the original can, but this is what the stuff looks like:

In the same pan, which should be empty except for some residual oil, broth, and perhaps a few pieces of this and that. Place the rice noodles in the pan, and add a couple of cups (?) of a combination of water and chicken broth, along with the whites of the green onions. Place the lid on the pan and let simmer, stirring occasionally. After the noodles are firm, but tender enough to chew (eat), add the sauce mixture as well as the previous three components.

Stir well and serve.

Serve with chopsticks, which is what my 2 yr old and 3 yr old prefer trying, especially when they see me eating with chopsticks.

Or without (chopsticks).


Either way, it was huge hit with the husband and the children.

Each mouthful is full of complex, delightful flavors; I kid you not. I'll be making this in the future. No hesitation (except it takes me awhile to make this).

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