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The BloggerAid Cookbook

Fried Bee Hoon or Rice Noodles

One of the things I missed while living in France is my mom's home cooked food. Although I managed to recreate some of her dishes like assam fish, chili prawns, white peppered pork slices etc, I never quite managed to get her Fried Bee Hoon right. Whenever I craved for fried bee hoon, I would hint to hubby 'love, how about I cook fried bee hoon today?' His reply usually was 'erhm...I prefer your Char Kway Teow'. Usually when I pressed him further for an answer why he always avoid my fried bee hoon, he would give elusive answers... However one day I cornered him and finally got the cold hard truth: my bee hoon doesn't taste good. *sigh* So now that I'm in Singapore, I asked my mom to show me her secret in cooking such delicious fried bee hoon.:-)

Bee Hoon (as known in Singapore, Malaysia & Indonesia) are rice vermicelli or thin noodles made from rice. They should not be confused with cellophane noodles, which is another type of vermicelli. Fried bee hoon is another favourite local home dish although one can find this too in the local food court. This dish is a meal by itself and it consists of vegetables, meat and/or seafood. It's basically a bit like Fried Rice in the sense that it is a flexible dish which can accommodate many ingredients that happen to be arround your kitchen. Best of all, it is easy to dish it up (or it's supposed to, anyway...). On a lazy Saturday or Sunday, my mom usually cooks a big pot of Fried Bee Hoon for lunch and just leave it on the table. We help ourselves to it whenever we want - be it for lunch, after lunch, tea time hunger or just eating it out of gluttony.;-)

Fried Bee Hoon
Ingredients

Serves : 6

  • 1 packet Bee Hoon
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • cabbage (shredded into bite size)
  • a few stalks of kai lan (separate leaves & stalks)
  • bean sprouts
  • some prawns (peel & devein)
  • slices of fresh red chili (optional)
  • oil
  • salt
  • light soya sauce
  • water
Fried Bee HoonFried Bee Hoon
Directions
  1. Soak the dry bee boon until it is soft (flexible). Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat up a bit of oil and pan fried the bee hoon till it is a bit brown. Set aside.
  3. Using the same wok, heat up some oil and stir fry minced garlic till slightly brown.
  4. Add in the vegetable stalks first, stir fry it for a minute or two before stirring in the rest of the vegetables and bean sprouts. When the vegetables is about cooked, add in the prawns.
  5. Season it with salt and light soya sauce. Stir fry it till they are cooked. Scoop it out and set it aside.
  6. With the same wok, put in the bee hoon and add some water (enough water to cook it).
  7. Once the bee hoon is cooked (water is more or less absorbed), add in the cooked vegetables, prawns and chili slices. Stir to mix it well.
  8. Season it further with light soya sauce if the seasoning is not up to your taste.
  9. Serve hot and enjoy.
Fried Bee HoonFried Bee Hoon
The Verdict

I like the combination of the flavour of the fried bee hoon together with the vegetables and prawns. The bean sprouts give it a nice crunchy touch. The bee hoon is not too dry nor too wet - just right. The success of the fried bee hoon relies on the right amount of garlic - too much, it overwhelms the taste and aroma of everything, but too little, it becomes a bit bland.

Notes

This dish is very versatile - can be cooked with cabbage, cauliflower, carrot, bell peppers or french beans etc, seafood like squid or prawns, or pork, beef or chicken or sausages chunks. Some also add shredded omelette on top.

Alternatively, you can cook the bee hoon in hot water until it is cooked and then drain. Add it to the cooked vegetables.

Fried Bee Hoon
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Char Kway Teow

Char Kway Teow (translated literally as "fried flat noodles" ), is a popular noodle dish in Singapore and Malaysia. The original version is stir-fried with pork fats and crisp croûtons of pork lard which gives its characteristic taste together with ingredients like cockles, egg, bean sprouts, slices of Chinese sausage and fish cake. Because of its high animal fat content, Char Kway Teow has a reputation of being an unhealthy dish. It began as a poor man's meal, but over time many more ingredients were added, making it one of the most loved dishes in Singapore.

This is my entry for Ruth's Presto Pasta Night. My recipe does away with the pork fat and is easier on the arteries.;-)

Char Kway Teow
Ingredients
  • 1 kg thick rice stick noodle or flat rice noodle
  • 4 tbsp garlic (chopped)
  • 350 g bean sprouts
  • 6 stalks spring onions or scallions (cut in big chunks)
  • 300 g Chinese mustard greens (chye sim)
  • 2 Chinese sausages (thinly sliced) - optional
  • 18 medium sized prawns (peeled & cooked)
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • 5 to 6 tbsp sweet dark soya sauce
  • 3 red chili (seeded and sliced) - optional
  • 300 g squid (cooked and sliced into 1/2 cm rings)
  • 8 oz vegetable oil
Char Kway Teow Ingredients
Directions
  1. Soak the noodles in warm water for about 10 minutes or until they are soft. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat the wok until very hot, then add 3/4 of the oil. Lower the heat slightly, fry garlic and chili until garlic is fragrant and golden brown.
  3. Add the thick rice stick noodle and Chinese mustard greens (chye sim), stirring constantly with 2 wooden spatulas for about two minutes.
  4. Push the ingredients to the side of the wok, forming a well in the centre. Add the rest of the oil and heat it. Add the beaten egg and fry it together with the noodles.
  5. Pour the fish sauce and sweet dark soya sauce over the noodles and fry all ingredients together for another one to two minutes before adding the Chinese sausages, cooked prawns, cooked squid, bean sprouts, and spring onions. Add a bit of water, toss to combine.
  6. Taste to see if the seasoning is to your liking. If not, add a bit more fish sauce and dark soya sauce.
  7. Serve hot.
Conclusion

This is the 2nd time I'm cooking this dish. The results this time around is better because I didn't overcooked my noodles. I just realized yesterday night that this dish is so simple and quick to fix. (why? once done, I only had two dishes to wash in the kitchen:-) )

We usually eat this as main course by itself. On the taste side, it is a sweet and salty dish at the same time, and is very typical of the colorful south-east Asian cuisine that is prevalent around Singapore.

Notes

The above quantities serve about 10 people.

If you find that your noodles are a bit under-cooked at the end, add a bit of water and stir the mixture. Let it cook for a minute or two and check the noodles again. If it is still not cooked to your liking, add a bit more water to it and stir it. However do not overcook the noodle or else it will break into small pieces when you stir it.

In preparation of this dish, I omitted the Chinese sausages and squid but added some pork slices and more prawns. You can add beef slices in place of pork if you wish. Or totally leave out the seafood if you are allergic to seafood. And if you find it troublesome or difficult to do the egg part, you can skip it too. The dish will still hold the wonderful flavour.

In some other recipe, fish sauce is replaced by oyster sauce and light soya sauce.

Char Kway Teow Fried flat rice noodle
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Thai Fried Noodles - Phad Thai

Phad Thai or Thai Fried Noodles has always been one of my favourites dishes - it satisfies my craving for Hor Fun which I can't get in Nantes. Although Phad Thai and Hor Fun are two very different dishes, they both use rice stick noodles and are fried. What I love about Phad Thai is that it's very savoury in taste and yet so simple to dish up.

The dish itself is a classic of thai food that you have most likely encountered if you have ever set foot in a thai restaurant. If not, well it's never too late to get hooked:-)

Phad Thai

(taken from Thai Cooking)

Preparation: 25 minutes
Cooking: 10-15 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 250 g thick rice stick noodles
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 3 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 2 tsp red chillies (chopped)
  • 150 g pork (thinly sliced)
  • 100 g raw prawns (peeled and chopped)
  • ½ bunch garlic chives (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp soft brown sugar
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 1 cup bean sprouts/mung beans
  • ¼ cup roasted peanuts (chopped)
  • sprigs of fresh coriander
Directions
  1. Soak the noodles in warm water for about 10 minutes or until they are soft. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a wok or large frying pan till oil is very hot, add garlic, chillies and pork and stir fry constantly for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add in the prawn meat and stir fry it about 3 minutes. Then add in garlic chives and noodles. Cover and cook for about a minute.
  4. Add fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and eggs to the wok. Toss well with tongs or two wooden spoons until heated through.
  5. Sprinkle with bean sprouts, coriander and peanuts. Serve with a slice of lime, crisp fried onion, soft brown sugar and chopped peanuts on the side.
Phad Thai ingredientsThai fried noodles phad thai
The Verdict

I had my parents-in-law over for dinner and they like it very much. My mom-in-law who is on a diet after gaining some weight from her recent holiday trips, couldn't resist the temptation of a 2nd helping. They were amazed that this dish, so simple in looks, is so full of flavour: a tint of acidity and sweetness at the same time coupled with the aroma of lime, fish sauce and peanut. Pierre loves it and went for his 2nd helping too:-)

To prepare this dish, your wok has to be kept very hot all the time. I usually stir and mix noodles with the ingredients in the wok before covering it and letting it cook for a minute. I also mix it a little bit after adding the sauces and sugar before pouring the beaten egg over the noodles. Oh, I also toss in the bean sprouts (I prefer bean sprouts al dente than raw) together with the sauces.

Note

You can use chicken, tofu and any other vegetable such as carrot or bell peppers strips or shreds of bok choy, etc.

Some recipes use both lime and tamarind juice. It is said that the tamarind adds some flavor and acidity, but if you don't have tamarind, you can use white vinegar instead.

Thai Fried Noodles Phad Thai
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