Thursday, April 16, 2009

Chow noodles and Pepper Shrimp... Part 1

I'll make my first post a double since I've been procrastinating somewhat. I'm making Chow Noodles and Pepper Shrimp. Fairly simple dishes that can be adapted and personalized easily. The methods and spices I use here are the basics of most Chinese stir fried cuisine... well local Chinese anyway. So i'll put the exact amounts so we can get familiar. a bad ounce could spoil your whole dish. On the upside, once you're comfortable with them, you could easily adapt them to similar dishes.

Chow noodles- Ingredients
pack of egg noodles

julienned christophene, cabbage and sweet pepper, or whatever you could get your hands on from the fridge at the time.

1 tsp of equal amounts of crushed ginger and garlic combined
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp five spice powder

1/4 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp vetsin. Same as the amount in a typical pack of corn curls FYI

Sesame oil
2 tbsp good quality rice wine. Try not to drink any until after.

2 tbsp dark soy sauce

hold on to some chopped chive to use as garnish

To get it started, add the egg noodles to boiling water flavoured with a teaspoon of 5-spice powder and salt to taste . Cook until al dente. (derived from the latin phrase "soft to the dentures")

Next, turn off your smoke alarm and heat a tablespoon of cooking oil in a wok until it begins to smoke. throw in the ginger and garlic and stir fry quickly until it turns just slightly brown.

Add the vegetables, salt, 1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder and rice wine and stir fry that mix for about 3-5 minutes over high heat.

Dump the cooked noodles into the stir fried vegetables, adding the white pepper, vetsin, sugar and soy sauce. Stir fry for a couple minutes over medium heat until the soy sauce is properly distributed.

Now it's time to turn off the stove, dramatically add a few dashes of sesame oil so that any onlooker thinks you're a big time chef, stir for a bit and remove your creation from the wok. Garnish with the chopped chive for the finishing touch.

Chow Noodles and Pepper Shrimp... Part 2



1lb fresh shrimps, not frozen. Large, deveined, but with shells intact.
Hot pepper to your liking- avoid peppersauce

2 cups mixed vegetable of your choice, I used water chestnuts, onions and sweet pepper here. Pinapple works well.
tsp of equal amounts of crushed ginger and garlic combined

1/2 tsp salt

tsp sugar

1/4 tsp five spice powder

1/4 tsp white pepper

2 tbsp good quality rice wine
1/2 cup tomato paste - not ketchup

Sesame oil
1/4 tsp vetsin
chopped chive as garnish

Season shrimp with salt, 5-spice powder, hot pepper, white pepper and vetsin.
Marinate for an hour or 2.

Heat 1/2 cup cooking oil in your trusty wok until smoking. Throw in shrimp and the ginger and garlic into the wok. Cook shrimp over high heat for a couple minutes on each side.

Remove Cooked shrimp from the wok.

Remove most of the oil from the wok and add vegetables, salt, sugar, a dash of white pepper, and rice wine. Stir fry for 2- 3 minutes.

Add tomato paste and 1/2 cup water, bring to a simmer.

Place the shrimp back into the wok and simmer for a few minutes. Turn off heat and add a few dashes of sesame oil.

Remove from Wok, garnish with chopped chive. Done.

Serve over a bed of Chow noodles or next to it as the case may be.

Monday, April 13, 2009

a souper holiday

easter long weekend... what to do? call dawi.

dawi: hello.
me: yaw... wuh scene?
dawi: no scene.
me: you call me dis mornin?
dawi: yeah... wham to you?
me: was sleepin nah. long weekend yuh know.
dawi: steups... how you go be sleepin? steups. anyway, wuh we go do?
me: we could cook someting.
dawi: aight. what?
me: a soup?
dawi: yeah. dat soundin like a plan.
me: well come een.
dawi: yeah. aight. bless.

dawi makes a wicked corn soup, and within the context of a small lime, it hits the spot. quite fulling, tasty and relatively inexpensive in the realm of feeding multiple people.

his method begins with chopping up stuff to make a base. pumpkin...




then to shake some flavour into it, he adds some black pepper...


and some of the good ol' all purpose seasoning.

then it's time for the key ingredient... split peas.

add some water, a little golden ray cooking butter and let all that bubble like... well... like soup.

notice there's no pressure cooker on hand. the idea is to cook this down a bit, then put it in a blender.

the thick end result looks like this, and goes into a big pot on the bubble. now we're really cooking. time to stretch it out with a little more water and add some more ingredients.

crunchy things like carrots...

flavour makers like maggie vegetable cubes...

and maggie garlic onion cubes.

he doesn't usually add coconut milk to it, but this time was special... i guess.

he mixed that in.

then gave it a taste to make sure everything was up to scratch.

it was, so in went more ingredients. corn...


now all this time, the dumpling dough was laying low in the cut, getting ready to make a grand entry. it's the usual dumpling scene: a little white flour, some salt, some water... done.

it was that time now, so he rolled it out between his palms...

then cut them into little pieces

splashing is optional, but it looks cool.

next, let it bubble. they say watch pot doh cook, so he covered it down and let it simmer on a low fire with a few check ups for floating dumplings. they float up when they're done.

soon after, it was finished. and we had disposable cups to give it the authentic "side-of-de-road-corn-soup finish". well, more so because disposable cups mean less things to wash up after the enjoyment.

niceness on the holiday.

put yuh own twist to it. a lil meat if you'd like. or maybe things that we forgot to buy like shadon beni, thyme and green seasonings like that. make it your own. there's a lot to try.

leh we bubble!