Thursday, October 19, 2006

Chinese noodles

Following the packet instructions on Chinese noodles usually leaves you with a sticky clump.

You're told to drop the noodles -- which come in rectangular blocks -- into boiling water, turn off the heat, leave them for five minutes or so, drain them, rinse them in cold water, and add them to your stir-fry to warm through. The first problem with this method is that the inert hot water does not expel much starch. The second problem is that, no matter how thoroughly you think you've rinsed them, the noodles stick together as they cool in the colander.

A Chinese brand on sale in a local store gave me a clue about how to solve this problem. The instructions tell you to remove the noodles from the heat "for a bathing". It may mean rinsing; but I -- having boiled the noodles until the blocks broke up -- drained them and immersed them in a pan of cold water. Then I separated the strands by hand, and left them in their bath.

For lunch yesterday, I fried two small courgettes, cut into batons, in sunflower oil. I added a little garlic and rice vinegar, then the noodles (drained again -- I used two rectangles, weighing 100 g in total) with some soy sauce, fish sauce (nam pla), chilli sauce, and a dash of sesame oil. All those sauces are salty: I should have used just a few drops of soy and fish sauce. Nevertheless, as the instructions promised, "It is a dish of delicious noodle."


NW said...

This is food porn. Yum yum. The strange thing about Chinese food is that it takes about a second to cook and a week to prepare. Don't you think every packet of noodles should be sold with a ancient Chinese grandma to do the work?

Will you blog on other matters beside food? That would be fun.

Susan Hill said...

just go to the Jade Garden or wherever.. they do it for you.

tallybee said...

where do you buy the "dish of delicious noodle" noodles?? the spinach ones are just heaven and I can't find them anywhere :(

Nicholas Clee said...

The stores where I live (in Finsbury Park) have a good range of exotic foodstuffs. I use them. Sorry: this advice is probably not much help to you.