Friday, 6 August 2010

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Simple, Quick & Easy Chinese Noodle Soup/Nem Kinesisk Nudelsuppe/家常便饭面条汤[jiā cháng biàn fàn miàn tiáo tāng]




Serves 2 (for lunch for example)

Preparation & Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
- A handful of Chinese noodles (200g fresh noodles or 75g dried noodles)
- 100-150g of any meat (chicken breast/fillet or pork, here I use 3 pork ribs)
- Two handfuls of green vegetables (I use baby spinach and Chinese cabbage (kinakål) here)
- 1/3 to 1/2 stalk leek chopped (white portion)
- 800ml water

Seasoning
- Dash of salt and pepper to taste
- Drops of soya sauce to taste
- 1 tsp oyster sauce (optional)
- 1 tsp of Chinese chilli oil (optional if you like it spicy)
- Chopped spring onions or fresh chilli for garnish (optional)

Directions:
1. In 2 separate pots, boil some water for the noodles (about 300ml) and some water for the soup (about 500ml).

2. Chop and prepare your ingredients.

3. When the water for the noodles boil, throw in noodles and let it boil for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside in a soup bowl.

4. When the water for the soup boils, add in the meat and boil until it is almost cooked (about 3-5 minutes depending on the type of meat you use). Then add in the vegetables. The vegetables cook really fast - probably a minute.

5. Add salt, pepper, soya sauce, Chinese osyter sauce and Chinese chilli oil (if you like it spicy) into the soup to taste.

6. Scope the soup into the soup bowl with noodles. Sprinkle with some spring onions or fresh chilli (optional).

Tips:
1. I usually save the water from the vegetables I blanch, steam or cook, when I prepare baby food for J. This water is full of nutrients and I call it the "vegetable stock" water. I will "re-cycle" the "vegetable stock" water when I make soup the next day, etc. In this way, I save water and get the maximum water from vegetables. For this season, we are cooking regularly cobs of sweet corns, and the "corn stock" water is very sweet. I also "re-cycle" it to make soup. Initially, I tend to forget, but after sometimes it becomes part of me. If you have a baby or a toddler and are making your own baby food like I do, you may like to do the same :-)

2. You can also eat your noodles "dry" - i.e. eat your noodles separately and not in the soup. In Singapore, it is called "ta-mee". After the noodles is cooked. Dish it out on a plate with 1 TBS of Chinese sesame oil, 1 tsp of oyster sauce and 1 tsp of Chinese chilli oil (optional). Mix well and serve a bowl of the soup on the side (see picture 2).

3. You can also just enjoy this soup without noodles.

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Additional Information:
Basically, you need 3 basic ingredients of your choicefor your noodle soup - noodles, vegetables and meat, depending on what you have in your fridge.

The water in the soup is very filling and there is not much oil use in this dish - perhaps explaining why most most Chinese are slimmer-built than most Cacausians. If you want to lose weight, this would probably be an ideal dish.

Here I use my own home-made mee-pok noodles from the freezer. You can use any store-bought Chinese noodles you fancy. If you wish to know how to make your own noodles, check out this link:

http://momlearnings.blogspot.com/2010/07/homemade-singaporean-chinese-mee-pok_22.html

I also added some sliced Chinese dried mushrooms since I have it in stock in the fridge.

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