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Noodles From Around the World

Please find noodles recipes inspired by my childhood days and travels.
- Fried Vermicelli
- Laksa
- Japchae
- Soba noodles in seaweed soup
- Ipoh's chicken noodles soup a.k.a. Kai si hor fun
- "Mac and Cheese" Twist

Fried Bee Hoon (Rice Vermicelli)
I grew up eating this noodle dish for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can find them wrapped in banana leaves with sambal on the side in Malaysia. It's a versatile and simple dish to make. Enjoy!

Ingredients (Yields 4 servings):
8 oz dried rice vermicelli noodles, 4 whole squids, 15 frozen shrimp, 8 Chinese cabbage leaves, 1 tbs dark soy sauce (mushroom flavored preferred), 1 tbs oyster sauce, 1 onion- sliced, 3 garlic cloves-crushed , ground black pepper, chili powder, ginger powder and 1 tbs veg oil. Hot water

Procedures:
1. Slice squids to rings and cabbage leaves to bite size
2. Place noodles in a large bowl and add hot water until noodles are covered. Let the noodles rest for 15 mins
3. In a hot wok, heat oil. Add crushed garlic and sliced onion. Fry until onion turns translucent
4. Add squids and shrimp. Cook for 5 mins and then add cabbage. Stir until cabbage softens and seafood turns slightly pink
5. Blend in softened noodles gently without breaking the noodles too much (best use chopsticks or fork). Cook for 2 mins
6. Stir in sauces and spices to taste. Cover and stir occasionally until noodles are cooked through. If the noodles are drying up too fast, add some water or reduce heat
7. Serve with your favorite hot sauce or garnishes like sliced scallions or fried shallot slices


Tips:
-You can add your fav meat
-Salt is not needed since soy sauce is very salty 
-This can be a vegetarian friendly dish. Substitute seafood with tofu and vegetables

Soba Noodles in Seaweed Soup
I purchased the dried soba noodles and instant seaweed soup packs from Family Mart store in Tokyo and added some ingredients to fortify the soup.

Ingredients (Yields 1 serving):
100g dried soba noodles, 2 packs of Family Mart instant seaweed soup, 1 scallion stalk- sliced thinly, 2 toasted nori sheets- break to bite size pieces, 1.5 cup water, and 1 large egg. Sesame oil, salt, and pepper to taste

Procedures:
1. Fill a large saucepan half way with water. Bring it to a boil. Add dried soba noodles. Cook for 7 mins or until al dente
2. Drain noodles in strainer and run them under cold water. Toss a few dashes of sesame oil and loosen the noodles
3. In the same saucepan, add 1.5 cup water and bring it to a boil. Stir in instant seaweed soup and scallion
4. Break egg and drop content into the boiling soup. Stir and remove from heat after a couple of minutes
5. Add nori and noodles. Bring it back to a boil and season with salt and pepper
6. Serve with your fav condiment



Ipoh's Chicken Noodles Soup
This chicken noodles soup from Ipoh, also known as kai si hor fun, is unique and popular in Malaysia for its soft alkaline textured noodles and flavorful broth. Thanks to Sook-Kuan who shared this recipe. Note that this recipe employs the agak-agak method whereby the chef loosely followed exact measurements and tweaked the amounts accordingly depending on flavor, colors, etc- a common practice in Malaysian cooking ;)

Ingredients:
4 chicken carcass, quartered
2 whole chicken legs

1.5 lb shrimp, shelled and de-veined (Keep shells, especially heads)
A handful of chives, cut into 2 inch lengths
1 quarter inch piece of rock sugar
¼ cup whole white pepper seed
1 large shallot
10 pcs fish tofu, sliced (prefer Best brand from Malaysia)

Procedures:
1. Boil chicken carcass for about 15 mins with enough water to cover it. Skim whatever gray stuffs that comes out. Lower heat to simmer.
2. Place chicken thighs in the simmering broth for 20 mins. Remove and cool with ice. After it cools down, slice the meat and dump the bones back into the broth.
3. Cook shrimp in simmering broth till pink and curled. Remove and cool with ice
4. Place rock sugar and whole white pepper seeds and simmer for another 1.5 hours or more. Salt at the end to taste.
5. Blanch fish tofu and chives (separately) and set aside.
6. Salt sliced shallots and fry in shallow oil until it starts to brown. Scoop out the shallots and retain oil.
7. Use shallot oil (and add oil if necessary) to cook shrimp shells. Once shells turn pink and red oil emerges, discard shells and retain oil
8. To serve: Blanch noodles quickly with hot water (not too long as it will soften too much). Add red shrimp oil (to taste), chives, fish tofu, sliced chicken meat and fried shallots. Ladle chicken broth over it. Add red shrimp oil if needed till you get the right hor fun taste!

Photo credit: SK Loh

"Mac and Cheese" Twist
I'm happy to claim this innovation inspired by my many years living in the USA. It's a twist to the classic American Mac and Cheese but without the elbow pasta and cheese. Very simple to make yet delicious.

Ingredients:
1 can of cream of mushroom soup, 0.5 lbs Spätzle (German egg noodles), milk, ground black pepper, and paprika

Procedures:
1. Prepare Spätzle according to the packaging directions. Drain the noodles
2. In a separate pot, prepare cream of mushroom soup according to the directions on the can. Stir in the spices
3. Mix the noodles in the soup while it is hot. Serve with fresh herbs

Tip: I used the dried Spätzle from Aldi.


Laksa (Malaysian Curry Noodles)
This is one of my fav noodles- it's rich, creamy and versatile.

Ingredients (Yields 4 servings):
1 packet of yellow egg noodles- rinsed, 4 shallots, 3 garlic cloves, 0.5 tbs chili powder, 1 bottle of Laksa paste (~16oz), 4 cups of water, 1 can of coconut milk (~14oz) ,1 pack of fried tofu puffs, 3 cabbage leaves, 2 hard boiled eggs- halves, a handful of bean sprouts, 1 pack of fish balls and pepper to taste

Procedures:
1. Crush shallots and garlic. Cut cabbage leaves to bite sizes and tofu puffs to halves
2. Heat a pot with oil over medium heat. Add crushed shallots and garlic. Stir in chili powder. Fry until shallots turn translucent
3. Add cabbage and fish balls for 2 mins. Then add water, Laksa paste and coconut milk. Stir and bring it to a boil
4. Lower the heat and let the soup simmer for 5 mins 
5. Add tofu puffs, eggs, noodles and pepper to taste. Increase the heat, stir and let it continue to boil for another 5 mins or until the noodles are cooked through and tofu puffs softened
6. Stir in bean sprouts and taste, ensuring the flavors blend together
7. Serve in large individual servings bowls. Garnish with more bean sprouts, chili slices and fried shallots


Tips:
-You can cook the noodles separately by following the instructions in the package. Serve with the cooked noodles in the bowls before ladling the soup over it
-Add your fav meats, seafood and vegs

Japchae 
Japchae is a popular Korean stir fried sweet potato noodles with vegetables and sliced beef. My recipe below is a slight twist to the dish with heap loads of veggies sans beef. Enjoy!

Ingredients (Yields 6 to 8 servings):
1 lbs dried Korean sweet potato noodles (dangmyeon), 6 carrots, half an onion, 2 inch fresh ginger knob,  6 scallion stalks, 6 dried shiitake mushroom, 1 tbs olive oil, and freshly ground pepper to taste
Sauce: 2/3 cups soy sauce, 6 garlic cloves, 1 tbs Korean chili powder (gochugaru), 2 tbs sesame oil, and 2 tbs brown sugar 
Optional garnishes: toasted sesame seeds, sliced scallion, sesame oil, sliced kimchi

Procedures:
1. Boil a full kettle of water (more than 5 cups). Rinse dried shiitake mushroom and place them in a small bowl. Place dangmyeon noodles in a large metal or ceramic bowl. Pour hot water on the mushroom and the rest over the noodles until they are covered. Set them aside
2. For the sauce, mince garlic and place it in a bowl. Mix the garlic with soy sauce, brown sugar, gochugaru, and sesame oil until sugar is completely dissolved
3. Slice ginger  and onion thinly. Cut scallion in a bias and separate the whites from the green. Squeeze mushroom and slice them thinly. Save the soaking mushroom water
4. Using a peeler, slice carrots to thin strips
5. Make sure noodles are softened. Drain and rinse under cold water for a few seconds.
6. In a large frying pan over medium heat, add olive oil, ginger, onion, mushroom and the white parts of the scallions. Fry until the onion is translucent. Add carrots and 1/3 of the sauce. Stir fry for 2 to 5 minutes until the carrots soften. Remove vegetables to a bowl (you can reuse the bowl you soak the noodles in)
7. In the same frying pan over medium heat, add the noodles and the rest of the sauce. Gently toss the noodles so that the sauce coats the noodles evenly. Heat the noodles through- if they are too dry, add the soaking mushroom water a little at a time
8. Add the vegetables into the pan and gently toss together
9. Serve japchae warm with or without the garnishes. Enjoy!



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