Monday, 5 April 2010

Clean Fridge Chowmein

The simplest and most delicious chowmein evurrr! You can add nearly anything you like, and take out all the meat and seafood and make it vegetarian.Why, oh why didn't I think of this earlier?

Prawns/shrimps--shelled, tailed, headed.
Thai, or any kind of, chillie pepper.
Red onions.
Carrots (optional)
Cauliflower (optional)--cut
Bok choi (optional but nice).
Extra virgin olive oil (or of oil choice).
Salt, pepper, sugar.
Soy sauce.

And frankly, any other kind of veggie (although I'd prefer to keep things like zucchinis and sweet potatoes and things out :D) and/or meat (preferably leans--chicken and pork, sliced thin and seasoned at least with salt, pepper and a little crushed garlic).


Haha. It's hilarious how pompous 'process' sounds, given how it actually goes. So, on the assumption that everyone else is *also* blessed with a full cast-iron set in the kitchen, pour about two tablespoons--yes, that's right--of extra virgin olive oil in one and heat till really hot. Turn off the flame. Wait a minute or so till the oil cools down to non-charring temps (a minute should do it, especially if you twirl it around the pot). I don't know why this is important, but the food always tastes better when I do this.

Note: if using meat, fry them for about a minute and a half on high before starting the process below.
Toss in chopped chillies. Stir for half a minute (or till chillies start changing colour and you start sneezing). Have the exhaust fan on, by the way. Your nose will thank you. Now add chopped mushrooms--and I do mean chopped--julienned carrots, and the tiniest florets you can tear the cauliflower into. Turn up the flame to medium and stir well till the veggies change colour. Add onions. Add unseasoned prawns and give the pot a quick few stirs before adding salt, ground pepper and a dash of sugar. Wait till the prawns change colour to slightly reddish pink. Give a final turn to veggies and prawns (and meat).

Now add the boiled and drained noodles (cook them a minute beyond al dente) in batches. Stir the first batch in well till the noodles are well oiled and mixed with the veggies and things. Now add subsequent batches, stirring constantly. Add a little more oil if the pan starts steaming. Taste for salt/sugar. Feel free to add more pepper if it isn't hot enough. After arm-aching frying for between five to seven minutes (depending on stove strength), take off and serve with bits of a well-done scrambled egg. It does't look pretty by the time it's ready to eat, but by gods, it's delicious!

Caveat and Damage Control: sometimes the chillies might be hotter than you expected. The pretty little Thai firecrackers I bought burned my mouth... and eyes, and lips, and under my fingernails. They were hot beyond my wildest expectations, and I added THREE for one little ball of noodles. So to make it edible, I boiled two more little balls of dried noodles, and as a precaution, stir-fried them with red onions and tomatoes (withholding all but a leetle bit of the sloppy, wet, seed bit and adding it after the noodles had been fried), and then added the ueber-hot previous batch to this, cooking it together on low with a lid for about five minutes. I've never added tomatoes in a stir-fry before, but it's yum. I highly recommend it.

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