Thursday, September 30, 2010
I blame Celeste. I was noodling along, quite happy with my cock sauce (aka Sriracha), when I read her delicious recipe for her mum's Mamak-style noodles. At the end she had a picture of an interesting jar, under which she mentioned, quite glibly - "Serve with a side of sambal if wanted." I filed the name on the jar - Tean's Gourmet Crispy Prawn Chilli - somewhere in my brain and told myself I should buy it next time I saw it. I promptly forgot and months went past. One day I happened upon it in D&K in Footscray, remembered, and bought it.
Crispy Prawn Chilli, where have you been my whole life? Tiny, crunchy nuggets of fried garlic, chilli pieces, and pleasantly, just ever-so-slightly pongy prawns, bound together by radioactive red oil. Oh, garlicky, spicy, crunchy seafood heaven!
I want to share my recipe (if you can even call it that) for fried noodles that is quick, easy, kid-friendly, but also delicious for adults, on its own or with a big turbo-charged spoonful of Crispy Prawn Chilli love on the side.
You need some noodles, either fresh or dried. If using dried, they should be egg noodles. Cook til al dente and drain. If fresh, soak in boiling water for a minute before rinsing very well to get rid of the soapy taste from the alkaline water used to make them (see here).
Finely chop garlic and chop up whatever vegetables you have. If you do not have children snapping at your heels, I recommend finely julienning the vegies. Soak some Chinese mushrooms in boiling water for 20-30 minutes, cut off the stems, and slice them up too. I recently learned the best are the ones with pale tops, crisscrossed with darker brown (i.e. not the ones I have in this photo!)
Heat a wok or frying pan to very hot before adding a generous amount of oil. Allow to heat and throw in chopped garlic. Add vegies. Fry for 3-4 minutes. Add noodles.
Add a couple of shakes each of light soy sauce and fish sauce as well as about 1/2 a tablespoon of white sugar. Toss, toss, and toss for a few more minutes until noodles are nicely coated with sauce, vegies are cooked, and everything tastes yummy.
Anoint with a big dollop of crispy prawn crack before inhaling. Oh, so good.
Now, having tasted this forbidden fruit, innocent dishes such as potato & leek soup or cauliflower cheese seem pale and benign in comparison. While the rest of the family is content with cracked pepper, I find myself hunched over the kitchen bench, surreptitiously stirring spoonfuls of Crispy Prawn Chilli into my dinner. Baked beans, spaghetti bolognese, pumpkin soup - this superb sambal complements them all!
Incidentally, the laksa paste which comes in a pouch and is also made by Tean's Gourmet is divine (though you must use chicken stock to make it up, not water as the back indicates). I have not tried adding the sambal to Tean's laksa yet, as I fear my head will explode.
Now, if you will excuse me, I am off to indulge in my latest guilty snack - cheese and Crispy Prawn Chilli on toast.