Tonight's dinner was a little trip down memory lane for Dh and I. When we were going out we used to eat at a local little Asian restaurant fairly often. It was nothing to write home about, and a peek into the kitchen would have been a tad off-putting for the germ-o-phobes amongst us (I am not one - six years in a third world country cures one of these things if ever they had an issue). The food, however, was delicious, cheap and plentiful. It was a mix of Chinese and Malaysian and the owner of the restaurant knew what we loved and could pretty much order for us. Really, ordering our meal was more about confirming that nothing had changed than actually placing an order. Dh always ordered Char Kway Teow. He still does when it is available. I can't remember what I would order.
One of the dishes served at that restaurant, and one I adored was Sar Hor Fun. It is a fried flat rice noodle dish with a mixture of meat and seafood with a soupy kind of sauce over the whole thing. It was completely delicious and tasty and not spicy. A perfect counterbalance to the Char Kway Teow, which is quite spicy.
Armed with fresh rice noodles and a package of pork balls from our trip to the Asian grocery last Monday this meal popped into my head this afternoon. Thanks to the internet recipes for such things are not too difficult to find and I chose my recipe based on the pictures that went with it. This one looked exactly as I recalled it should look and so with a quick trip to Safeway to pick up the three things I needed I set about recreating a meal of my memories.
It was perfect. I sat there, eating my dinner, saying "Oh, this is perfect - as good as any I've ever had in a restaurant". I kid you not, it was that good! How often do you try to make some recipe that you've had in a Chinese restaurant and been disappointed that you can't make it taste the same? I know, right? Well, this recipe was everything I desired and remembered. So good! Dh agreed it was really good. Our kids wondered what was going on....what is this slop? what are you making us eat? what is this odd thing in here? I don't think they'd ever had pork balls.
This recipe was very simple and not too time consuming at all. A few little tips that might help you out:
- I soaked the rice noodles in boiling water for about five minutes, drained them and then separated them afterwards. Because much of the oil had been washed away I added a little back when I mixed them with the soy sauces.
- My packet of rice noodles was 1kg instead of 300g. I used the whole pack and tripled everything else except the stock...that was 500ml plus a large splash of water from the kettle. It was perfect for our family of five adult eaters, with a little leftover for someone's lunch tomorrow.
- I fried the noodles then removed them from the pan. Then I did the garlic, prawns and pork balls. I added the stock and sauce to this, thickened with cornflour and then added three whole eggs as per the instructions. Then I added the noodles back in. It looks sloppy and messy. Don't be put off!
- I wasn't able to get squid, so I had 300g of green prawns and the pack of pork balls that I had sliced. I think something seafood and something either pork or chicken will work. This part of the recipe doesn't have to be prescriptive.
- I splurged on good quality organic chicken stock. It was worth it, unless you happen to have some on hand.
Go here for the recipe. Go on...you'll love it!