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Braised Ee Fu Noodles by The Little Teochew

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

I've been blogging for more than 2 years now, shared 263 recipes and 92 restaurant reviews from the Wild Boar. All this time, it's all about "I and me, we and us", now it's about time for some "yous". So, every now and then, some of my favourite bloggers will be appearing here as Guests on the blog. For now, it's my pleasure to introduce to you my very first guest writer, Ju! Ju is based in Singapore, started cooking when she got her first child and now she's a mother of 3 (still hard to believe) and the author of The Little Teochew! What is a Teochew? Do hop over to her blog to find out all about this fab little Teochew, for more Asian and other home cooking recipes and to gawk at all her drool-worthy pictures. Please welcome Ju to Pig Pig's Corner as she shares her braised ee fu noodles recipe with us! ahh....a dish which reminds me of home...

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I still remember when I first started blogging - my photos were laughable and my readership comprised a grand total of 3 people (I, Me and Myself). Pig Pig's Corner was one of the few established bloggers who kindly cast a glance my way, and for that, I will always be grateful. Fast forward 16 months later, and today, I am doing a guest post for them. You can imagine how honoured I feel. Thank you, Ann and Jeff, for this wonderful opportunity. :)

Now, the dish. If you do a quick scour of Pig Pig's Corner, you will see an impressive repertoire of dishes. As I jokingly asked Ann, "What have you NOT cooked?" Eventually, I figured less is more, and decided on a very simple dish - Braised Ee Fu Noodles (伊府面) - something everyone can cook.

I am sure you must have heard of this dish, even if you have never eaten it. It is on the menu of any Chinese restaurant worth its salt, and never fails to appear at wedding banquets.

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Of course, you don't need special occasions to make this. It is such a quick and simple dish, you can whip it up any time you feel like having noodles.

Recipe
Braising sauce (mix altogether)
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce (can use vegetarian mushroom sauce to make this dish vegetarian)
  • 1/4 tsp dark sauce for colour
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Hua Tiao Wine (optional but it makes a difference)
  • Dash of white pepper (optional)
  • 1 cup water

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Mushrooms (any variety work well)
  • If you are using dried mushrooms, soak them in lukewarm sugar solution (mix 1/2 cup warm water + 1 tsp sugar). When they have plumped up, remove the stalks and slice the caps into slivers.
  • If you are using using fresh mushrooms, simply give them a quick wipe with a damp cloth and proceed to remove the remove the stalks and slice the caps.
I used a combination of shiitake and enoki mushrooms for today's dish.

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Chives
Traditionally, this dish is cooked with Yellow Chives (韭王/Jiu Wang) and mushrooms. If you are not familiar with Yellow Chives, they are garlic chives that have been grown under cover, without any exposure to direct sunlight. This prevents the leaves from turning green, as the plant’s chlorophyll-absorbing molecules never kick into action. They are considered a Chinese delicacy, and often served alone or paired with another vegetable in a stir-fry.
Information from here.

If you cannot find them, please just use regular green chives. I circled my market and supermarket for an entire week before I spotted them. If they are so difficult to get in Singapore, I reckon it would be mission impossible to find them in Europe or America.

Rinse and cut chives into 1-inch lengths.

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Other ingredients
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • 2 to 3 handful beansprouts, heads and tails removed
  • 2 dried mounds Ee Fu Noodles (enough for 2 servings)
  • 2 to 3 tbsp vegetable oil + 1/4 tsp white sesame oil
  1. In a wok, heat vegetable oil and sesame oil. When it is very hot, add in garlic and fry briefly before throwing in the bean sprouts, chives and mushrooms. Stirfry for about 1 minute.
  2. Add braising sauce and allow to simmer (about 1 minute). Maintain medium-high heat throughout.
  3. Add in Ee Fu noodles, making sure you submerge them in the braising sauce as much as possible. Cover with a lid and let the noodles stew in the sauce for 2 to 3 minutes. Open lid and check for doneness. There should be little or no braising sauce when the dish is done. Do not overcook or the noodles will become soggy. Allow the residual heat to continue cooking the noodles till al dente.
  4. Dish up on serving plate and garnish with cut chives or coriander.
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