Today is a cooking day. Usually I complain about cooking. I’ve been cooking daily for close to 60 years. Recently Owen has taken over cooking for a couple of days a week — a huge help. Typically, I make simple meals because they don’t take a lot of time or complicated advance shopping. This was an exception, but it’s so good, it’s worth it.
Nonetheless, I like good food, especially Asian. I’ve enjoyed every kind of Asian cuisine I’ve tried. We have a few good restaurants in Worcester, a couple more in Milford, and one just over the border in North Slatersville, Rhode Island. They are expensive so when I can make the food myself, I cook. It’s hard on my feet, but great eating.
You need to find rice noodles. Although the original recipe specified a particular type of Chinese noodles, I couldn’t find them. Instead, I bought Thai rice noodles and they did the job well enough. I know there are a couple of Chinese groceries in Worcester. We’re going to have to find them and go shopping.
This recipe takes quite a lot of time. It took almost three hours to do the chopping and slicing. The actual cooking will take mere minutes — typical of Chinese cooking.
1/4 to 1/2 pound raw shrimp — shelled, deveined, and rinsed, I use additional shrimp)
Oil for cooking
3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
1 bundle dried rice stick noodles (6 to 8 ounces). (NOTE: If you don’t have a Chinese grocery in your area, any thin rice noodles will be okay.)
2 medium cloves garlic, minced or 2 tablespoon grated/chopped garlic
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine or cooking sherry
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 large eggs, beaten with two pinches of Kosher salt
1/4 to 1/3 pound Chinese roast pork (char siu) or smoked ham, Julienne cut
1/2 small onion, very thinly sliced
1/2 medium red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and julienned (I use all 3 using very small sweet peppers)
1/4 lb. snow peas, Julienne cut
1 tablespoon curry powder, divided (NOTE: There are many varieties of curry powder ranging from very hot to quite mild. The curry powder I have is very mild, so I use extra curry.)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
6 medium scallions, sliced very thinly lengthwise, then cut in half
2 teaspoons sesame oil
Optional: 1/2 to 1 hot pepper (whatever type you prefer) seeded and finely chopped. I used 1 hot Italian pepper and while the meal tasted great, it was a bit too hot for us. I’m going to use a quarter of a pepper this time. You could probably also use hot sauce to taste, too. Or not, depending on how you feel about hot, spicy food.
Pat raw shrimp dry with paper towels and place in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon fish sauce. Mix well and set aside in the refrigerator.
Prepare rice noodles according to directions on the package. Drain noodles in a colander, rinse with cold running water, then let them drain until dry.
Place garlic in a small bowl. Add soy sauce, wine, white pepper, sugar, and remaining fish sauce. Mix well and set sauce aside.
Heat oil in a skillet until very hot. Add eggs and let cook undisturbed for about 10 seconds, then gently move the eggs back and forth with a spatula until they start to firm up. Break the eggs into small pieces, then set aside in a bowl.
Using a wok or a large skillet, turn heat to high. (NOTE: I have a wok, but I prefer a big skillet with flat sides. I find the skillet easier to clean and to turn food as it cooks.)
Add shrimp; stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add roast pork and onion. Continue to stir-fry for another 30 seconds. Add red bell pepper and snow peas. Stir for another 30 seconds. Add the curry powder, season with salt, and cook, tossing, until curry is evenly distributed. Scrape wok contents into bowl with eggs.
Using a clean wok or skillet, heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over high heat. Add the noodles and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the sauce and remaining curry powder. Stir until the curry powder is evenly distributed. Return egg, shrimp, roast pork, and vegetables to wok and stir-fry until everything is evenly combined. This takes just a minute or two. Season with salt and remove from heat. Add scallions, drizzle with sesame oil, mix well, and transfer to a large serving bowl. Eat and enjoy!
Wok or large nonstick skillet
From where exactly came this recipe? Probably not Singapore. Best guess? Cantonese Chinese restaurants in Hong Kong. It doesn’t matter where the recipe originated. It tastes great.
There are a lot of changes you can make to adapt the recipe. It can become vegetarian. You can add julienned carrots, use more and different vegetables, eliminate one or more that someone doesn’t like or to which someone is allergic. Obviously if you are making it vegetarian, you will need a lot more vegetables.
How hot you want it depends on your family’s tolerance for hot food. We love hot food, but our stomachs do not necessarily agree. The dish tastes pretty good even if it isn’t spicy. Be gentle with salt. The fish sauce is salty as is the soy sauce, so you may not need much salt.
Now, it’s back to the kitchen because today is the day I also make Duke’s dinner. It’s an all-day cooking event!