Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Sun Dried Noodles made by Foochows


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The label on the box for the chien mien is wrong. It says "Bawang" or onions. At the moment in Sibu and Bintulu these chien mien cost 4 ringgit per kg. How prices have gone up in the last decade. When we were kids we used to get them for 50 cents a kati because sun dried chien mien were then the "left overs" of fresh noodles or chien mien. I wonder if you can remember that.

But the stigma of buying the sun dried chien mien is no longer a stigma today I hope. Or was there really such a stigma? I would still maintain that having dried noodles at home is good housekeeping sense.

And afterall all Italian noodles also come in dried form today at the supermarket.

Having said all thst, I would consider it , indeed, a special noodle which the Foochows used in the olden days. A few of us continue to like this kind of noodles . We think that this is more authentic and do not have preservatives which quick mee has.

On the other hand it may take us longer to cook.

But when we have lots of love to go around what is a few minutes of warm feelings in the kitchen?

Now that the Beijing Olympics is on - there is no harm preparing a little Ja Jiang Mien.

Recipe below:

Spicy Bean Noodles or Ja Jiang Mien
Noodles with meat & bean sauce

This noodle was first introduced to us by our father who studied in Beijing 1933 to 1936 at the Yien Ching University (Now Beijing University) Whenever he cooked the noodles for us we felt that it was a little spicy but we became adventurous in food like he was. Today after we have gotten used to Malaysian cuisine the noodles are no longer spicy to our taste buds.

Spicy Bean Noodles (Ja Jiang Mien) Serves 4

1/2 kg of sun dried chien mien or noodles (4 pieces)
2 tablespoons peanut oil (for cooking)
Meat mixture:

1/2 kg ground pork, beef , mutton or chicken meat
2 tablespoons minced garlic
4 scallions, chopped
Optional additions:

5 to 6 Chinese black mushrooms, soaked, drained, sliced in shreds

2 to 3 ounces marinated dried beancurd, in 1/4-inch cubes
Sauce — mix together:

1/4 cup Sichuan chili bean paste
1/4 cup Sichuan hot bean paste
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine or medium dry sherry )optional for Muslims)
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 to 3/4 cup water, as needed for consistency
To finish:

1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon Sichuan pepper powder
Optional garnishes:

finely chopped fresh red chillies
shredded carrot, cucumber, and/or celery
shredded cabbage or local lettuce

Boil the noodles following the instructions on the package of the chien mien (now available in most supermarkets - these chien mien come from Sibu). (Fresh Chinese noodles should take about 3 minutes if you can buy them easily.)

Drain, rinse in cool water, drain again, and return to the pot. Toss with 2 teaspoons oil to keep them from sticking together. (Being Foochow,we usually use a bit of lard so I hope my Muslim friends will forgive me for this)

Heat peanut or olive oil in a wok until hot, add the meat mixture, and stir over high heat until pork loses its pinkness. Add the optional mushroom and beancurd pieces, and stir to mix.

Add the sauce, using 1/2 cup of the water, adding more if needed to make a sauce. Stir to mix with the meat, reduce heat, and allow it to cook for 5 to 10 minutes until it thickens.

Stir in the sesame oil. Turn off the heat, add the Sichuan pepper powder, stir briefly, and pour into a serving bowl. Serve the sauce and noodles separately.

(For my overseas friends you can use any kind of spaghetti. I have used marcoroni once and it was fantastic).

Another good one dish meal to watch Beijing Olympics with.....and think of Sibu at the same time.

more photos later.......

3 memories:

cupid113 said...

The minute I arrived in Sibu, Ida will take me over to eat foochow fried noodle(wet) as that's my fave food and even in kuching I managed to find a place to eat them in one of the coffee shops in BDC but still can't beat Sibu's style.

I Am Sarawakiana said...

Somehow it is always the hometown special noodles that taste so wonderful.

My favourite is the char chu mien (mee goreng soup---) what a wonderful concoction. It has everything that is good in the world in a bowl...prawns,fish balls,some pork and some liver and vegetables...and then some wonderful secret ingredients.

cheers to good food from Sibu.

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