Level Up Instant Noodles

Level Up Instant Noodles

Hello Everyone! When you think of breakfast, it should be quick to prepare and warm up your empty stomach – if you’re in a rush that is. It should also be filling. You can find all those characteristics in instant noodles!

Comfort food for some, a staple for the rest – instant noodles in the Philippines is favoured by many, either dry or with a soup base. A hot bowl of soup with noodles in the morning gets us going through the day. You simply put a block of noodles in briskly boiling water for about 3 minutes, stir in the seasonings and pour it into a bowl. Tada! Breakfast is solved! Just remember, eating instant noodles is not commendable, but we can still eat them in moderation.

Level Up Instant Noodles

This is how I normally like to have my instant noodles for breakfast once a week – boiled and tossed in its packet seasonings and topped with fried egg with a runny yolk. I also add in more chilli powder just because I love a good hard kick of spice, and a squeeze of fresh calamansi juice for a bit of tang. But of course, I’m not going to just write up a recipe for instant noodles with fried egg for you…

There’s only one type of instant noodles you’ll see me eating, and that’s Indofood Mi Goreng, which if not mistaken, can be found in Indonesia and is only distributed in Brunei. I’m sure most of my follow Bruneians have seen lots and lots of boxes of these being checked-in by almost every single Filipino passenger (myself included), so it’s no doubt that this particular brand of instant noodles is a big hit with our community.

Level Up Instant Noodles

I recently saw a hashtag thread on Instagram for #JazzedUpInstantNoodles and that’s where the inspiration came from. Since instant noodles is a heavy favourite, not only amongst Filipinos, but also across the Asian (and most likely Western) community, I’ll be sharing with you tonight my version of Level Up Instant Noodles, the Filipino way of course. When I say Filipino way, I mean by using Filipino favourites like Lechon to mash up with my favourite pack of instant noodles for a super filling breakfast!

Level Up Instant Noodles

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 5 MINS | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 packet (80g) Indofood Mi Goreng, or any other instant noodles
  • 150g of spit-roasted lechon, cooked
  • 1 bird’s eye chilli, chopped
  • 1 calamansi, halved
  • 1 large free range egg
  • Chilli powder, to taste
  • Lechon sauce
  • Spring Onions, chopped

METHOD

  1. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat with about a tablespoon of oil. Crack the egg gently into the pan to keep the yolks intact. Cook until the tops of the whites are set, but the yolk is still runny. Browned and crispy on the edges with a golden liquidy yolk is how I like my fried eggs! Transfer to a small plate and set aside.
  2. Bring a small pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the block of instant noodles and cook until al dente, about 3 minutes.
  3. Once the noodles are done, drain and return them to the pot with a little bit of the cooking water. Mix in thoroughly the packet seasonings and extra chilli powder.
  4. Transfer to a serving plate together with the lechon and fried egg. Top with extra chilli powder and spring onions. Enjoy!

Level Up Instant Noodles

You can buy small portions of lechon at your local market if they sell it there rather than the whole pig. I got mine from our local weekend market that sells for P700 a kilo. I usually go for the liempo (belly) part because there are less bones and is juicier that other parts. However, it is also the fattiest part of the pig. What I usually do it throw out the fat, but is also such a waste in terms of paying for the fat included. Dilemma.

Of course, there are many other ways in which you can level up your instant noodles at home. A growing popular trend in Brunei and across certain parts of Asia as well is to add salted egg to everything. You can now have Mi Goreng coated with salted egg sauce, or even Mi Goreng with Ayam Penyet (fried chicken) that’s drenched in salted egg sauce! The possibilities are endless and it’s up to you to pair your favourites and get creative in the kitchen!

Level Up Instant Noodles

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Beef & Broccoli Mee Pok with Soy Eggs

Beef & Broccoli Mee Pok with Soy Eggs

Hello Everyone! Finally I’ve managed to come to the theme that was intended for the month of March on Amcarmen’s Kitchen! Three weeks late, but you know what they say, better late than never! I hope that I can get all the recipes up for March before the end of the month so that I can start fresh (frish – inside joke) for April seeing as it is also an important upcoming month ahead for Amcarmen’s Kitchen. If you have been following my blog since the beginning, or long enough to know why April is important for Amcarmen’s Kitchen – I won’t reveal things now, but as the days draw closer to April, I will tell you why!

If​ you are just tuning in to the blog, the theme for this year is all based around foods that lower or help maintain your blood pressure to normal and safe level. I drew up the theme when I found out last year that I am susceptible to high blood pressure, and ever since, I’ve been doing what I can to eat right – it hasn’t been easy. So tangent aside, the theme for March is basically hero-ing broccoli! Though I must say, some of the dishes that I will be sharing with you guys don’t exactly hero broccoli, but at least it includes the ingredient I guess? Haha. Broccoli is a good source of the blood pressure-regulating minerals magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Previous research in animals has found that a diet high in broccoli sprouts may help reduce blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.

Tonight’s recipe is a little twist on the classic Beef and Broccoli Ramen – well okay, it’s not really a massive twist or anything like that, the only difference is that I used mee pok noodles instead of ramen noodles. Mee pok is a Chinese noodle characterised by its flat and yellow appearance, varying in thickness and width. Mee Pok is commonly served tossed in a sauce (often referred to as “dry”, or tah in Hokkien, though sometimes served in a soup (where it is referred to as “soup”, or terng), where meat and vegetables are then added on top. Other than that, everything else is pretty much the same, so before I move onto tonight’s recipe, please take the time to check out the original recipe over on Chelsea’s Messy Apron. I’ve also added a soft-boiled soy egg just for another layer of flavour and texture to the overall dish. When I thought of adding a soy egg to the dish, I didn’t look into how I could add more flavour the egg rather than just dunking it in soy sauce, but turns out that you can add star anise and cinnamon bark to the soy sauce, and apparently leave it overnight to soak up all the flavour. I left mine for about an hour or so just for the colour really.

Also, I know that this recipe calls for a lot of soy sauce which is in fact contradictory to lowering high blood pressure because of the amount of sodium in soy sauce. Therefore, ensure that you use low-sodium soy sauce for this recipe.

Beef & Broccoli Mee Pok with Soy Eggs Ingredients

PREP TIME 15* MINS | COOKING TIME 20 MINS | SERVES 4

*Plus about 4-6 hours of marination time

INGREDIENTS

For the beef marinade:

  • 500g rump steak, sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp low-sodium dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp low-sodium light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp ginger, grated
  • Ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch

For the mee pok:

  • 1 package (400g) mee pok noodles
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 cup low-sodium beef stock
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium dark soy sauce
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

For the soy eggs:

  • 4 large free range eggs
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup warm water

Optional:

  • Chilli powder
  • Lightly toasted sesame seeds
  • Spring onion

METHOD

  1. Whisk all the ingredients for the beef marinade (except for the cornstarch) in a small bowl. Place the beef slices, and the whisked marinade into a medium-sized zip lock bag and seal. Give it a good shake and then set aside in the fridge for about 4-6 hours, or no more than 12 hours. Flip the steak in the bag halfway through the marinating time.
  2. While the beef is marinating, you can get a head start on your soy eggs. Fill a saucepan with a few inches of water and set it over high heat. Let the water come to a rolling boil. Once it comes up to a rolling boil, reduce the water to a rapid simmer by lowering the heat. Gently lower the eggs into the water one at a time and cook the eggs for 5 to 7 minutes (5 minutes for a very runny yolk or up to 7 minutes for a barely-set yolk). I cooked mine for about 6 minutes. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and run under cold tap water for 30 to 60 seconds. Slowly are carefully peel the shell off the eggs and dunk them into a bowl of dark soy sauce and warm water mixture. Make sure that the eggs are fully submerged in the mixture and let it sit for an hour or so until the egg white is coloured by the soy sauce.
  3. Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil and then cook the mee pok noodles for about 2 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water. Set aside.
  4. Remove the rump steak from the bag and drain off any remaining marinade. Toss the steak to coat with the cornstarch.
  5. Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat, until the oil is shimmering and then cook the beef in batches if needed, adding a touch more of olive oil after each batch. Cook without moving or flipping the beef until it is well seared, about 1-1/2 minutes. Continue cooking while stirring until the beef is lightly cooked but still pink in spots, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  6. In the same pan, sauté the minced garlic until golden brown and fragrant, about 30-45 seconds, then add the beef stock and dark soy sauce. Stir and cook (uncovered) over medium heat until sauce thickens a bit and reduces by about a third (about 5-8 minutes). You don’t want to reduce it too much so it can still generously coat all the noodles & veggies.
  7. Bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, top the mixture evenly with the broccoli (don’t stir in). Cover the pot with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Allow the broccoli to steam until crisp tender about 3 minutes or to desired tenderness.
  8. Once the broccoli is to your liking, remove the lid, add in the cooked noodles and beef. Stir and top with desired toppings: green onions, chilli powder, and sesame seeds, and not forgetting the soy egg!
  9. Serve and enjoy immediately with family and friends.

Beef & Broccoli Mee Pok with Soy Eggs

Beef & Broccoli Mee Pok with Soy Eggs

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Penang Char Kway Teow (Stir-fried Rice Cake Strips)

Penang Char Kway Teow (Stir-fried Rice Cake Strips)

Penang Char Kway Teow (Stir-fried Rice Cake Strips)

Hello Everyone! First off, I just want to say that this is the last noodle dish for the month of November! There’ll be one more post going up on Sunday on one of my designs, and after that I’ll be taking a 2-week break from blogging. There’s no particular reason for it – well okay, I guess you can say it’s for me to take a short break since I have been complaining for the past however so many posts about being mentally tired. It’s also mainly to go with the theme I have planned for next month; more will be revealed after my 2-week break 🙂

Okay, so before I dive into the recipe for tonight, I’d like to say sorry for a later than usual upload – I just came home from an evening with friends. We met up and did an escape room challenge together; well we split into two teams and did a different room from each other, CSI and Prison Break. Sadly I was in the losing team but they did say that CSI was definitely harder than the other one. Anyway, it was a fun night altogether but we didn’t get to talk much about our experiences over dinner because we didn’t want to ruin it for each other. Instead we vaguely talked about what we encountered and then all unanimously decided to go back again next week and do the rooms that we didn’t get to do tonight. All I can say that our brains were frazzled and scrambled after we got out of the CSI room – but in the end, we all had a great time. (I actually still can’t believe that I’m still mentally capable to write this post after a long day, and then a difficult escape room challenge).

Anyway! Back to tonight’s recipe – I don’t actually eat this dish that often, be it ordering it at a restaurant or making it at home. It’s not that I don’t like this dish, I actually enjoy it but not as much as the other noodle dishes. Char Kway Teow literally means stir-fried rice cake strips and is a national favourite in Malaysia and Singapore.

Here’s a fact that some of you may not know (I didn’t know myself too until I did my research), Char Kway Teow has a reputation of being unhealthy due to its high saturated fat content. It is this way because it made it attractive, in terms of it being a cheap source of energy and nutrients, to labourers since it was mainly served to them. When the dish was first served, it was sold by fishermen farmers and cockle-gathers who doubled as char kway teow hawkers in the evening to supplement their income.

Over time, the dish became increasingly popular and many cooks have developed their own interpretations while still using the same basic ingredients of ricecake strips/flat rice noodles fried with anything from eggs (chicken or duck), onions, garlic, prawns, cockles, Chinese sausage, chives, etc. Pork fat was predominately used to stir-fry char kway teow, but over the years, ordinary cooking oil is now used for health or religious reasons.

I based this recipe from Rasa Malaysia, so go check out the original recipe if you get the chance to!

Penang Char Kway Teow (Stir-fried Rice Cake Strips)

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 15 MINS | SERVES 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 400g kway teow noodles (rice cake strips)
  • 250g prawns, peeled and deveined
  • 100g baby clam meat
  • 100g beansprouts
  • 4-6 large free range eggs, sunny side-up
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Chinese sausages, sliced diagonally
  • 1 small brown onion, diced
  • Chilli paste
    • 30g dried red chillies, seeded and soaked in water until soft
    • 3 small shallots, diced
    • 2 fresh red chilies, seeded
    •  1 tsp oil
    • Pinch of salt
  • Spring onions

Sauce Mix

  • 5 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 dashes white pepper powder
  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt

METHOD

  1. Grind all the ingredients of the chilli paste together using a mini food processor until fine. Heat about a teaspoon of oil in a small frying pan, over medium-high. Stir-fry the chili paste until aromatic, about 3-5 minutes and then transfer to a heatproof bowl. Set aside.
  2. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Next, heat up about a tablespoon or two of oil in a large frying pan, or wok, over medium-high. Sauté the garlic until fragrant and golden brown, then add in the onions and cook until soft, about 2 minutes altogether.
  4. Add in the Chinese sausage slices and cook until you can smell the aroma coming from the sausages. Then, add in your prawns and cook until they start to change colour, about 5 minutes altogether.
  5. Add in the baby clam meat, followed by a half portion of the beansprouts and give it a quick mix. The add in the rice cake strips, making sure that you untangle the clumps when you’re adding them to the pan, followed by the sauce mix and chilli paste. Give it a good stir and make sure that all the noodles are covered with the sauce.
  6. Turn the heat off, and then mix in the rest of the beansprouts and the spring onions. Serve immediately with or without a sunny side-up egg on top. Enjoy!

Penang Char Kway Teow (Stir-fried Rice Cake Strips)

Penang Char Kway Teow (Stir-fried Rice Cake Strips)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Singapore Mei Fun (Fried Rice Vermicelli Noodles in Curry Powder)

Singapore Mei Fun (Fried Rice Vermicelli Noodles in Curry Powder)

Hello Everyone! Tonight I will be sharing with you another Singaporean dish that I love. What I love about this is the curry powder that is incorporated into this fried noodle dish. When I first tried this noodle dish, I didn’t expect it to be coated in curry powder – well, I mean, it’s not like the name of the dish was a dead giveaway for what’s in it. So it was definitely quite unique to me when I first tried it – and I loved it!

I kind of went with it on my own after indulging in much of it over the past several years, but I did refer to Saucy Spatula for reference. I also learnt a few things from her blog, the main one being that authentic Singapore fried rice vermicelli (or know as fried bee hoon), does not include curry. Unfortunately, the question of where the addition of curry originated from cannot be answered, however many claimed it to have come from Hong Kong. So why isn’t it called Hong Kong fried rice vermicelli? Well, apparently this noodle dish resembles more towards the Singapore fried bee hoon so I guess why argue with that?

Singapore Mei Fun (Fried Rice Vermicelli Noodles in Curry Powder)

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 25-30 MINS | SERVES 4-5

INGREDIENTS

  • 450g bee hoon (thin rice vermicelli noodles)
  • 250g char siu pork (Chinese BBQ pork)*, sliced
  • 100g beansprouts
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Chinese sausages, sliced diagonally
  • 2 red bird’s eye chillies, sliced
  • 1 large free range egg, beaten
  • 1 small brown onion, diced
  • 1/2 a head of cabbage, sliced
  • Tricolour capsicum (1/4 of each), sliced

For the sauce

  • 1/4 cup light soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp cooking wine
  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp white pepper powder

*If you can easily buy it at the shops, or even your local Chinese restaurant, then I do recommend that you just buy it if you want your fried noodles now and fast! (It takes a considerate amount of time when you’re making your own char siu pork at home). But, if char siu is not available, you can substitute with ham, bacon, or shredded pork.

METHOD

  1. Start off by bringing a large pot of slightly salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add the rice vermicelli noodles and cook according to packet instructions, about 15 minutes for this brand of noodles. Once the noodles are done, drain and set aside.
  2. While the noodles a boiling away, mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high. Add the beaten egg and spread around the frying pan until thin. Fry for about a minute per side, remove and set aside to cool. Once cooled, slice them into thin strips.
  4. In the same frying pan, heat a little bit more oil and then sauté the garlic and chillies until fragrant and golden brown. Then add in the onions and cook until soft, about 2 minutes altogether.
  5. Add the Chinese sausage slices and cook for about 2 minutes. Follow with the char siu pork and capsicum, cooking for a further 3-4 minutes. Finally, add in the cabbage and beansprouts, cooking until just about to wilt.
  6. Add in the drained rice vermicelli noodles together with the sauce and give it a good mix, until the noodles are evenly coated with the curry powder mixture. Turn the heat off, garnish the noodles with some spring onions, and top with the sliced fried egg.
  7. Serve immediately with a squeeze of calamansi or a lemon wedge. Enjoy!

Singapore Mei Fun (Fried Rice Vermicelli Noodles in Curry Powder)

Singapore Mei Fun (Fried Rice Vermicelli Noodles in Curry Powder)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Singapore-style Hokkien Mee (Fried Yellow Noodle & Rice Vermicelli)

Singapore-style Hokkien Mee (Fried Yellow Noodle & Rice Vermicelli)

Hello Everyone! I’ll keep this short only because I’ve had such a busy day today and I just want my brain to relax and not have to look at a computer screen any longer (since that’s what I have been doing all say today). Then again, who am I kidding, after I write this post I will most likely end up looking at my computer screen but instead of utilising my brain and trying to get words to flow, I’ll be watching shows or random videos on Youtube until it’s time to go to bed *cheeky grin*

Anyway, enough babbling, tonight’s recipe is a dish I first experienced during one of my many travels to Singapore. When I saw a picture of it on the menu boards at a hawker centre that I was at (can’t remember where exactly), it was different to the Hokkien Mee that I usually ate back in Brunei, which apparently I have only just learnt after doing a quick Google search, is  Malaysian-styled braised in dark soy sauce. I actually quite like both, and though the ingredients are pretty much similar, I much prefer the Singapore-style Hokkien Mee.

The original recipe can be found over on Rasa Malaysia; I have tweaked the recipe slightly in terms of the order in which the ingredients go in and a few of the processes.

Singapore-style Hokkien Mee (Fried Yellow Noodle & Rice Vermicelli)

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 45 MINS | SERVES 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 400g prawns, peeled and deveined
  • 350g squid, cleaned and cut into rings
  • 250g fresh yellow noodles
  • 250g thin rice vermicelli noodles
  • 200g pork shoulder
  • 100g bean sprouts
  • 3 large free range eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 pcs dried bay leaves
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pc fish cake, sliced diagonally
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • Salt
  • Spring onions
  • Whole black peppercorns

Seasonings

  • 1/2 tbsp fish sauce, adjust quantity to taste
  • Dash of ground white pepper
  • Dash of sesame oil

To serve

  • Calamansi (or lemon wedge)
  • Sambal

METHOD

  1. Add the pork shoulder, dried bay leaves, about a teaspoon or two of whole black peppercorns, and salt to a large pot filled with about 2L of hot/boiling water. Turn the heat up to high and leave to boil for about 30 minutes or until tender. Once done, remove the pork from the stock and set aside to cool before slicing into it.
  2. Meanwhile, blanch the prawns and squid in the boiling stock, about 30 seconds to a minute. Remove from the stock and set aside. Then add in the rice vermicelli noodles and cook as per packet instructions or until just about tender. Once done, drain and set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a large frying pan, or wok, over medium-high and sauté the garlic until fragrant and golden brown. Add in the onions and cook until soft, about 2 minutes altogether.
  4. Turn up the heat to high and then add in the yellow and rice vermicelli noodles, frying for a few minutes until the noodles just begin to sear. Add in about a third of the pork stock and seasoning, continuing to cook until most of the stock has been absorbed by the noodles. Add another third of the stock and then bring the heat down to medium-low to allow the noodles to braise over a slow simmer, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. Add in the egg and give it a good mix before adding in the bean sprouts, prawns, squid, and pork slices. Give it a good toss and fry for about a minute before adding in the remaining stock.
  6. Plate up and garnish with some spring onions on top. Serve with a side of sambal and calamansi. Enjoy!

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BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Kolo Mee (Flash-boiled Egg Noodles)

Kolo Mee (Flash-boiled Egg Noodles)

Hello Everyone! Tonight, I’ve got a very popular breakfast/brunch noodle dish to share. I remember when I was growing up, we’d travel at least 20 minutes to our favourite kolo mee place in Brunei for many years! It was kind of like our special Sunday breakfast routine with the whole family before we’d go about and do our grocery shoppings for the week. Since that place closed down a couple of years ago, we barely have kolo mee in our weekly meals – but now that I have my own way of making kolo mee, I can whip it up almost any time I crave for it!

“The secret to amazing kolo mee lies in the use of pork lard. I know this is not very healthy if eaten in large quantities but the reason why it’s used is because it coats each and every strand of the noodles with some seriously delicious meaty flavours.” — The Malay Mail Online, 2013

I guess you could say that my version of Kolo Mee is a little bit healthier (but not entirely) as I use vegetable oil instead of pork lard. Also, traditional kolo mee dishes, especially in restaurants, use quite a significant amount of MSG to enhance the flavour of the dish. The recipe that I will be sharing today doesn’t use MSG at all and is still very tasty! If you want a halal version of this dish, you can substitute the minced pork for minced chicken and just have a generous serving of fish cakes/balls instead of char is pork. You can also get creative and top it with your favourite breakfast must haves like some crispy bacon on the side or topped with a sunny-side up with the runny yolk and all that pizzaz!

Kolo Mee (Flash-boiled Egg Noodles)

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 20 MINS | SERVES 6-8

INGREDIENTS

  • 450g fresh kolo mee noodles
  • 250g lean minced pork
  • 250g char siu pork (Chinese BBQ pork)*, sliced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 small red onions, diced
  • 1 bunch gai lan (Chinese broccoli), cut into 2″ lengths
  • 1 fish cake, sliced diagonally
  • 1 red bird’s eye chilli, sliced
  • Chilli Oil
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste
  • Light soy sauce
  • Sesame Oil
  • Spring onion

*Apparently, it takes a considerate amount of time when you’re making your own char siu pork at home that is! If you can easily buy it at the shops, or even your local Chinese restaurant, then I do recommend that you just buy it if you want your kolo mee now and fast!

METHOD

  1. Add about a tablespoon of light soy sauce, and a teaspoon of chilli and sesame oil into about 6-8 individual bowls/deep dishes. Set aside.
  2. In a small frying pan, heat about 3-4 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium-high. Add the diced onions and frying until browned and crispy. Set aside. In the same frying pan, fry off the fish cake slices, about a minute or two per side. Set aside.
  3. Heat a medium-sized frying pan (or wok if you like) over medium-high. Add about a tablespoon of the oil used to fry the onions and fish cake to the pan and sauté the garlic and chillies until fragrant and golden brown, about a minute or two.
  4. Then add in the minced pork, followed by the ground salt and black pepper. Give it a good mix and leave to cook for about 5 minutes. Add in about 2 tablespoons of light soy sauce and cook for a further five minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  5. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, flash-boil the stalks of the gai lan first, then followed by the leaves until tender and wilted. Remove from the boiling water and set aside.
  6. Flash-boil the kolo mee noodles, in batches if you wish, for about a minute or two.  Once done, divide equally into your prepared bowls with the sauces and give it a good mix. Top with the minced meat, fish cakes, char siu pork, gai lan, fried onions, and spring onions. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Kolo Mee (Flash-boiled Egg Noodles)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Pancit Palabok (Filipino Style Noodles with Prawn Gravy)

Pancit Palabok (Filipino Style Noodles with Prawn Gravy)

Hello Everyone! I might keep this section of the blog short (and I say might because I know that even though I’ve said that, my post will always end up being fairly long by the time I finish writing), because I am feeling a bit overworked and tired today – actually I’ve been feeling exhausted since the beginning of the week and it may be due to a mentally challenging Escape Room challenge that I did with a few friends on Monday evening. Small tangent – we all shared the spotlight on dumb blonde moments!

Tanget aside, tonight’s recipe is a dish that I, of course as all dishes I write about, love but isn’t cooked often at home. The only reason I can think of is maybe because it requires a lot of ingredients and preparation I guess. It’s not so much about how long it takes to make the sauce because in the past, my mom would just use a ready-made powdered version of the sauce that you can easily find on the shelves in the Filipino/Asian food section of your local grocers. For tonight’s post though, I will be making the sauce from scratch just because I want to 🙂 This is also the first time that I have tried making the sauce from scratch and it was a huge success! It’s actually quite easy to make, it just requires a lot of time and patience; but I know for sure that I will not be buying ready-made sauce packets ever again! Unless of course, time is not on my side. I mean, if you’re going to use fresh prawns to top your noodles off in the end, then you might as well take an extra step in salvaging the heads and peels to make a delicious sauce, right?

Pancit Palabok (Filipino Style Noodles with Prawn Gravy)

Anyway, before we jump on to the recipe, I followed Trissalicious’ recipe for making the Palabok sauce from scratch so don’t forget to check her blog out too for her take on this delicious dish!

Pancit Palabok (Filipino Style Noodles with Prawn Gravy) Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR | SERVES 8-10

INGREDIENTS

For the prawn stock

  • 500g fresh prawns, heads and peels reserved
  • 1.5L water
  • Ground salt
  • Whole black peppercorns

For the sauce

  • 100g thin sliced pork belly, cut into chunks
  • 3-4 cups prawn stock (see recipe below)
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 small red onions, diced
  • 1 pc firm tofu, finely diced
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 2-3 tbsp fish sauce, adjust quantity to taste
  • 1 tsp achuete powder
  • Ground salt and black pepper, to taste

Noodles and Toppings

  • 500 grams pancit luglug (cornstarch noodles)*
  • Firm tofu, deep fried and cut into chunks
  • Hard boiled egg, sliced
  • Pork crackling (chicharon), crushed
  • Prawns, poached
  • Smoked fish (tinapa), flaked
  • Squid, cut into rings and poached
  • Spring onion

*You may also use bihon (thin rice vermicelli noodles) for this dish

METHOD

  1. Make the prawn stock: Add the prawn heads and peels to a medium-sized pot and cover with about a litre and a half of water. Season with a bit of salt and whole black peppercorns. Bring to a boil over high heat and then turn it down to a slow simmer. Make sure to press down on the heads and peels as it simmers away to extract as much flavour as you can. Leave it to simmer for about 30 minutes. While the stock is simmering away, you can get a head start in preparing your toppings for the dish. I recommend that you leave the poaching of the prawns and squid for last, when you sauce is almost ready.
  2. Make the sauce: Heat a large frying pan over medium-high and add in the chunks of pork belly. Cook until browned. The oils released from the pork belly should be enough to sauté the garlic and cook the onions, but if needed, add a little bit more oil if there isn’t enough. Then add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant and golden brown, about a minute, then followed by the diced onions. Cook until soft, about 2 minutes in total.
  3. Add in the firm tofu and give it a good mix. Then, add in achuete powder and plain flour, followed by the prawn stock. Make sure to add the stock in a bit at a time as if making a roux and make sure to mix well after each addition. The sauce should be quite thick, resembling the consistency of a béchamel – you may add more water if you want your sauce thinner, or likewise, add more flour if the sauce is feeling a bit thin to your liking. Add the fish sauce and season with some salt and black pepper to taste. Bring the heat down to low and let it slowly simmer away for about half an hour (10-15 minutes if you are impatient); but the longer you leave it on the stove, the tastier the sauce becomes!
  4. Cook the noodles: While your sauce is simmering away, cook the noodles according to the packer instructions, about 15 minutes for the pack of noodles that I got. Once done, drain and divide the noodles equally into individual plates. Also, don’t forget to poach your prawns and squid by this point!
  5. Assemble: Top the noodles with a generous amount of sauce and add your favourite toppings! Serve immediately with a squeeze of calamansi (or lemon) juice and enjoy!

Pancit Palabok (Filipino Style Noodles with Prawn Gravy)

Pancit Palabok (Filipino Style Noodles with Prawn Gravy)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Pancit Bihon Guisado (Filipino Style Stir-Fried Rice Noodles)

Pancit Bihon Guisado (Filipino Style Stir-Fried Rice Noodles)

Hello Everyone! It a whole new month and you already know what that means! A new month on Amcarmen’s Kitchen means a new theme, and for the month of November, I will be sharing with you guys some of my favourite noodle dishes of all time! But before I begin, I’d just like to apologise for my later than usual post – I’ve been super busy for the past three weeks with things I cannot say yet for security reasons, but yes, super busy that I am always mentally drained and find it difficult to just sit down and concentrate on writing for my blog. I’ll probably be able to tell you guys everything somewhere in February next year, but if you really want to know, you can ask me privately. If I don’t tell you, then you’re probably one of the reasons why I can’t talk about why I’ve been busy on any form of social media 😉

Anyway, noodles were first introduced into the Philippines by the Chinese, and since then, noodles have been adopted into local cuisine with endless variations, those popular being pancit bihon guisado, pancit palabok, pancit canton, pancit habhab, etc. The term pancit is actually derived from the Hokkien piān-ê-si̍t (pian i sit) which literally means convenient food. Tonight, I will be kicking it off with a noodle that has been served on our tables countless times over my childhood years up until now – Pancit Bihon Guisado!

Pancit Bihon Guisado (Filipino Style Stir-Fried Rice Noodles)

When one says pancit, it is usually associated with bihon, which is a recipe that uses very thin rice noodles, fried with soy sauce, some citrus, possibly with some fish sauce as well, and some variation of sliced meat and chopped vegetables. The composition of bihon varies quite a lot because it depends on your personal recipe. I can say that the recipe that I will be sharing with you today did even start out like this when my mom first made it for the family – the ingredients have definitely changed over the years! So don’t be afraid to improvise or get creative with the ingredients; s’long as you’ve got the base of the noodles covered with this recipe. You can even take all the meat out and replace the chicken stock with veggie stock for an all vegetarian pancit bihon guisado!

Pancit Bihon Guisado (Filipino Style Stir-Fried Rice Noodles) Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 30-45 MINS | SERVES 8-10

INGREDIENTS

  • 450g bihon noodles
  • 100g fish balls, halved
  • 100g thin fish cake, sliced diagonally
  • 3 pcs dried bay leaves
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 2 pcs thin sliced pork belly, cut into 1cm chunks
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1 chicken crown, breasts removed and sliced, bone reserved
  • 1 small brown onion, diced
  • 1/2 a head of cabbage, sliced
  • 4-5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • Ground black pepper and salt, to taste
  • Spring onions, sliced
  • Whole black peppercorns

METHOD

  1. Add the reserved chicken bone, dried bay leaves, about a teaspoon or two of whole black peppercorns, and salt to a medium-sized pot filled with about 1.5L of hot/boiling water. Turn the heat up to high and leave to boil for about 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile heat a large frying pan over medium-high and add in the chunks of pork belly. Cook until browned. The oils released from the pork belly should be enough to sauté the garlic and cook the onions, but if needed, add a little bit more oil if there isn’t enough. Then add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant and golden brown, about a minute, then followed by the diced onions. Cook until soft, about 2 minutes in total.
  3. Add in the sliced chicken breasts, fish balls, and sliced fish cakes. Season with a bit of salt and ground black pepper and give it a good mix. Cook for about 5 minutes. Then add in the carrots and celery. Mix well and leave to cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Lastly, add in the cabbage and spring onions, and cook until just slightly wilted. Once done, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  4. In the same frying pan, add the chicken stock to the pan together with the soy sauce, fish sauce, and oyster sauce. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the bihon noodles in and cook until all the liquid has evaporated. Make sure that while cooking, you mix and untangle them periodically. Altogether this should take about 10 minutes. Halfway through, add in half of the cooked meat and vegetables to the noodles and mix well.
  5. Serve immediately topped with the extra meat and vegetables, and with calamansi, or alternatively a lemon wedge. Enjoy!

Pancit Bihon Guisado (Filipino Style Stir-Fried Rice Noodles)

Pancit Bihon Guisado (Filipino Style Stir-Fried Rice Noodles)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com