Hello everyone! This will be the second and last dish that I will be sharing on our quick trip to Laos. As I mentioned in my previous post, I am not very knowledgeable when it comes to Lao cuisine and will only be sharing recipes that I am familiar with in terms of taste and similar dishes from their neighbouring countries.
Khua Mee, or in English, Fried & Caramelised Rice Noodles, is the Laotian cousin of what Pad Thai is in Thailand. Now, while I’ve never had Khua Mee before until I experimented for Amcarmen’s Kitchen, I’ve had plenty of Pad Thai before, from my trips to Thailand, or just a visit to an authentic Thai restaurant back home in Brunei, and when I was living in Australia. Khua Mee is actually more sweet than savoury, and has a more unique flavour to it. This flavour comes from caramelising the sugar at the start of the cooking process which is then accompanied by other savoury flavours such as oyster sauce, fish sauce, and soy sauce. The sweet and savoury marriage of flavours is what sets this dish apart from other noodle dishes.
The dish is fairly easy to put together. I guess the only tricky part would be the caramelisation of the sugar if you’re not used to it. You want to keep the heat on a medium-low temperature and watch it like a hawk so that the sugar does not burn. Traditionally, this noodle dish is topped with a fried egg omelette and bean sprouts. If you want to make this dish more substantial, you can also bulk it up with beef, pork, chicken, or prawns. To keep this ovo-vegetarian friendly though, my choice of protein was firm tofu. I also used mushroom sauce instead of oyster sauce, and omitted the fish sauce by adding more salt, as needed, instead. To add more flavour, I used homemade vegetable stock instead of water as the liquid base for the rice noodles to soak up.
Push the Pad Thai aside for now because once you take a bite and get a mouthful of these caramelised noodles, fried omelette, fresh herbs, and fried chillies, you will know why this is a much loved Laotian dish. It’s also a perfect potluck party dish as it tastes even better when served at room temperature.
PREP TIME 30 MINS| COOKING TIME 10 MINS| SERVES 4
For the fried omelette
4 large free range eggs
Spring onion, green part
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
2 tbsp cooking oil
For the fried noodles
1 packet (500g) rice noodles
4 tbsp cooking oil
4 tbsp white granulated sugar
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 small red onions, halved then sliced thinly
1 & 1/2 cup homemade vegetable stock*
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp mushroom sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 cup bean sprouts
Fried red chillies
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Calamansi or lemon, to garnish
*You can use store-bought vegetable stock, or water instead.
Noodles: Soak the rice noodles in room temperature water for 30 minutes. Set aside.
Fried Omelette: While the rice noodles are soaking, whisk the eggs in a medium-sized bowl, season with salt and cracked black pepper, and add the spring onion.
Add cooking oil in a large pan over high heat. Pour in the egg mixture and cook until firm and slightly brown around the edges, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook for a further 1 minute then transfer to a plate and cut into long strips. Set aside.
Fried Noodles: Add the 4 tablespoons of cooking oil in the same pan, and bring the heat down to medium-low. Add the sugar and caramelise until melted and lightly golden in colour.
Add the minced garlic and onions, and cook for about 30 seconds. Don’t cook it for too long as the sugar will start to darken faster and most likely burn at this point.
Immediately add in the vegetable broth to stop the caramelisation process of the sugar, followed by the light and dark soy sauce, mushroom sauce, white part of the spring onion, and season with a pinch of salt. Turn the heat up to medium, mix, and then leave to simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes for the flavours to develop.
Add the soaked rice noodles and cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed before adding the bean sprouts, fried tofu and fried omelette slices. Mix and cook until the liquid has been absorbed then add in the green part of the spring onion and the fried red chillies.
Transfer to individual serving plates and add a squeeze of calamansi or lemon juice before eating. Enjoy!
Hello Everyone and happy 1st of the month of December! If you’ve been following my IG page, you would’ve seen that I posted a story update on where Amcarmen’s Kitchen is at, at the moment. I informed my friends and followers that I’d be taking a hiatus and that I wasn’t sure when I’d be returning. If you want to know the real reason why I’ve been away for a while now, and will continue to be away until next year, you can read about it at the end of this post. I didn’t want to start the post off with a downer, so I saved it for last.
Now, tonight’s post does not mean that I am back from my hiatus. I just wanted to get this recipe up since I had this prepared way before my personal life spun out of control, and I didn’t want this recipe to end up in my archive of recipes that will never get posted because it doesn’t fit in with the current theme.
I love the sweet and tangy flavour that the mangosteen fruit adds; the chillies that bring a nice kick to it, and the mint for hint of freshness to the dish as a whole. From the original recipe, I ditched the pork since I’m slowly cutting out my meat (not including seafood) intake from my diet, and instead substituted it with juicy jumbo tiger prawns that were just as good!
PREP TIME 20 MINS| COOKING TIME 10-12 MINS| SERVES 4-5
For the salad
500g large tiger prawns, peeled and deveined
100g thin rice vermicelli noodles
50g snow peas
4 fresh mangosteen fruit, rind removed and discarded
2 sprigs fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
Handful of roasted peanuts, lightly crushed
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to season
For the dressing
1-2 red bird’s eye chilli, finely sliced
4 tsp olive oil
2 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp palm sugar (or brown sugar)
2 tsp sesame oil
Juice of 1 large lime or lemon
Dressing: Prepare the dressing by adding all of the ingredients into a small bowl. Mix well until combined. Set aside.
Rice Noodles: Let the noodles soak in hot water until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and then add to a large mixing bowl. Add a teaspoon of sesame oil just so that the noodles do not dry out and stick to each other.
Snow Peas: Bring a small pot of salted water to a rapid boil. Add the snow peas into the boiling water and blanch for about 60 seconds. Remove from the heat and transfer to an ice bath. Once cool, drain and pat dry. Add to the mixing bowl together with the rice noodles.
Prawns: Season the prawns with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Arrange in a steamer basket and steam for about 5 minutes. Once done remove and set aside to cool down slightly before cutting them into smaller pieces. Add to the mixing bowl.
Salad: Add the rest of the salad ingredients into the mixing bowl, together with the dressing and toss to combine. Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste and adjust to your liking.
Divide equally into 4-5 individual serving plates and serve immediately. Enjoy!
So as promised, here’s why Amcarmen’s Kitchen is still on a hiatus.
The week that I had this recipe scheduled to go up on my blog, which was back in mid-September for Mangosteen Month, I had about 4 to 5 hours of sleep over a span of 3 days. My Mom was admitted into the hospital and we had spent 2 nights in the emergency room waiting for a room in the intensive care unit to open up. Unfortunately my Mom passed away a week later. Though I may not show it, I am still in a constant battle between grieving and moving on. I believe that the hardest part of healing after you’ve lost someone, especially your mother, is to recover the you that went away with them. It was hard celebrating my birthday a couple of weeks ago; I couldn’t help but to shed a few tears being reminded that she was no longer here with me. And it’s only going to get harder with the Christmas season coming up.
With that being said, I am using my time off from Amcarmen’s Kitchen to plan ahead for 2020! I already have a theme set in stone and have drawn up a few recipes to match the theme! All I have to do now is to execute a bunch of them so that I’ll have the recipes ready for you by the New Year! ‘Till then, stayed tuned!
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?
PREP TIME 5 MINS| COOKING TIME 25-30 MINS| SERVES 4-5
450g bee hoon (thin rice vermicelli noodles)
250g char siu pork (Chinese BBQ pork)*, sliced
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.
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.
While the noodles a boiling away, mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Serve immediately with a squeeze of calamansi or a lemon wedge. Enjoy!