Sunday, 19 October 2008

Home-made Noodles

I have tried making hand-made noodles (ramen or la mein, which means stretched noodles) sometime ago but never quite got the hang of it. There's a time-tested easier way. This, we have been doing since I was a kid. My mother used to knead the dough and the boys (me and my brothers) would be called upon to roll the dough flat for cutting into strips. We used glass bottles filled with water (to add weight). I remember it was quite strenuous and we boys often grumbled. And there was a lot to roll because we had a big family. But it was a family favourite. Wholesome homemade noodles, no melamine or any kind of chemical or preservative or colouring. Just flour, egg (if you like), water and a little salt. Add the water in small portions when kneading the flour so that it doesn't get all soft and mushy. Well, you can just knead until the ingredients are well-mixed but still hard. Or, my wife kneads a little bit more to make it a little more elastic. Yes, she does the kneading.

This is the delicious bowl of home-made noodles. Lots of green vegetables, some black mushrooms, prawns and meat. Essential are pair of chopsticks and spoon (these were bought in Chun Cheong, Korea) and you can't have noodles without piping hot red fresh cut chilly. The test of a good bowl of noodles is the sweat, after you finish eating the noodles and drank all the soup.

Here's the apprentice Jillian. The table-top was specially designed for making noodles. Put some flour on the table-top and just roll the dough until it is the thickness that you like. We like it thin.

When the dough is flat, fold it like you are making a paper accordion fan. Then use a cleaver (or heavy knife) and use slicing motion to cut the noodles into strips. Don't press down hard when cutting or the noodles will stick together. Remember, slicing motion.

For the soup we like to make some fried shallots and garlic. You can also stirfry lightly the prawns and meat with the shallot and garlic; gives it extra flavour. Fish ball or chicken balls are great. Remember lots of vegetables. You don't even need any stock or bones for the soup. When ready to eat, just put the noodles straight into the boiling soup. Serve hot. Make sure you don't overload the soup with too much noodles or you will just get a sticky mess.

In memory of all the mothers who gave us home-cook wholesome meals.

1 comment:

Abe said...

Fried shallots? make sure no plastic! Im still skeptical about it..
looks like a good meal..makes me hungry now.

Should now encourage people to eat more home-made meals.. healthy, chemical-free and most important filled with warmth of family---> sustainable!