My mum's favourite dish would have to be noodles. After all she is from Singapore where noodles in every way, shape or form inevitably make their way onto lunch and dinner plates and bowls. One of her favourite noodle dishes is a "wet" noodle dish using rice noodles called "Hor Fun" which features rice noodles soused in a delectable sauce. As we are staying with them while our place is being renovated, I am taking the opportunity to have her show me the recipes that I like best and this noodle dish is one of those. She is only too happy to share her recipes with me now and whilst she won't let me put a current picture of her on my wesbite she did let me put up these old black and whites up of her.
My Mother on left-I love a cup of tea too!
My Mother on right and her sister on the left
Usually made with beef, this is also a dish which unravelled a little history to it. My grandmother made the Rice Wine 20 years ago and it's now stored in an old Ribena bottle. My grandmother was a woman who had 6 children and my mother was the youngest of the lot and therefore the "baby". My grandmother was a strict woman, after all being widowed after the war with 6 kids meant that she needed to show some discipline in order to keep her brood in check and she made sure that they all went to university and made a good living for themselves. She was strict but of course caring in her own gruff way, making sure that you got the best pieces of a dish before anyone else. And notoriously hot tempered which has invited some comparisons between me and her! Who moi?
My grandmother's Home-made Rice Wine
I know it seems like an inordinate amount of ingredients for a simple dish but if you look closely, they'll probably be things that you already have in your pantry. The key is to have everything ready and then once it's ready, it's a relatively quick dish to cook which accounts for why you see it at so many outdoor stalls and at food festivals. The dish smells absolutely wonderful whilst cooking it and I defy anyone to resist it. The taste is just as wonderful as the scent suggests, the slippery noodles drenched in an aromatic sauce with a generous surplus of meat and noodles. And there's no shortage of "best pieces" here.
Funnily enough, I found this photo of my mum and her friends. Looks like an early sighting of the Foodus Bloggerus!
Foodus Bloggerus sighting 1960
So tell me a bit about your mother or grandmother Dear Reader!
Chicken (or Beef) Hor Fun Noodles
1 teaspoon rice wine
1 teaspoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
300g chicken or steak, sliced thinly
2 cups chicken or beef stock (depending on which meat you're cooking)
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Rest of ingredients:
500g/1 lb fresh rice noodles
3/4 a bunch of chinese vegetables, sliced into sections
2-3 tablespoons oil
1 inch piece ginger, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
3 shallots, sliced
Fresh chili to serve (optional)
Buyer's tip: fresh rice noodles, Chinese vegetables, rice wine and oyster sauce can all be bought at Asian Grocery stores. Chinese vegetables are Gai Larn or Chinese broccoli etc or you can use broccoli if they aren't available. Dried rice noodles can also be used but these need to be soaked in water as per the directions.
Step 1 - Marinate meat for about 20 minutes. Place your sauce ingredients in a large jug and mix to combine.
Step 2 - In a large wok or frying pan, heat oil and gently fry rice noodles until they turn soft. When you add the noodles into the pan, gently separate the larger chunks so that there aren't any large clumps of noodles. Remove from the pan and place on the serving dish.
Step 3 - Fry the ginger, garlic and shallots until starting to become fragrant (2 minutes or so) and then add marinated meat and fry for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the frypan and place aside in a separate bowl or plate.
Step 4 - Heat the sauce ingredients (stir the contents of the jug just before adding to the pan to ensure that the cornflour doesn't sit at the bottom) and stirring constantly for a few minutes until thickened. Then add chicken and chinese vegetables and cook for a few minutes until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are soft.
Step 5 - Ladle the meat, vegetables and sauce over the rice noodles and serve immediately.