13 April 2007

Quick & Easy Meals II - Fried Beehoon

Fried beehoon is really a humble dish nowadays. Although supposed to be a staple, it is now overshadowed by the 'side' dishes which are deemed as the star attractions. For breakfast or lunch, it is accompanied with luncheon meat, fried egg, fish cake, fried popiah, hotdog etc; during BBQ or potluck, it plays a side-kick role to the popular curry chicken. Just look at the price of beehoon as compared to the side dishes which are relatively more expensive. It is a staple easily forgotten by many yet plays an important role in our daily lives (or perhaps used to be).
Fried beehoon can be cooked easily at home and it's really up to individuals to cook it a variety of ways. Some like it plain and simple; some like to spice it up with lots of different ingredients; some enjoy it soft while others like it 'QQ' and springy.
I like the nostalgic "mum's taste" (妈妈的味道) beehoon cooked with canned stewed pork (红烧猪肉,扣肉). When the gravy from the canned stewed pork is fully absorbed by each strand of beehoon, it adds a very special aroma and always makes me go for more helpings :P. I can say that this is my comfort food just like cabbage rice (shall blog about that another time).
Fried beehoon (serves 3-4 persons)
  • 1/2 pack of beehoon (I usually buy 'Chilli' brand. Soak it in water until soft)
  • 1 can of stewed pork (Maling or Narcissus brand)
  • 1/2 cabbage, shredded (Those small size cabbage found in NTUC. Quantity according to preference)
  • 1/2 carrot, shredded (Quantity according to preference)
  • 2 pieces of fish cake, shredded
* Ingredients are up to individual preference, can also add beansprouts, dried shitake mushroom (pre-soaked until soft) etc.
  • Heat up the wok with oil, fry some garlic for fragrance.
  • Add cabbage, carrot and fish cake and stir fry until cabbage is slightly soft and turns translucent.
  • Add beehoon and stir fry.
  • Add stew pork bit by bit (not the gravy yet), breaking the pork to mix it with the beehoon and other ingredients.
  • Add the gravy from the can bit by bit, make sure not to add too much otherwise the beehoon will be too wet and oily. This is done according to estimation and preference. As the gravy is well seasoned and saltish already, no need to add any other sauce.
  • Stir fry the beehoon and ingredients thoroughly. I usually cut the beehoon with scissors while stirring (I like my beehoon this way, easier to fry and absorb the gravy).
  • Simmer for a while according to the texture of the beehoon before serving. Some like it soft, some like it QQ, some like it wet, some like it dry. I like mine not too soft, not too QQ, not too wet, not too dry.

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