Tang hoon, also called vermicelli, glass noodles, 冬粉 (dong fen, meaning winter noodles), is a light version of bee hoon, typically made from some kind of starch. Most commonly found are ones made of mung bean starch, often referred to as ‘mung bean thread’. Compared to bee hoon, which is made of rice, tang hoon is finer and more delicate. Further, it looks glassy and transparent when cooked, hence the name ‘glass noodles. Tang hoon is tasteless on its own, making it a versatile addition to many dishes. It can be used to add textural interest to soup or gravy, as a side dish when stir-fried, or as in this recipe, as a meal by itself. Common ingredients for stir-fries include some combination of chicken, fried or dried shrimp, shiitake mushrooms, fish cake and bean sprouts. It is merely a matter of preference, variety and choice. I added a hefty dose of pepper in my version; go easy if you do not care for it as much.
2 packets tang hoon, soaked till soft and drained
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, diced
2 eggs, beaten
½ carrot, julienned
Handful of bak choy leaves
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 oyster sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
½ cup vegetable stock
1 tsp pepper
1. Heat 2 tbsp oil in wok. Add garlic and shallots. Stir-fry till golden.
2. Add carrots. Fry till nearly cooked through.
3. Add bak choy leaves. Fry till wilted,
4. Add tang hoon and sauce. Stir to combine well. Lower heat to medium.
5. When liquid is mostly absorbed, add eggs to side of wok and leave untouched till eggs are half-cooked. Break up egg and mix into tang hoon till eggs are cooked through.
6. Garnish with green onions. Serve with dollop of belachan.
Serves 2 (as a meal)
Serves 4 (as a sidedish)
It is a cool evening, heralding the beginning of fall with the leaves rewarding with sights of yellow and orange and red everywhere we turn. Cool weather needs foods that bring comfort. In this all-in-one dinner recipe that was made with available ingredients in the fridge, ginger is added for its warming effect. For the noodles, any white wheat noodles will do. I prefer Hsin Tung Yang’s guan miao noodles.
1/2 lb chicken, cubed
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp garlic, minced or finely chopped
1 tbsp shallots, sliced thinly
1/2 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
2 small or 1 medium sized carrots, cubed
1 tsp oyster sauce
2 skeins Taiwan (white) noodles, cooked according to instructions
1 tsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp chinese cooking wine
2-3 drops sesame oil
2 dashes white pepper
Marinate chicken for 10 minutes. Coat well with flour. Set aside.
Heat oil and sauté garlic, shallots and ginger till fragrant.
Add chicken and stir quickly , turning over cubes evenly.
When chicken is nearly cooked, add carrots and sauté well.
Stir in oyster sauce.
Add cooked noodles. Avoid adding the liquid from the noodles to the wok.
Toss thoroughly and serve.
Add a dash of soy sauce to taste if needed.
Lately, I am experimenting with pork fat. I sneaked in a couple of pieces along with the ginger, shallots and ginger. After adding the noodles, I felt we needed more veggies since I had not prepared a separate dish of vegetables. So I added a handful of frozen mixed vegetables that I had on hand. At the last minute, I spied my bottle of hay bee hiam (Nonya fried shrimp) which my family loves on a cool evening, and added a tbsp of that toward the end of the cooking as well.
Summer brings with it long days, sunshine, clear skies and its cornucopia of lush fruits and vegetables. Looking around my kitchen one afternoon, wondering what to make for dinner, I pondered a single leftover sun-ripened tomato-in-vine and an ear of white corn that recently left the farm. Now I can feast on corn boiled in nothing but water for the entire harvest season, as I had done the past 2 days, but my husband does not care for the flossing that needs follow. A quick look around my pantry resulted in this global mix of cuisine – north asian noodles with south-east asian dried seafood with summer bounty found in western climes.
2 skeins shanghai (white) noodles, cooked according to instructions
1 ripe tomato
1 white or sweet corn, kernels shucked
3 sprigs leaves from shallots, chopped finely (or spring onions)
4 chinese dried mushrooms, soaked and sliced
tip-of-handful dried shrimp, soaked
tip-of-handful ikan bilis (anchovies), soaked to remove excessive salt
2 dried scallops, soaked to soften
chinese cooking wine
Saute garlic till fragrant.
Add corn kernels and stir-fry generously for about 30 seconds.
Add in dried mushrooms and keep frying at high heat.
Add in shrimp, ikan bilis and scallops till mostly cooked.
Toss in tomatoes and give it quick stir. The ingredients should be mostly quite dry by now.
Add a splash of cooking wine, a dash of fish sauce adjusted to taste and about 2 tbsp of water reserved from soaked shrimp and scallops. Keep heat high for 10 seconds before lowering to medium heat to simmer for about 1 minute.
Stir in shallot leaves before serving.