“So how much do I need to add in this?”
“Just whatever you feel is right”
“um…So about 1 tbsp?”
“Hm…yea i guess. Maybe a bit less? Just add in however much feels right..”
“ok. So how much is that?”
I have heard this conversation repeat itself so many times – again and again. Its not surprising since my dad and my grandmother never cooked with any specific recipe or precise measurements – it was all by “feeling” or by “eye”. And I absolutely hated that. Learning any traditional recipes was tough! Being in the kitchen with them always meant full concentration, full attention, and then franticly scribbling down notes on scrap pieces of paper. Needless to say, replicating Chinese dishes was a tough task!
I have watched my grandmother, my dad and all members of my family in awe as they could whip up a feast with just any ingredient they had on hand and magically it would always taste delicious. Growing up, cooking seemed like foreign skill and a professional art! To me, it is really simply anything you had on hand that you threw together in a pan! Chinese food is probably a lot more than spontaneous cooking, but the authentic chinese food I grew on really consisted of pretty much anything you magically put together. Simple, but complex at the same tim! What I have realized is that the most critical part is the base – scallions, ginger, garlic- then tasting and flavoring with soy, salt, sugar – and you’re pretty much set. So I do have to apologize today because quite frankly, I don’t really have a specific name for this particular stirfry dish today. It really is something we threw together on a whim and guess what..it turned out to be a delicious-tasting authenticly-flavoured noodle dish. I’m sure my grandmother and dad would be proud 🙂
This is one of those noodle dishes that we had to improvise on the spot and it tasted delicious especially with the addition of fresh chilis.
It is amazing to see what you can throw together under pressure in less than an hour.
So why did we make this dish again?
Zoe and I made this dish for a potluck we had that evening. Even though it was a school night, we decided it would be fun to take a break. We gathered with a couple friends together to share a wonderful spread of ethnic dishes from Korean kimchi fried rice to Japanese miso salmon. But the true highlight of the evening was the conversation we had. All of us excitedly shared our experiences as missionaries for our church over the past year. One of our amazing friends shared her journey to finding the church through a high school friend and then eventually deciding to serve a mission in Cambodia. It was a very unique, humbling experience for her. Many people lived in the poor conditions with no running water, electricity or air conditioning. Some even had to compromise church attendance because of limited job options to pick from. After returning home she felt inspired with another fellow missionary to open up a tourist company where she hired local members of church to help out. This tourist company not only allowed them to take Sundays off so they could attend church but also allowed them a stable income where they could support their families. It is amazing to see the difference people can make in the world. I was blown away by her passion, her zeal and her love for the Cambodian people.
After hearing her story, I just felt so inspired. Each and every one of us can make a difference in the lives of others through small and simple ways. Even though I was in college and still a sophomore, I realized I could dream big. I could aspire to do better things. There are still many years ahead of me, but I am deeply grateful to realize that I have the power and the potential to choose to do good in the world. At that moment I never felt more sure that I needed to pursue a medical career – so that I can help those around me heal emotionally, physically and be able to live a healthy lifestyle.
Doesn’t the colors just look fantastic? Fish cakes, egg, yellow bell peppers, cabbage, chicken..and thick rice noodles flavored with fish sauce. Cooking is really simple. Chinese Cooking is even more simple. I’m sure anyone could throw this together. If we can, I’m sure you can do it too.
Adapted from CuisineParadise
Ingredients – Serves 2-3
- Rice Noodles (we added according to eye how much in ratio) – around 500g?
- Fish Cakes, Sliced
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Cabbage, sliced
- 1 chicken breast, sliced thinly
- 4 cloves of garlic
- Spring Onion
- 4 small red chilis, sliced
- 250ml Chicken Broth
Marinade for Chicken:
- Gluten Free Soy Sauce
- Gluten Free Fish Sauce
- Gluten Free Oyster Sauce
- Black Pepper
- Marinade chicken and set it aside.
- Heat a nonstick frying pan, pour in the beaten eggs. Swirl pan and evenly spread out the egg. Flip to cook the other side
- When done, set it aside. Let it cool and cut into strips.
- Using same pan, fry the fish cakes and set it aside.
- Cook Noodles according to package and set it aside.
- In a nonstick frying pan, add in the garlic and spring onions. Add in the chicken, give it a quick toss.
- Add in the cabbage to cook. Stir fry for another minute.
- Add in the chicken broth and oyster sauce. (Start with 1-2 tsp first.)
- Stir in the Rice noodles and the fish cakes. Let the noodles braise in the liquid until some of the liquid has been absorbed.
- Stir in the chopped chilis (for extra heat). Season with fish sauce, black pepper and more oyster sauce according to taste.