Shanghai Fried Noodles
I am like super lethargic nowadays. Shanghai's famous humid season has kicked in and it's hot and wet out there, like a steam room minus the aromatherapy. The house is a haven, an air-conditioned haven, and all you want to do is stay at home, leg over the armrest of the Poltrona Frau and
do nothing meditate.
I did go shopping with C and her family yesterday near Huaihai Lu. They were on the lookout for a few good fakes and I happened to know a pretty decent place for such things. Even though I was really touched after the wonderful documentary I saw on Hermes' savoir faire (the last time I was flying), I understand that not everyone has the budget to afford anything from their range of luxury products and sometimes starting off with a good fake could actually lead to one buying the real thing when the desire to own one reaches the right degree (finances permitting, of course).
It was nice going in and out of air-conditioned boutiques for a few hours - until the sky was ominously covered all of a sudden (it actually turned dark at 4pm) and then it just poured. We barely managed to find cover and that was when it was cool to be able to whip out the phone and get the driver to rescue us.
We stayed in today since the kids wanted to lunch at the Face restaurant in our compound and play billiards and I wanted to clean up the mosaic bowl that I've just finished making for SIL. Nowadays I do not even have the energy to cook, so we usually eat out, a chance to bring the kids to different restaurants each day, a change from their horrible school canteen lunches.
The simple mosaic bowl I made for SIL
The last series of cooking classes offered by our compound finished in early June and I missed the last class as the family was here and we had other things to do. I've picked up a few useful recipes and one of them was the famous Shanghai Fried Noodles 上海炒面 that is also known as 葱油拌面 according to the chef.
Cooking this dish actually saw me starting to take some interest in the fresh noodles (and later also dumpling skins) being sold in local shops. I've been snubbing them until now, usually preferring dried Cantonese egg noodles or fresh yellow noodles to be found in supermarkets specialising in imported foodstuff.
The freshly-made local noodles are cheap, count about 2 rmb per one-person portion! I do not know anything about the quality of the wheat flour used, but the noodles do not taste too bad and cook quickly - an important consideration in a lazy housewife's book.
The dumpling skins are often too thick for my liking, but if you are not making Cantonese-style dumplings they will do.
Shanghai Fried Noodles :
fresh chinese wheat flour noodles
dark soy sauce
a bit of minced pork
spring onions (only the green parts)
red bell pepper strips
chinese leafy greens (optional)
Blanche the fresh noodles in rapidly boiling water for about 2 minutes. Remove and rinse them in cold water.
In a large bowl add dark soy sauce (for taste and colour) as well as some sesame oil to the noodles. Toss well.
Fry the spring onions till fragrant in some hot oil. Use only the green bits as the white bits tend to give out too much water when fried. Remove, drain and set aside.
Cook the minced pork (lightly seasoned) and red bell pepper strips in a ladle of oil. Add in Chinese leafy greens if using them. Pour in some hot water and cover, using the steam to finish the cooking.
Pour everything on top of the noodles, add the cooked spring onions and serve. What is really important in this dish are the spring onions so make sure you are generous with them and that they are cooked till fragrant.