Thursday, June 23, 2011

Spicy Fried Vermicelli (Meehoon)

So I was at the supermarket last weekend when a packet of Adabi Fried 'Rice Vermicelli' Paste caught my eye. Thus far, my foray into making delicious lip smacking spicy, yummy fried meehoon (like how my mum used to make for us growing up) has not been successful. Some call it mee siam, I just call it spicy fried meehoon.

The best part about making the meehoon myself is I get to include ingredients which my husband and I really like. For example; taugeh (bean sprouts) in our fried meehoon is a no-no for us. Prawns is a definite yes! Fish cake (for me) is a long-standing favourite.

So I bought the packet of Adabi paste together with my choice ingredients and put the paste to the test.

Serves: About 5 persons
1 big packet of Adabi's Fried 'Rice Vermicelli' Paste like below

My choice ingredients:
1 medium-sized onion (sliced)
Peeled prawns (marinated with 1 tsp chilli powder)
Fish cake (sliced) - I buy these from the pasar segar (about 6 sticks in a pack)
Finely sliced lettuce (or other greens like 'Chinese Cabbage')

My choice of rice vermicelli (meehoon):

A1 Bihun Beras
Note: I have tried other brands but I will stick to this brand. It comes in mini packets of meehoon (50g) each and if you're cooking for a specific number of people it's easy to guess how much meehoon to fry. I generally don't cook a whole big pack.

Each mini roll of meehoon like this is 50g. This recipe calls for 300g meehoon.
What to do:
Soak about 6 mini meehoon packs (300g) in plain water (not hot water). Leave until soft (about 3 mins) while preparing other ingredients.

Beat 3 eggs in a bowl. Scramble and set aside.

Step 1:
Heat 10 tablespoons oil in a wok. Add sliced onions and fry till aromatic. Add the Adabi paste and mix well. Add about 180ml water (3/4 cup) and allow to boil.

Step 2: 
Add in prawns and allow to cook for few mins while mixing. Add the fish cake and mix.

Step 3:
Add the drained meehoon and mix again making sure all the water in the wok soaks into the meehoon. 
(Note: Keep frying/stirring - allowing the meehoon to soak up all the liquid and flavours in it).

Step 4:
Once meehoon is reddish in colour and there is no more liquid in wok - add in greens and eggs. Give it one final mix. Turn off heat and serve with fried shallots.

Note: There are instructions at the back of the Adabi paste packet on how to cook the meehoon as well. My version differs based on my choice ingredients.

Verdict: Really yummy. It was just the type of fried meehoon I was longing to make. If you prefer it spicier - add in sliced red chillies! Garnish with fried shallots (you can get these in a pack in most supermarkets).

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Chicken Curry

Here's the recipe. Tried and tested. There are many versions of chicken curry recipes. Some include coconut milk others don't. This one doesn't. This version has the Indian Ingredients staples which include - spices, ground ginger, garlic and shallots, lots of onions, curry leaves, chilli, curry & coriander powder.

I whole chicken (skinned and cut into medium-sized pieces)

About 6 cloves + 1 star anise + 5 cardamoms + 1 cinnamon stick + curry leaves
About 3/4 tsp cumin, 3/4 tsp fennel and 3/4 tsp mustard seeds
Note: When I made this the 2nd time, I used only 1/2tsp instead of 3/4tsp of the above spices. It's up to you.

Make a paste:
Mix 3 tbsp curry powder + 2 tbsp chilli powder + 3/4 tsp turmeric powder + 1 tsp coriander powder with 1 and a half cups water

Ground Ingredients:
Blend or pound together: 1 shallot + 3 pips garlic + 1 small piece ginger

2 onions sliced
4 pips garlic sliced
5 slices garlic
1 tomato (cut into wedges)
2 potatoes (skinned and cut into small pieces) Note: To avoid the cut potatoes from discolouring - keep them soaked in a bowl of water. Drain them just before adding into curry.
Tamarind juice (mix 1 tablespoon tamarind with few tbsp water - then strain - use only the juice)
Note: When I made this the 2nd time, I left out the tamarind juice - it was ok.

What to do:

Step 1:
Heat 2 tbsp oil in wok. Put onions and fry for 5 mins. Add garlic and fry for another 5 mins. Add all spices in plus curry leaves. Fry for 5 mins. Remove from oil and set aside.

Step 2;
In same wok, put in curry paste. Stir and let boil - for 5 mins. Keep mixing. Put in chicken pieces and mix. Close lid (over medium flame) and leave for about 8-10mins.

Step 3:
Open lid and add about 1 cup water. Close lid and leave for 10 mins. Mix in between.

Step 4:
Put in ginger slices and 2 tbsp ground ginger, garlic and shallot paste. Add in potatoes. Close lid and leave for 10mins. Mix in between.

Step 5:
Add tomatoes and tamarind juice.Note: You can also add in about 2tbsp coconut milk/santan at this stage if you wish.Mix for 5 mins.  Add fried onion mix. Season with 2-3 tsp salt and switch off heat.

When I made it, I found the portion of gravy to be not as much as I wanted. To counter this, I would just add more water.

Also initially, for the fennel, cumin and mustard seed spices - I used 1tsp. I found that this could be lessened. But if spices is your thing, like it is for my other half - then you can stick to 1tsp.

We enjoyed it with bread and also frozen pratha bread (the type you buy in the supermarkets) which you can just pan-fry to warm up.

You can use alot of the same ingredients to make this awesome mutton varuval too.

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