Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Braised Chinese Noodles (yee mee/poh chai mee) recipe

A common offering at Chinese cookstores or Zi Char stores is braised chinese noodles (yee mee/poh chai mee). This noodle is great, braised or cooked in fish soups. Nowadays, you can easily purchase this fried and dried noodle in supermarkets and I opted for Ping Pong brand Hong Kong Poh Chai Mee ($1.30 for four servings) for this dish.

This is a great throw-together dish where you can use your leftover braised meat (chicken, pork, beef) and the noodles will soak up the essence of the sauce. Alternatively, chicken stock or plain water (used by lazy me) can be used.

Yee Mee (I used Ping Pong Hong Kong Poh Chai Mee, 1.5 servings)
Dried mushrooms
Vegetables (I used Xiao Bai Cai)
Onion (optional)
Garlic (I used 4 cloves)
Meat (Any kind of marinated meat/leftovers; I omitted because I didn't have any on hand)

Oyster sauce
Light soy sauce
Dark soy sauce
White pepper

1. Bring to boil a small saucepan of water and boil the dried noodles for about 1 minute or until the noodles separate. Even though this step is more time consuming, it is good as the water will help to wash out the oil and smell of the noodles as they were fried previously and help to loosen up the noodles into a less compact form. Drain and leave aside. You can rinse them briefly in cold water to keep the noodles chewy but I skipped this as I found this kind of noodles to be quite "hardy".

2. Mince garlic and fry them in a saucepan with oil. Once the garlic starts to brown, put in the meat and fry till there are some juices from the meat. Thereafter, add in the mushrooms and onion. 

3. After a minute or so, add in the noodles and the seasonings. I use approximately 1.5 tablespoon of oyster sauce, 1.5 table spoon light soy sauce and half a tablespoon of dark soy sauce. Do take this measurements as approximate and not add everything at once. Add in desired amount to suit your own taste. 

4. Add in half a cup of water, add in vegetables and mix well. Cover the pan with lid and simmer for about 3 minutes. Once the noodles is soft and the ingredients are cooked, add a dash of pepper and serve.

To prepare dried mushrooms, soak in water for about 1 hour. As I decided to make this dish only at the last minute, to speed up the soaking process, I cut off the mushrooms stalks and popped the bowl of water and mushrooms in the microwave for 20 seconds. The warm water helped the mushroom to soften up quickly. You can also use warm water to soak the mushrooms to shorten waiting time.

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