Sunday, July 20, 2014

Vegetables-Simmered Rice Vermicelli “Stir-Fry" 蔬菜焖米粉

Whenever we visit Singapore, the flight would typically be the wee hours in the morning, flying in from San Francisco. In our most recent April visit, it was an evening flight instead, coincidentally coinciding with late dinner time at my parents'.

Few days before our arrival, I had particularly requested a light dinner, preferably one-dish as I did not want extra work for my parents and their helper. As wished, our dinner was a one-dish rice vermicelli dish cooked with vegetables. Simple, light, and comforting yet very flavorful (what a perfect after-flight meal!).

I knew the flavor came from simmering the vegetables (and vermicelli) with homemade chicken stock/broth marrying the savory of chicken stock and sweetness of vegetables, then completely absorbed by the rice vermicelli.

It may be a simple dish but I believe every (Asian, or Chinese) family has its own version of "stir-fry" rice vermicelli bee hoon. Not long after I returned to California, I decided to replicate this dish, my way - a way of stir-fry bee hoon that is not greasy.

Vegetables Simmered Rice Vermicelli 蔬菜米粉
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
2 celery, thinly sliced
6-8 large Napa cabbage leaves, thinly sliced
3-4 fresh oyster mushrooms, thinly sliced
5-6 fresh woodear mushrooms, thinly sliced
2-3 cups homemade chicken stock/vegetable stock or water, sufficient to simmer the ingredients
1tbsp organic light soy sauce
Salt, ground white pepper to taste
1 packet rice vermicelli, soaked in hot water till softened, set aside

Directions: Fry shallot till translucent, then add carrot and garlic and fry till carrot become slightly tender. Add murhooms,  and fry for 5 mins, till mushrooms are slightly cooked add celery and cabage and fry for another  2-3 mins. Add soy sauce and ground white pepper and mix well into the veggies. Add cooking stock (use veggie stock or water if vegetarian) to the veggies and let it come to boil, then turn down heat and simmer for a few minutes, for flavors to infuse. Add in bee hoon, mix well with veggies, salt and ground white epper to taste, and let everything simmer till stock/liquid reduces slightly. More salt and ground white pepper to taste if required.

The trick lies in aromatizing the shallots, garlic, mushrooms, carrots from the beginning; plus a simmering step where the vegetables and bee hoon will absorb all the liquid (and flavors!) of the cooking stock.

Sharing with Hearth and Soul and Delicious Dish Tuesday

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