It was a rainy weekend here in Minnesota with heavy down pour from Friday through Sunday. The deluge made staying home and indoors the obvious choice. We lazed around, ate, and worked on our hobbies. The lawn was well watered and the grass probaby grew several inches but it will have to left alone for now.
As we did not feel like going out, I made something really simply for lunch on Saturday. Fried rice noodles is a family favorite which I have not cooked in a while. There is no fixed rule as to what can be included with the noodles and so I added whatever I had on hand. We all cleaned our plates in no time and wished there was more. Next time I will have to cook a little extra so that we can have second helpings.
Fish sauce, though very commonly used in Vietnamese and Thai cuisines, is not as prevalent in Chinese cuisine. It is seldom, if ever, used in Cantonese cuisine. I think it is mainly used by the Min Nan Chinese comprising mainly of the Hokkien (Fujian) and Teochew dialects. Again this can also be regional as I noticed that in Malaysia, the northern Hokkiens in Penang and Kedah use fish sauce while those in the central and southern regions not as much. My mom does not use fish sauce at all in her cooking. Hence, fish sauce is a relative new ingredient to me. While it is said to impart an umami flavor to food, it is definitely an acquired taste.
There are many grades of fish sauce available and because I use it sparingly, I try to buy the best grade I can find. According to my Vietnamese friend, the highest grade fish sauce should have the word “nhi” on the label. She recommendeds the Phu Quoc or Three Crabs brand. She personally prefers Phu Quoc. I have tried both and I like the Phu Quoc better too.
- 8 oz (225g) beehoon (rice sticks)
- 8 oz (225g) shrimp, shelled
- 6 oz (170g) fish cakes or chicken breast, sliced
- 12 oz (340g) xiao bai cai (baby bok choy)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup (60ml) soy sauce
- ¼ cup (60ml) water
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 3 tbsp canola oil
- Soak beehoon for 30 minutes. Drain.
- Heat oil in pan. Sauté garlic until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add shrimps and fish cakes. Cook until shrimps turn pink and curl, about 2 minutes.
- Add noodles, xiao bai chai, soy sauce, water, and fish sauce. Stir to get everything well mixed and until beehoon and xiao bai cai are cooked, about 5 minutes or so.
- Remove and divide into 4 individual plates. Serve immediately.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 8)