Noodles are the other staple food at our house apart from rice. We eat noodles regularly, at least once or twice a week, if not more. In fact, my youngest son, Ro-Jiro probably prefers noodles to rice. His answer is always, “Noodles!” when asked for his preference. For this reason, I do keep a good supply of dried noodles in my pantry. They are so convenient and a meal can be prepared in minutes.
One of the fastest way of preparing noodles is to make “dried tossed noodles” or kon lo meen as it is known in the Cantonese dialect. This method of preparation is very simple. Fresh or dried noodles are simply boiled and toss in sauce. The sauce is usually soy sauce based. It is then topped with a variety of ingredients like lightly scalded vegetables, boiled Sui Kow (Chinese Dumplings) and Wontons, Char Siew (Chinese Barbecue Pork), fried eggs, and the likes. It is really versatile and can be easily made to suit one’s preference.
Although the popular lo mein as known here in the United States sounds similar to kon lo meen, there are differences in its preparation. In lo mein, meats and vegetables are cooked in a sauce and the boiled noodles are returned to the pan at the very end to be tossed and cooked through. This method of preparation is quite different from my understanding of “tossed noodles” but it is quite tasty and I would eat it in a heartbeat.
Choy sum or bok choy are the normal vegetables used in tossed noodles. I have used kale here as it is easily available and a vegetable we have taken a liking to. I have scalded it very lightly so that it remains slightly crunchy. I like its bright green color when cooked this way. This is a quick and satisfying meal for one but it can easily be made for a family of four or more.
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp dumpling sauce/oyster sauce/Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 bundle thin dried noodles
- 3 medium sized stalks kale, stem removed
- 1 red chili, seeds removed and sliced (optional)
Place sesame oil and garlic in a medium microwavable bowl. Cook on high for 1 minute. Remove and add soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and dumpling sauce. Mix well. Set aside.
In a small non-stick pan, heat vegetable oil. Crack egg into pan and cook until desired doneness. Remove and set aside.
Bring a medium sized pot of water to boil. Add dried noodles and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or according to packaging instructions.
Remove, drain, and transfer to bowl with sauce mixture. Toss to coat noodles evenly with sauce.
Add kale to boiling water for 20 seconds. Remove and drain.
Transfer noodles to a serving dish. Top with egg, kale, and chili.
I cook this Lo Mein with Kale and Egg often, sometimes with different vegetables as it is a quick and tasty dish for one. It can be easily multiplied for the family.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day!