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Easy and economical recipes for noodles and rice featuring eggs

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Hedy Khoo on 23 Nov 2019

The Straits Times

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SINGAPORE - Trying to save money and cut calories to gear up for the year-end holiday season?

 

Here are two quick and simple recipes for Huai Shan Noodles With Egg and Egg Fried Rice that use austere ingredients but make for a luxurious meal.

 

Eggs are a low-cost protein and the ultimate convenience food.

 

Instead of reaching out for instant noodles, amp things up with huai shan noodles, made from wheat and huai shan (Chinese wild yam) extract.

 

These noodles are available in dried form and cost $3.50 a box at Joo Huat Trading located at 02-222, 269A Queen Street. (For the full list of retailers, go to www.nutrirainbow.com)

 

The huai shan noodles take only two to three minutes to boil. Then give them a shot of sunshine in the form of a boiled egg with a jammy yolk. For fibre, add a bunch of chye sim and top with some sprigs of coriander and spring onion.

 

For added crunch, fry your own ikan bilis. For $2.30 a 100g, you can get a decent grade of ikan bilis that is not overly salty. Allow it to cool, then store in an air-tight jar in the fridge. They should be able to keep for up to a month.

 

Fried ikan bilis adds a flavourful punch to simple one-dish noodles, rice and porridge dishes.

 

EGG FRIED RICE

 

An oldie but goodie, fried rice is a staple that most home cooks have in their repertoire.

 

There are so many permutations of fried rice because of the wide plethora of ingredients used. In recent times, I have come to appreciate the most basic version - Egg Fried Rice.

 

It is easy and economical to cook. If you get it right, it is the ultimate comfort food.

 

But for the longest time, I have argued with friends, fellow home cooks and chefs over whether to use overnight rice for cooking fried rice.

 

The main reason for doing so, fans of using leftover rice say, is that the rice loses moisture when refrigerated overnight, making it suitable to fry and absorb the seasoning added during the frying process.

 

I maintain it is unnecessary to use leftover rice or to cook rice and keep it overnight for the purpose of frying it the next day.

 

It is perfectly fine to use freshly cooked rice. A simple solution is to use less water when cooking the rice.

 

This works whether you are using long-grained or short-grained rice. The ideal ratio for long-grained rice to water should be one rice cup of rice to three-quarter rice cup of water. This makes for rice that is springy in texture.

 

If you prefer your rice a little more moist, add a tablespoon of water and a little more salt right after you season it with fish sauce and light soya sauce when frying.

 

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HUAI SHAN NOODLES WITH EGG

 

INGREDIENTS

 

  • 4 refrigerated eggs (63g each)
  • 1 litre of water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 50ml cooking oil
  • 100g raw ikan bilis, rinsed
  • 21/2 litres of water
  • 180g chye sim
  • 4 pieces of dried huai shan noodles (87g a piece)
  • 10g fresh coriander
  • 1 stalk of spring onion, sliced
  • Seasoning for each bowl of noodles
  • 1 Tbs light soya sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp dark soya sauce
  • Dash of ground white pepper
  • 1 Tbsp of crispy chilli

 

METHOD

 

1. Place eggs in a saucepan and pour in the water. Water should cover the eggs by 21/2cm.

 

2. Bring the water to a simmering boil.

 

3. Add salt. Turn the heat to low and continue to cook the eggs for four minutes.

 

4. Remove eggs from the water and place in cool tap water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.

 

5. In a frying pan or wok, heat 50ml of cooking oil over medium heat.

 

6. Add the ikan bilis and fry over medium-low heat until brown.

 

7. Remove from the pan and place on kitchen paper to drain excess oil. Set aside.

 

8. Bring 1 litre of water to a boil.

 

9. Blanch the chye sim and set aside.

 

10. In each serving bowl, add the light soya sauce, sesame oil, dark soya sauce and white pepper.

 

11. Bring 11/2 litres of water to a boil.

 

12. Cook two pieces of the dried huai shan noodle at a time. Cook for two minutes. Drain and divide the noodles into the serving bowls.

 

13. Arrange the blanched chye sim on each bowl. Place 1 tablespoonful of ikan bilis in each bowl. Peel and halve an egg for each bowl.

 

14. Add 1 tablespoonful of crispy chilli a bowl. Garnish with fresh coriander and spring onion.

 

15. Serve immediately.

 

Makes four servings

 

EGG FRIED RICE

 

INGREDIENTS

 

  • 1 rice cup of long-grained rice (150g), rinsed
  • ¾ rice cup of water (135ml)
  • 3 eggs (55g each)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 Tbs cooking oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 Tbs fish sauce
  • 1 Tbs light soya sauce
  • Dash of ground white pepper
  • 20g spring onion, diagonally sliced
  • 10g fried ikan bilis

 

METHOD

 

1. Place the washed rice and 135ml of water into the rice cooker to cook. Once the rice is cooked, set aside.

 

2. In a bowl, crack the eggs.

 

Add the salt and sesame oil. Beat well and set aside.

 

3. Heat the cooking oil in a frying pan or wok over high heat.

 

4. Add the garlic and stir-fry for 30 seconds until fragrant.

 

5. Add the beaten eggs and stir briefly for 15 seconds. Add the cooked rice. Stir-fry for 45 seconds to mix the egg with the rice.

 

6. Season with fish sauce and light soya sauce.

 

7. Add the white pepper and continue stir-frying for three minutes.

 

8. Turn off the heat and add the spring onion. Toss briefly and transfer onto serving plate.

 

9. Garnish with the fried ikan bilis before serving.

 

Makes two servings

 

Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.

 

 

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