It's a tangle of silky-thin strands of rice vermicelli (like white hair), golden fried egg, sweet cabbage and briney seafood in the wok, together with its braising liquid.
If you had the foresight to spend hours brewing a rich, milky, collagen-y stock, then squirrel it away in the freezer for the future, here's the perfect use to stretch your precious liquid into another fabulous dish to feed your household during lockdown. The thin strands of vermicelli really sop up all that flavourful broth and you can (and should) go light on the seasoning. If you don't have said stock on hand, you can still make this really tasty (in fact, my mum prefers this version so I wonder why I made it with my precious stock in the first place!) with a few trix I'm about to share here and yes, it invovles (Again) dashi tea bags.
First, take 200g of thin, dried rice vermicelli and soak them in a bowl of room temperature water until they soften. This should take about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Prep your seafood. I used some clams and prawns. Make sure they're cleaned and de-shelled. Save those prawn shells for use in soup, like say, the prawn mee in Book One.
Prep your veggies. I like cabbage in this for the sweetness it lends to the broth. Just chunk up a suitable amount and set them aside.
Prep your eggs. Whisk 4 eggs together in a bowl and set aside.
Prep your stock. For this, I use 800 ml of water mixed with one dashi tea bag (of good quality). I also add in a dash of scallop powder from Lilo Ikan Billis, some red boat fish sauce and a drizzling of lard that I had rendered earlier in the air fryer. The air fryer lard is up on the Air Fryer Highlights. We will be enhancing its flavour further with some chinese wine and sesame oil when we start Wokking.
Prep your aromatics. Mince up 4 to 5 cloves of garlic. Have some chunky slices of ginger ready.
To Wok: This all happens really fast. Set your wok over high heat and drizzle in about 3 Tablespoons of oil. When the oil is hot, add your eggs and fry them until they're set and charred. You don't want underdone French style. We go hard here. Golden, Seared, Overdone. This will be all for the greater good in the end. Trust me! Ok, set this aside.
Next, add 1 Tablespoon more oil into your wok and char your rice noodles. This step is optional and you can omit it easily. Just set the rice vermicelli aside after it's given a char.
Next add in 1 more Tablespoon of oil and over low heat, tip in your aromatics. When they soften and their aromas get released, crank heat up to high and add in your cabbage and stock mixture. Add a huge splash of chinese wine, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and adjust for seasoning. If need be, add a pinch more of salt and/or fish sauce to get it savoury.
Add in your noodles and let it cook for about 30 seconds in the stock. Then add your egg back in and toss in all your seafood. Let combine until the seafood is just cooked. Taste and when you're happy with it, plate and serve.
For garnish, I strew some crisp lard cubes, fried shallots (storebought) and spring onion over the entire dish before bringing it out to the family for dinner. Enjoy!
P/S: As usual, step by step tutorial guide can be found on ig highlights here.