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The king of staple food! Either to control your waistline, dietary requirements or trying out various culinary, we will recommend the best rice for the purpose from our wide selection of gains.
So you know your no odles? Think again - From rice, egg, sweet potato, corn noodles to gluten-free pastas, vermicelli and macanoni. If you are a true fan of noodles, you can't resist trying em' out! Don't worry, come in and we will guide you through :)
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Make delicious burger patties from scratch or mouth watering bolognese with soy mince, and be sure to try out our wide variety of precooked meat-free products with your favorite curry or stir-fry!
In this section, we will walk you through some of the most popular and iconic Asian noodles - their composition, cooking methods and recommended ingredients.I
Although rice serves as an important dietary element in Asian culture, noodles can be considered as our traditional form of fast food - and we absolutely adore it!
But first, let's take a look at some important cooking techniques that will undoubtedly help you achieve that restaraunt/take-away taste and feel!
1. Important cooking techniques:
Ensuring perfect timing is absolutely crucial, possibly the hardest part of cooking but here are 5 golden rules that will help you achieve it:
RULE 1: "Wait till boil, then simmer"
Always wait till the water is boiling before adding in the noodles, this will prevent most types of noodles from sticking to one another. No need for oil. Put the stove onto a low heat, cover the pot and let it simmer - not boil.
Stir every now and then.
RULE 2: "3/4 cooked"
The term "3/4" cooked means the noodles is not fully cooked, but edible. Slightly tangy in texture. Strained and rinse under cold running water to remove the heat trapped within the noodles.
Note: Overcooked noodles are soggy, too soft and definitely not recommended for immediate use. They must be washed in a strainer in cold water and refridgerated overnight.
RULE 3: "Intensity of flavour is proportional to the intensity of the heat"
Ever wonder why the restaurants/take-aways make use of a gas stove and wok? (reasons aside from our beloved Eish-kom)
A gas stove generates a much greater heating power and is able to distribute its heat relatively uniform across the wok. The wok is shaped for easy stir-frying and condenses the heating power to the base of the wok.
This allows a “soft-burn" effect on the ingredients without charring the ingredients, and hence achieving that strong distinct appetizing flavour.
Gas stove+wok is the preferred choice for an authentic stir-fry experience and is worth an investment. Check out the video below!
But for most westernized homes, it is probably more common to have a flat-based electric stove. It is still possible to cook an exceptional stir-fry. Remember that the trick is the heating power, simply cook on high heat and slightly char your ingredients before turning down to a low heat.
Note: Due to the high heat nature of this cooking, fast stir-frying techniques are required and beginners should try it out at a lower heat level.
RULE 4: "Limit your ingredient variety"
In the case of a successful stir-fry, the common phrase of "the more, the better” does not apply. A wide variety of ingredients will more likely produce a healthier, balanced meal but not necessarily a better taste.
Our palate will be confused! And will not be able to distinguish and appreciate the distinct flavours of the ingredients.
Stir-frying can be creative, and the trick is to always imagine the end flavour you would like to achieve and select your ingredients based on that.
A nutty, healthy green stir-fry will probably comprise of cashew nuts/crushed peanuts (flavour), soy paste (flavour), green beans (flavour and colour), grated carrots (colour), green peas/sweet corn (garnish), bean sprouts (garnish), sesame seeds (colour) and sesame oil (flavour).
Avoid adding any additional ingredients such as tomato, green/red pepper, potato, and herbs as they will only divert and confuse the palate.
RULE 5: "Wet stir-fry"
What is a "wet" stir-fry? Recall on the chow-mein, stir-fry noodles that you've order from your favourite restaraunt/take-aways... did you notice that they are all particularly saucy and gooey wet?
The aim of this cooking method is to extract the natural flavours of the ingredients of the stir-fry, but with a tiny addition (a splash) of water or stock, will result in binding the flavour into the sauce. You can add a small amount of thickening paste made from tapioca powder or corn starch to increase the viscosity/thickness of the sauce!
Example: Phad Thai with rice vermicelli
2. Asian Noodle Varieties:
Now that we have covered the important aspects of stir-fry preparation and techniques, we will introduce you to the amazing world of Asian noodles.
Get ready to spoil yourself with its variety, styles and expand your world of good food.
The structure of this session is classified into their basic composition followed by a list a few famous dishes of these types of noodles.
Rice noodles - 米粉
In its raw form, it is white, semi-transluscent, dry and brittle. It comes in many styles - Spaghetti, thin vermicelli, flat strands, macaroni.
The main ingredient of this type of noodle is rice flour. Although made up of the same composition, it is a very versatile noodle that quickly adapts to the cooking styles. For example, stir-fry vermicelli will taste very different from char-kway-tiao (a very popular version of stir-fry flat rice strands.
Arguably, this is the most popular form of noodles in Asia. Unlike western noodles, where each type of noodles has a rigid application and few designated cooking styles, rice noodles are applied across from savoury stir-fry, soups, and even desserts.
The taste of rice noodles can be described as neutral, clean and slightly tangy. This clean taste gives it the ability to readily assimilate with the seasoning and flavours of other ingredients.
It is a well-known fact that this noodle type takes a long time to cook, and just like the western spaghetti, the noodles can change from half-cooked to over-cooked in a sudden, therefore a close eye should be cast upon the cooking.
It must be emphasized that rice noodles possesse the wonderful ability to absorb the flavours of the accompanying ingredients without introducing any forms of smell or taste to the food.
This is particularly true for stir-fry.
Example: Stir-fry flat rice noodle strands with sweet soy sauce with fresh bean sprouts, fried tofu cubes, bok choi and crushed peanuts.
Example: Simple rice vermicelli sesame oil stir-fry with green pepper strips, chilli, soy duck, bean sprouts and white sesame seeds.
Example: Fusion! Try western tomato base styled sauce with rice noodles for a refreshing taste!
Noodle soup (noodles in soup!) is probably not a common concept in westernized cooking, but this form of cooking is both historical and popular in the far east. It is a quick form of cooking and filling to the stomach - hence termed as the "fast-food of Asia".
In contrast to stir-fry, the rice noodles maintain a relatively neutral taste in wet-based cooking. The main attraction is to provide an unique tangy texture while its neutrality offers better flavour emphasis on the broth and its ingredients.
Throughout its long history and wide-spread popularity, evolved many variety and secrets in preparing its broth. Here are some of the most popular soup-based noodles:
Example: South East Asia's Laksa - Curried coconut milk soup with lemongrass, chillies, cucumber strips, bean sprouts, boiled egg slices and rice noodles.
Example: Flat rice noodles in soy chilli broth, bok choi and baby corn.
Egg noodles - 鸡蛋麵
In its raw form, it is white, semi-transluscent, dry and brittle. It comes in many styles - Spaghetti, thin vermicelli, flat strands, marcoroni.
It is a well-known fact that this noodle type takes a long time to cook, and just like the western spaghetti, the noodles can change from half-cooked to over-cooked in a sudden, therefore an close eye should be cast on the cooking.
It must be emphasized that the rice noodles possess the wonderful ability to absorb the flavours of the accompanying ingredients without introducing any forms of smell or taste to the food.