Monday, August 10, 2009
Char Bee Hoon - the secret is in the 'char'
Char Bee Hoon – fried rice vermicelli, is a popular Malaysian/Singaporean dish. There's even a dish called Singapore Char Bee Hoon, a recipe obviously perfected by the Singaporean. My version of char bee hoon came from a relative, an 'aunty' who had years of char bee hoon experience. While I don't remember asking her the specific steps, I remember her making a gravy of soya sauce and other seasoning, in which the meats and vegetables quickly cooked and she dumped in the soaked bee hoon. This allows the bee hoon to soak up all the lovely gravy. It's worked well so far and the trick lay in the amount of gravy. Too much water and you'd end up with soggy bee hoon.
I was at YP's house today (kids playdate) and she shared with me her method of frying bee hoon. She fried the ingredients separately and then lastly fried the bee hoon with some basic seasoning. Return the ingredients to the bee hoon and fry to your preferred dryness. And being the kind person that she is, I left with a bagful of bee hoon and some vegetables, eager to try this method for dinner tonight.
Here's my take on the char bee hoon recipe. Note that I've not made any measurements as I eyeballed it. No worries, you just add the amount that you like, within reason, of course.
Chicken, pork or beef, sliced
Carrots or cabbage, sliced thinly
Dried Shitake mushrooms 3-4 pcs soaked and sliced
Garlic 1 clove
Ginger 2cm, sliced thinly
Bring a pot of water to the boil. Turn off heat and soak the bee hoon for 3-5 minutes. Drain and set aside. Cook the egg omelet style, slice or chop and set aside.
Season the meat with soya sauce, salt, pepper and sesame oil. Heat oil in a wok and fry the meat till done. Set aside. Add a little more oil to the wok and fry the vegetables and mushrooms. Season to taste and set aside. Add a little more oil to the wok and give the garlic and ginger a quick fry. Add the soaked bee hoon. Toss till coated with the oil. Season with soya sauce, salt, pepper and sesame oil. (A little oyster sauce would also be nice). Add the chicken, fried vegetables and egg. Toss till all mixed through.