Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Take A Wok

The wok is the guest star of this recipe. Apart from being fun to cook in, it also lends a logical system of flavor building. Let me explain, heat spreads evenly in a wok. Its a tool that is built for speed. Because cooking in a wok is done on high flame, the rule is to add the more hardy ingredients first and then toss in the vegetables and meat which take less time to cook.

wokThe versatile wok is a big part of cooking in Asia and the Indian sub-continent. In most parts of India, we do some heavy duty deep frying in a kadhai (Hindi for wok).

In Chinese cooking, woks are used for stir frying too, which is a very active process of throwing fresh ingredients in a wok with very little oil.

You can call today’s recipe Stir-fried Seafood with Noodles, with a Chinese influence. I will call it Seafood Chowmein.

Ingredients for the Seafood Chowmein are:

Egg noodles enough for 4 people
1 cup seafood mix (I used from mixed bag of octopus, cuttlefish, squid, clams and mussels)
Half cup shrimp, cleaned and deveined
Three-fourth cups bean sprouts
Half cup snap or snow peas
Couple of green onions, (green and white) julienned
1 tablespoon ginger cut into matchsticks
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
Fresh black pepper powder

When you are cooking in a wok, the key is to keep everything sliced, diced and prepped. Arrange everything on a plate in the exact same order they will go in the wok. Something like this!IMG_7750Thoroughly wash the frozen seafood before you cook them.
IMG_7748 Cook the egg noodles as per instructions on the packet. Drain and keep aside.
IMG_7749 I started off by heating a spoonful of sesame oil for that authentic Asian flavor. You can use any high smoke point cooking oil like sesame or peanut oil for Asian stir fries. But definitely not olive oil.

Add the ginger and garlic and stir for about 30 seconds. IMG_7751 Toss in the seafood mix next.
IMG_7752 Cook on high flame for about five minutes and add the snow peas and bean sprouts and toss around for another couple of minutes. Add the sauces and the salt and pepper seasoning.
IMG_7753 Add the cooked noodles and mix well.

For the garnish, toast sesame seeds in a frying pan on low heat, shaking the pan frequently not to burn them.
IMG_7760IMG_7757 Check the seasoning before you finally serve the Seafood Chowmein, which is pretty much immediately after you turn the heat off!

Garnish with the the julienned green onions and the sesame seeds which are all toasty by now. And maybe a hint of cilantro for special effects.
IMG_7773 IMG_7771 I have a wok. Actually two. Who needs take out now?


The knife said...

I tried prawn hakka once which turned out nie but am generally wary of the water which comes one when you thaw and fry them. Any tips?

Need to buy a big wok. Promised bacon hakka noodles party to friends

PreeOccupied said...

@The Knife, do all the cooking on high flame. I have a wok which does not have a thick body, you know the Chinese ones. That pretty much takes care of the oozing liquids which are such a dampner on stir fries like this. Bangali kodai te Chinese ranna aar kori na. :-)

Hope this helps.

The knife said...

oh achha, i use a non stick and am very keepte with oil

PreeOccupied said...

Keeptemi with oil is a good thing. I used only a tablespoon to make this dish. Try picking a wok up which fans out at the top so that you have a wide space to stir when making Chinese recipes.

The knife said...

will keep that shape in mind as I plan to buy one this weekend