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.
The 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!Thoroughly wash the frozen seafood before you cook them.
Cook the egg noodles as per instructions on the packet. Drain and keep aside.
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. Toss in the seafood mix next.
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.
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.
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.
I have a wok. Actually two. Who needs take out now?