The international cold noodles recipe.

I love Japanese cold noodles. I love the eating process – swirling the springy noodles in the chilled dashi dipping sauce till they’re loose, lightly coated with sauce and eventually, eating it. I love the taste – so refreshing, light and so tasty. I love the condiments – the raw quail egg, scallions, pickles, shredded seaweed sheets and wasabi.

(I really don’t like the sesame seeds that sometimes come with it though. I love everything sesame except the seeds :P)

On this particular warm and humid evening, my stomach decided to crave for Japanese cold noodles. I could have driven out and get my fix but I decided to make it eventhough the only Japanese ingredient I had in my pantry was a tube of instant wasabi.

# – The international cold noodles.

What would you do??

Well, I decided to wing it. I figured that an International version of cold noodles would just do as well to satisfy my craving ;)

What exactly is International cold noodles, your wonder? Lets find out…

The ingredients:

  • 80 grams of wheat or rice vermicelli (from China)
  • 300 ml of chicken stock (from Malaysia)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of nampla or fish sauce (from Thailand)
  • 1 tablespoon of light soya sauce (from China)
  • 1 egg, half boiled (from Malaysia)
  • 1 tablespoon of pickled sour ginger slices (from China)
  • 1 teaspoon of Japanese horseradish paste/wasabi (from Japan)
  • 1 teaspoon of parsley flakes (from USA)

How’s that for International????? Hehe.

# – First, warm up the chicken stock in a pan and pour in the nampla/fish sauce.

# – Followed by the light soya sauce. Stir to combine.

# – Pour the stock into a bowl and keep chilled in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes.

# – In the meantime, make the half boiled egg. This contraption I was using is brilliant! Simply pour boiling water into it up to the designated level and wait for it to drip off. Once water is completely drained, voila…perfect half boiled eggs!

# – Now boil the noodles according to instructions on the packet.

# – Drain the noodles and rinse with cold water. You can throw in some ice if you want.

# – Set the noodles on a plate and placed the half boiled egg on it. Place some pickled ginger slices and squeeze out some wasabi on the side.

# – Take out the chilled dipping sauce and sprinkle parsley flakes all over the sauce. Serve with the plate of noodles.

# – The international cold noodles, DONE!

I was truly pleased because this international cold noodle dish managed to hit all the right notes. The noodles were loose and springy. The half boiled egg was divine (you must absolutely dunk it in the dipping sauce).

The dipping sauce was delicious thanks to the depth of the homemade chicken stock and the taste of sea from the nampla. It was really not a bad replacement for authentic dashi dipping sauce!

All said, some Japanese salty pickles would have made the entire experience perfect, but beggars can’t be chooser. I’ll remember to stock up on Japanese pickles next time. Oh yeah, and chopsticks!!!!

Spicy tuna and French bean tagliatelle recipe.

This dish was made by the BF. I was having the blues so he decided to cook dinner, which is a great thing because my food does reflect my emotions. When I’m feeling iffy, trust me whatever I cook would taste freaking iffy too :P

# – Spicy tuna and French bean tagliatelle.

The pasta was a superb comfort food! Thanks Boobehs! Al-dente pasta coated evenly with a perfectly flavoursome sauce. Hrmmm, my mouth waters at the thought of the dish.

The ingredients:

  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 can of plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 can of tuna chunks in brine, drained
  • 3 tablespoons of tomato puree
  • A handful of french beans, chopped
  • 3 fresh tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of Italian Herbs or Herb de Provence
  • 2 teaspoons of ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of Tabasco sauce
  • Tagliatelle for two people

# – First, sauteed some garlic slices in a pan till fragrant.

# – Then, throw in the sliced onions.

# – Followed by 3 tablespoons of tomato puree. Stir to mix.

# – Don’t forget a couple of dashes of Worcestershire sauce.

# – Now, empty a an of drained tuna chunks into the pan.

# – Then, chuck in the french beans.

# – Some black pepper……..

# – As well as Tabasco sauce if you like a stronger kick…

# – Then, empty a can of chopped plum tomatoes.

# – Season with one tablespoon of brown sugar to offset the tartness a bit.

# – A few dashes of Italian Herbs or Herb de Provence for more depth of flavour. Let the mixture simmer while you cook the pasta.

# – Cook the tagliatelle according to instructions on the pack.

# – A minute before the pasta should finish cooking, throw in fresh tomatoes into the sauce mixture.

# – Pour in the drained pasta immediately. Mix till pasta are properly coated with the sauce.

# – Spicy tuna and French bean tagliatelle, DONE!

The BF really has a knack for conjuring up wonderful flavours, a skill that I have yet to master. Hopefully in the near future I’ll be able to simply throw some ingredients together and it can taste as good as this spicy tuna and French bean tagliatelle, hehe.

Everybody can make pasta carbonara!

I remember my first time making pasta carbonara. Well, it ended in disaster. The pasta was overcooked to the point of clumping. The sauce was gloopy (I made it with corn starch….cue /screams of horror). The bacons were cremated. Yeap, it was that bad.

But those days are behind me. I can now make pretty decent basic pasta carbonara and the steps are incredibly simple too! Don’t believe me? Read on…

# – Creamy, porky, bacon carbonara pasta!

The ingredients:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 150ml of whole milk (you can use cream but that’s just naughty, isn’t it?)
  • 4 slices of back bacon (or 8, or 12 if you’re in the mood!)
  • 140 grams of pasta or enough for 2 people (I used spaghetti, but you can use other types too)
  • 2 spoonfuls of butter
  • 3/4 tablespoon of salt
  • Ground black pepper for taste

# – First of all, cut the back bacons into strips. Make sure every strip has bits of fat attached ;)

# – On medium flame, dump the bacon strips into a pan to brown. There’s no need for additional oil as the bacon will produce its own grease. Stir around occasionally.

# – After about 10 minutes, they will look like this. Turn off the flame and set aside.

# – Now in a bowl, pour the milk into 4 egg yolks.

# – Add 3/4 tablespoon of salt.

# – Followed by a dash of black pepper.

# – Whisk with a fork till everything’s combined like this…

# – Now cook the pasta according to instructions on its packet.

# – Then drain the pasta and put it back into the pot it was cooked in. Add two dollops of butter.

# – And now, pour in the eggy mixture into the pasta.

# – Dump 3/4 of the cooked bacon strips into the pasta. Stir till pasta, bacon and the carbonara sauce are well mixed. If you find the sauce a bit too watery for your taste, you could actually put the pan on low heat and stir till the sauce looks a bit reduced and thicker…be observant though as you don’t want dry carbonara pasta. Dry carbonara pasta is nasty, trust me I know!

# – Plate it and garnish with the leftover bacon strips.

# – Simple, delicious, comforting pasta carbonara, DONE!

This is also a great recipe when you’ve got a surplus of egg yolks. I make meringues once a week so I’ve got a lot of egg yolks lying around waiting to be turned into yumminess.

You’d probably notice that there isn’t any cheese in this recipe. Well, you could put it in of course, but for a cheese fiend like myself, I was surprised to find this carbonara rather decadent without the cheese even. Who am I to dictate though? :)