We all love Chinese food don't we? Especially when it is Indo-chinese, which means spicier than authentic chinese, and nothing like authentic chinese.
This is was one of the flavours I missed the most when I was in the US. The problem could be easily solved by making the trip to the local Indian store and buying bottles of Ching's Secret Dark Soy Sauce and Green Chilli Sauce. Some green chillies, red chillies, fresh ginger, fat garlic cloves and an Indo-Chinese meal was just an arm's length away!
However in Bombay, one doesn't even need to take that much effort. Every Udipi, every college canteen and every road side food vendor is familiar with "Chinese" and will dish out "Chinese" at some speed !
For those of you who aren't in India- I must update you on the Indo-Chinese fusion foods availables at our friendly-neighbourhood Udipi:
Idli Chilly Fry: Stale Idlis cut into wedges, deep fried till crunchy and rolled in Chinese soysauce gravy
Gobi Manchurian ( You must pronounce this as GoPi Manchurian- this almost seems like the name of a propah South Indian boy with a surname that rhymes with Subramanian )
Chinese Bhel- Substitute the puffed rice with fried noodles, the green and sweet chutney with soy and chilli sauce, the potatoes-onions-tomatoes by shredded carrots-cabbage-spring onions and voila you have Chinese Bhel
Spring Dosa- Our very own Sada dosa smothered with Chinese sauces- filled with cabbage, carrots, onions, coriander, coconut (yes, you heard me right), rolled up, and cut into bite sized pieces. This can fit into a bite only if you open your jaws as wide as you've opened for the root canal of your farthest molar tooth ! This Spring dosa is served with sambhar and coconut chutney alright!
Want to know more about the Indianization of a Chinese Meal? Look at the menu card below esp. the spellings- after all laughter is the best medicine !
Though all the above tastes good and all of that, I'm never too sure of the quality of ingredients, esp. the oils and vegetables used. I love to prepare Chinese food on a weeknight, as its fast to cook and good to eat ( Sorry 'bout the borrowed line ! ). Besides I love the robust flavours of ginger-garlic and sesame seeds. This when mixed with loads of vegetables and delicate noodles, is sure a meal that will make each one, a member of the Clean Plate Club !
Ginger-sesame Hakka Noodles
1 Packet Hakka noodles-cooked to instructions- and removed onto a plate ( I used Ching's Secret brand)
2 cups of mixed vegetables cut into thin strips (Carrots, Cabbage, Babycorn, Onions)
1 T Fresh ginger root cut into thin sticks
1 T sesame seeds
½ T sliced garlic
2 green chillies-julienned
2 red chillies-crushed
1 ½ T dark soy sauce ( I used Ching’s secret)
1 T vinegar
Salt to taste (adjust according to saltiness of soysauce )
1 T sesame oil / vegetable oil
1 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder (Optional )
1 T finely chopped fresh coriander
Put a clean, big wok on high flame. Heat the oil in the wok. Once heated, add the sesame seeds, ginger, garlic and chillies. Saute for 30 seconds.
Add the vegetables and salt- stir around on high flame for 3-4 minutes.
Add the soy sauce, vinegar, 5-spice powder, cooked noodles, toss with a light hand.
Once thoroughly mixed, remove into a big bowl and garnish with chopped coriander.
Make a pot of jasmine tea and you are all set to enjoy an aromatic experience !
You may choose peppers, mushrooms, sweet peas for this recipe. This recipe will serve 2 people with BIG appetites or 3 with medium ones. We were in the former category !