Hong Kong-style noodles, pasteboard tubs of noodles stir-fried with beansprouts and spring onions doused in one’s choice of sauces and topped with either a fried egg or any two out of a selection of steamed or deep-fried dumplings, have been popular street nosh in the bigger Philippine cities for almost a decade now. Their popularity stems from the fact that, apart from being cheap (just P 35.00 – US$ 0.80 – for a tub with all the trimmings) and quickly prepared, they taste good and satisfy the appetites of hungry commuters.
Street-stall noodles, believe it or not, are totally easy to prepare at home. This is a pretty useful little recipe to have when you’re craving for sauced-up noodles and it’s too rainy or too hot to leave the house. (Case in point: it’s raining cats and dogs over here. Wait, let me correct that: it’s raining Alaskan malamutes and Brazilian pumas here. That is how heavy and strong the rains are at the moment!)
One thing, though: I used Ottogi Ramyonsari – a packet of unflavored Korean potato-starch noodles (P 15.00 locally and available in the Oriental groceries aisle of most local supermarkets). While these noodles are commonly added to spicy, savory stews such as budae chigae (sausages and pork shoulder in a kimchi-laced broth) or soondubu chigae (beef and silken tofu in a chili-enhanced broth), they also lend themselves well to being stir-fried with some seasoning and other ingredients. If you cannot find ramyonsari, any packet of instant noodles will do just fine; just omit the seasoning packets they came with.
Incidentally, it’s also a great way to use up any leftover meat you have in the fridge as well as a way of getting picky kids to eat their veg; it’s pretty easy to hide beansprouts under all those noodles and they add such a lovely crunchiness that balances the al dente chewiness. I’ve used a fried egg here as the yolk makes it deliciously rich, but you could swap it for dumplings or spring rolls.
Homestyle Street-stall Noodles
- 1 packet Ottogi Ramyonsari
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
- 1/4 cup mung bean sprouts
- 1/4 cup cooked meat, chopped (Note: chicken and lean beef lend themselves well to this sort of recipe.)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce or Thai-style sweet chili sauce
- scant 1 teaspoon soy sauce or tamari
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 fried egg
Boil the water and add the ramyonsari noodles; cook for 2 – 3 minutes and drain.
Heat a frying pan or a small wok over medium heat. Add the oil. Once the oil begins to bubble up, add the spring onions. When the onions are fragrant, add the beansprouts and cook until wilted. Add the meat and cook for a few seconds. Lower the heat; then add the oyster sauce and soy sauce. Allow to bubble a little, then turn off the heat and toss in the noodles and sesame oil until well combined. Transfer to a plate and top with the fried egg; serve immediately.