Way back in the 1970s, when we were newly married, we lived in Brunei for a short time. I loved to find out about the local food and cooking, and bought a few recipe books published in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. This noodle dish is one that I have evolved by picking out my favourite aspects of recipes in lots of different books from around the region and putting them together into a dish of my own.
I've listed the ingredients I used this time, but it's really a different dish every time as you can ring the changes with whatever you have to hand - replace the chicken with prawns, leave out the mushrooms or replace them with Chinese dried ones, add mange tout peas, spring onions or green beans, use different nuts or omit them completely, sprinkle fresh coriander over it - use whatever you have to hand and you'll still get a delicious dish with lots of different textures and flavours.
My recipe was intended to serve two, but would easily have served three adults or two adults and two children, making it an incredibly cheap dish - and far tastier than anything you could get from your local takeaway!
a handful of raw cashew nuts
2 eggs, beaten
1 tbs sunflower oil
½ packet medium egg noodles
1 skinless chicken breast
1 tbs light soy sauce
1 tbs oyster sauce
few dashes sesame oil
1 small onion, finely sliced
1 clove garlic, very finely sliced
150g mushrooms, wiped and quartered
1 tbs Shao Hsing wine or dry sherry
1 tbs light soy sauce
1 tbs peanut or sunflower oil
A wedge of iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 red chilli, deseeded and cut into long slices
deep fried onion flakes, or use a handful from a pack eg French's
4 wedges of fresh lime
Heat 1tbs sunflower oil in a small frying pan and toss in the cashews. Stir them quickly until golden, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on kitchen paper, keeping the oil hot in the pan. DO NOT NIBBLE ALL THE NUTS! (always a danger in this house). Tip the egg into the pan and cook quickly to make a mini-omelette, flipping it over to brown on both sides. Turn out onto a plate and leave to cool then cut into small shreds. Set omelette and nuts aside.
Thinly slice the chicken breast and mix with the oyster sauce, sesame oil and 1 tbs soy sauce. Leave for a few minutes while preparing the noodles.
Cook the noodles as directed on the pack, adding the beansprouts to the water for the last 30 seconds of cooking. Drain and keep warm.
Heat the peanut or sunflower oil in a wok and stir fry the onion and garlic for 1-2 minutes until starting to soften, then add the chicken and stir fry until no raw pink areas show. Throw in the mushrooms and continue stir frying until the chicken is cooked and the mushrooms starting to soften. Add the wine or sherry and allow to boil until the steam clears, then add the soy sauce and mix in the noodles and beansprouts.
Remove from heat and cover the top with shredded lettuce, then sprinkle over the chilli, shredded omelette, onion flakes and cashew nuts. Garnish with the lime wedges, to be squeezed over as you eat.
Because this dish is so cheap to make, and can be varied according to what you have available, I am sharing it with Credit Crunch Munch at Fuss Free Flavours and Fab Food 4 All.