Almost everyone loves Chinese food and India has developed its own version of “Indianised” Chinese cuisine which is a favourite in almost every state.Call it Hakka Noodles or Chowmein people are completely besotted over Chinese food and almost every general restaurant has the “Indian,Chinese,Continental” menu!
“Mein” refers to the noodles made in China.There are almost 15 varieties of Chinese Noddles (correct me if I am wrong) and each have their own shape and used in various recipes.The Asian countries – China,Malaysia,Thailand,Korea,Japan,Singapore and Indonesia have their own speciality Noodles and each are completely distinct from the other!It proves that the staple crops of wheat and rice are converted into something very filling,nutritious and tasty to steer people from the boring and everyday routine of food habits and inculcate variety in their life!
Udon Noodles are flat and bigger than the ones used for Hakka Noodles or Chowmein in India.We sometimes get bored of the usual variety and crave for something different!This season is always loved by me as the air gets a nip,Christmas and New Year around the corner,exotic fruits readily available including my most favourite Pineapple(slurp) and most important – the market gets flooded with myriads of fresh and crunchy vegetables!Its a sin not to eat veggies when they are at their juiciest best!I love all the kinds of beans – French Beans,Sugar Snap Peas,String Beans,Wal Beans…the list is endless!
I decided to give Udon Noodles a “beany twist” and changed the sauces and the result was this awesome tasting creation!Kudos to all the Asian Countries for taking on the world with their noodles!
Preparation Time : 30 minutes
Makes : 2 – 3 servings
For preparing the noodles:
300 gms Udon Noodles
1/2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp Oil
2 tbsp Chinese Sesame Oil(optional)
For the vegetables :
1 cup French Beans – chopped into batons
1 cup Sugar Snap Peas – strings removed and halved
4 – 5 Green Onions/Leeks – Whites removed and chopped separately and greens chopped and kept separately
1 Carrot – peeled and chopped into batons
5 – 6 Baby Corn (optional) – chopped
2 tbsp chopped Garlic
1/2 cup Capsicum/Bell Pepper – chopped lengthwise
You can add Mushrooms,Cabbage,Bean Sprouts or Bok Choy if you have them.Non vegetarians can add boiled and shredded Chicken or Duck,boiled and flaked Fish or stir fried Pork or Beef.
You can use MSG or Ajinomoto but I prefer to omit them!
2 tbsp peanut/groundnut Oil (optional)
2 tsp Salt
For the sauce :
2 tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Vinegar
1 tbsp Green Chilli Sauce
1 tbsp Red Chilli Sauce
2 tbsp Corn Syrup/sugar syrup/honey
Boil the noodles :
Heat sufficient water in a large stock pot or pan and add salt and 1/2 tbsp Oil.Bring to a vigorous boil and add the noodles.Boil till al dente or just cooked.Drain in a colander and mix the remaining 1 1/2 tbsp oil into the noodles so that they do not stick to each other.Keep aside.
NOTE : We need to “just cook” the noodles as later on while stir frying they will start cooking again.If overcooked now they might turn into a doughy paste later on!
Prepare the vegetables :
Heat Oil in a Wok or a large pan to smoking point,reduce heat and add the chopped garlic and Onion whites.Increase heat and sauté for 2 – 3 minutes and add the beans and carrot and sauté for 5 – 7 minutes.Add the rest of the vegetables – baby corn and capsicum and all the sauces one by one.Mix well and cook for 4 – 5 minutes till the vegetables are coated with the sauces.
Add the boiled and prepared noodles and toss to amalgamate.Drizzle 2 tbsp Chinese Sesame Oil on top for a greater and nuttier taste!
Remove to a bowl and serve piping hot with Tomato Ketchup,Manchurian or on its own!