Saturday, April 24, 2010

Ebiko Noodles With Haricot Verts, Prawns and Shiitake Mushrooms

Today, I'm going to blog about wheat noodles because someone in the family asked me why Asians ate so much rice! Breakfast was Nasi Lemak (Coconut Rice with Eggs/Anchovies Sambal, etc), Fried Rice, Porridge/Congee. Lunch was rice... Claypot Rice, Fried Rice (again!), Char Koay Teow (that flat white noodles is made from rice too!). Dinner is Hainanese Chicken Rice, Claypot Rice, Banana Leaf Rice (no, no, no... we don't eat the banana leaves but Indian food serve on the leaves like plates-no need to clean up later on!), Crab Porridge, Duck Koay Chiap... ok, the lots! Now, come to think of it... indeed I ate lots of rice (gasp! horror!) Fine... just want to point out that Rice is so versatile that it can be made into many eatable items. I'm not going to forgo my Paella, Nasi Lemak, Hainanese Chicken Rice, Briyani Rice, Sushi, Risotto, Mochi or Kheer, ok! :-P Click the link if you want to know more info about Rice. Now, back to the topic...

I was at the local Asian Supermarket one day to discover hidden among the variety of dried noodles displayed on the shelves, there was a stack of dark red colored plastic packages printed in bold black letters 'Prawn Egg Noodle' on it. We bought and ate noodles either fresh or dried, made with rice (yes, rice again) and the usual cereals or grains like wheat, durum wheat semolina, buckwheat, eggs, puréed vegetables or seafood like handcrafted specialties using Prawns, Nero di Seppia (Squid Ink), Carrot, Spinach and even chocolate! My mind made up that this pack was just like any other dried Prawn Egg Noodles in market... but there's something about that package that caught my eyes (or is it instinct?). So, what is so special with this noodle? Look at the photos below and tell me what you see...

See those little reddish bits? It's Prawn Eggs or Ebiko! I wonder how this company made that... but I DID tasted the ebiko bits after the noodle was cooked :-) What I could think of was the ebiko was dried first (or the Ebiko would burst during mixing!) and added later to the dough. Made into thin strands of noodle, bundled/moulded and dried again before packaging.
I did tried to find more information about this dried noodle but I'm lost in translation with what's the ingredients printed on the back of package in solid red and black! I tried to look for more info about this noodle but found nothing close to the description... so, I called it Ebiko Noodle for this dish instead of Prawn Eggs Noodle to avoid confusion :-D

A helpful foodie Food-4Tots, pointed out that the Ebiko is known as Shrimp Roe which I finally found some info about this Shrimp Egg Noodle-not much but some explanation of its origin.

Ebiko Noodle With Haricot Verts, Prawns and Shiitake Mushrooms
Serves 4

4 bundles/pcs of Dried Ebiko Noodles

300 g Prawns ~ heads removed and deveined (reserved the heads/shells for making stock later on*)
150 g Haricot Vert (French bean) ~ washed and tough vein removed
150 g Shiitake Mushrooms (fresh) ~ cleaned and sliced
3 cloves Garlic - minced
Generous amount of Shaoxing Wine
Some Spring Onion (scallion) for garnish

1 litre Prawn Stock*

2 Tbl Premium Oyster Sauce
1 Tbl Soy Sauce
½ tsp Sugar
Salt & Pepper to taste

2 Tbl Cornflour
80 ml Water

1. Slice the Haricot Vert (French Bean) into bite size. You can use other seasonal vegetables available locally. Sliced the cleaned Shiitake mushrooms.
If using Dried Shiitake Mushrooms, soak them with warm water to soften before using. Set aside.
Prepare a large pot of water, enough to boil the dried noodles. Bring it to boil (or at least half boil) before you start the stir-frying as this dish is fast cooking!
2. In a hot deep pan or wok, add in some cooking oil. Add in the garlic and give it a quick stir to avoid burning.
3. Add in Haricot Vert (French Beans), Shiitake Mushrooms follow by the Prawns.
4. Next, in the Seasoning and give them an even quick stir. Add generous amount of Shaoxing Wine!
5. Pour the Prawn Stock into the pan and let it simmer for few minutes.
6. While the gravy is simmering, boil the dried noodles until cooks. Strain the water off and put them into serving bowls or deep plates.
7. Before serving, heat up the gravy and pour in the Thickening ingredients (stir the cornflour mixture before adding in). Stir the gravy until it thickens.
8. Pour the thickened gravy on the boiled noodles. Garnish with spring onions and serve hot.

You can do this recipe with 2 ways. First method as in this recipe if you want to serve fast to hungry mouths or unexpected guests. The other method will be cooking the stock with the thickener separately from the seafood and vegetables.
Boil the dried noodles or pasta first. Arrange the seafood and vegetables on noodle and pour the hot thickened gravy on it.This way, you can prepare in advance if you have more than 4 diners :-D

~ Extra ~ Extra ~ Extra ~

Making Prawn Stock*
Making prawn stock is a good way to use ingredients that would otherwise discard. If you are using prawns in other dishes such as noodles, the heads and shells are normally removed and thrown away. However, they could be used again to make prawn stock which is an excellent sauce to use in various dishes. Once made, prawn stock can be stored in the fridge for about 2-3 days and in the freezer for up to 3 weeks.

1 Portion of reserved Prawn heads/shells (from 500 g medium-sized prawns)
1 Tbl Cooking Oil
2 slices Ginger
1 clove Garlic ~ minced
1 stalk Spring onion ~ cut into 4 portions
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Sugar

1. Heat a pot or wok. When it's hot, add in the cooking oil.
2. Add the minced Garlic and Ginger. Stir until it's fragrant.
3. Add in prawn heads/shells and give a good stir. After few minutes, add in Spring onion, water, sugar and salt.
4. Bring the mixture to a boil for about few minutes. Then turn the heat down to a simmer for another 20 min-30 min.
5. Let the stock cools down. Strain the mixture ~ separate solids from the juice. Use as needed.



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