Sunday, December 20, 2009

String fling

[caption id="attachment_565" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Shall we bi hoon today?"][/caption]

I made my first Bi Hoon dish when I was 14 or 15. No, I wasn't a cooking prodigy or anything. It was at school during one of my home science classes. The dish: Mee Siam.

Since then however, I have not been able to make the perfect Bi Hoon (rice vermicelli), not for the lack of trying. It's been either too dry, too soggy (most often this is the case), too spicy, not spicy enough ....

You don't know how frustrating this is, especially since it's not a difficult dish to make (why else would 14-year-olds be trusted with it??).

Thankfully I have a very harsh critic in my partner. Too much pepper? Not good. Soy sauce not evenly distributed? Tsk, tsk. How many eggs did you add? Sigh. Nothing is ever  been labeled horrible: it's always, "Nice, but ..."

The day I finally got it right was ironically the day I wasn't trying. I didn't have a lot of time and even less ingredients in my fridge. (Incidentally, I often get criticised for putting too many ingredients in). I didn't have bean sprouts (usually a crucial ingredient) and I didn't have chives. I had some tofu puffs (which I sliced real thin) and some spring onions (which, if you imagine enough can pass off as chives) and egg. Thats all. I didn't soak the rice vermicelli too long (maybe that's why they weren't soggy) and I was cautious with the chilli paste (I am told not everyone enjoys chilli with noodles; most people like noodles with some chilli). Garnish with the spring onions, red chillies and fried onions and voila, my Fried Bi Hoon passed the test.

Nice. That was the rave review I got. Shoot for the moon and you get a sincere albeit earthy compliment. :)

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