Thursday, February 18, 2010
Home Made Foo Chow Egg Noodle (Loong Yean)
This CNY, I try to cook all simple food and if possible just mass one or two dishes and tats it ... so one of the dishes that I cook was the typical home made Foo Chow egg noddle (Loong Yean) on the 5th day of CNY before I leave Sitiawan. Why? Cos I bought 60 Foo Chow meat balls from the market, hoping to cook them for Wen and Wilson ... mana tau, they had to leave pagi2 before lunch.... Anyway, I decided to go ahead to cook it since both Mom, Dad and even Sister LOVES it.
This is the only dish that Mom taught me to cook .... and most probably the only dish that she can cook properly ... hehhehe .... I mean .... it will NOT taste weird like Bak Kut Teh mixed with seaweed (.... hhahha ... )
When I was a little gal .... we never really get to taste Mom's cooking cos she is always busy finding money to support the 6 of us .... in the wee mornings, she will leave home as early as 430 or 5am to tap rubber. She wakes up and then rides her motorbike to the estate quarter homes to wake an Indian lady who helps Mom to collect the latex after Mom taps the rubber trees. The name of the lady - Poneneh ... serious ..... :) ... Then, after Mom gets ready and have her breakfast, she will go back to pick the lady up and off they go to Simpang Dua.
In the afternoon, after Mom comes back from her tapping rubber job, she will have a shirt nap - 30mins on the Sitiawan lazy chair before she goes out again -- and this time is to pick up all sorts of odd jobs like selling her chickens, ducks, or vegie or fruits from our huge garden .... She will stop by some kopitiam for a bottle of Coke as her energy booster ...
Mom is always on the run .... how to cook for us? From young, we have learned to take care of ourselves and do all the house chores -- from hand washing the clothes, cleaning the house to cooking. I also recall times when I was sent to Poneneh's house for her to baby sit me cos there was no one in our house and I remember that she brushes her white teeth with the ashes she collects from the stove, made from clay and coated with diluted cow dung.
Only when it rains, Mom will cook and Loong Yean is what she will cook for us because its only then she is stranded in the house. Mom said that she made so much of Loong Yean and ate so much of it during Japanese occupation time till she is so scared of it at one point. Guess this is why this is the only dish she cooks well. Hahha .... During Japanese occupation, there was a time when there was no rice to eat. So the people survive eating tapioca - from the leaves as vegies to tapioca flour - to make these noodles. Mom said that they even dry the noodles in the sun so that they can fry it like fried noodle after eating too much the soup noodle.
So, how to make it? It's simple ----- we just need 3 ingredients - 500gm tapioca floor, 50-80gm flour and 5-6eggs (the more eggs the nicer it is). Mix them up with water and agak2 the texture of it. Warm up the wok, add a little oil and scoop the mixture into the wok .. to make it like egg omelet. Roll up and then cut them .... and u'll get the homemade noodle.
After this process, its the process to cook the noodle -- the best soup base is actually clear soup from clams. Those days before they made the back road connecting Ayer Tawar directly to Manjung/Lumut, Dad used to collect clams from either the river at the back of our old house in Sitiawan Estate -- after the Malay kampong (Lumut Kiri) or from Kampung Sitiawan. But the clams are all gone now after development killed their natural habitat. The clams are also so expensive now ... I bought them from the Toodi Market --- RM8 per kilo ... but they are super fresh .... :0 ... I found out that the Foo Chows in Fochow, China also loves to make their soup base from the clams -- and also the Hing Hwa cooking in Spore .. the only difference is .. they do not remove the clam meat from the shell.
Another items that we will add in is also wild mushrooms -- like oyster mushroom but it is wild grown on the fallen trees trunks in the rubber plantations after a heavy down pour .. those mushrooms are very sweet and yummy compared to commercially grown ones. We can still find this once in a while in Sitiawan on rainy seasons.
Dad's role in this whole process is always to remove the clams from the shell after we have boil the soup. We will use the soup as well as the clam meat. Why would a typical Hock Chew man help in the kitchen? Easy ... cos he loves to eat this dish as well! Be it cooked with the loong yean or big bihun. That's my Dad - his stomach his help in the kitchen ... :0
I cooked so much yesterday, I packed some for Sister and the rest goes to Dad for dinner ..:0
p/s : lupa record -- someone was helping me break the egg .... egg fell on table instead of going into the bowl ... mana the mata sepit see I wonder ... :0 ... and another egg ... totally "crushed" into the bowl...