Sunday, November 14, 2010

Anna's Kitchen - HO-FUN (Flat Rice Noodles) with BBQ Pork and Shrimps

Anna and I spent a weekend together for the fun adventure in making HO-FUN (Flat Rice Noodles) filled with Chinese BBQ Pork (CHASHU pork) and stir fried shrimps and scallions with dried shrimp.
To start out - two days before, Anna prepared lean pork tenderloins - marinated it in BBQ Chashu mix - and roasted them.
We both found the experience of making HO-FUN exhausting.  And we both had a good laugh.
There was stir-fried shrimps, chopped or julienne cut chasu pork,  diced scallions, rehydrated dried salty shrimps.  Three varieties of sauces - marinate sauces, dipping sauce, and the fancy XO sauce.
XO sauce consisted of fresh vegetable oils, finely shredded rehydrated scallops, fried red onions, rehydrated minced salty shrimps, minced hams, sugar, oyster sauce, soy sauce, diced chili pepper.
Making of flat rice noodles was really an experience - as many famous chef says - practices make it perfect.  The first three flat noodles steamed over flour cloth in a cake pan did not produce the rice noodle we wanted.  Quickly I thought of the need of slippery shiny surface - -flat plate and saran wrap.  It worked.
For HO-FUN, we purchased "Banh Cuon" flour at the local Asian market.  Anna also used one more flour that I have to follow up to find out the name of it later.
To prepare HO-FUN using "Banh Cuon" flour - follow the instruction on the back of the package - Add 750 ml of water to 400 g (the whole package) rice flour.
Mix the mixture well.  **It is very soupy.
Prepare a large flat plate covered with plastic wrap.
Pour 1/8 C to 1/4 C of batter over a plate covered with saran wrap--not too much - use first three or so as a tester to find out the preferred thickness of the flat noodles.  ** Preferably a flat plate
Then carefully - wearing a oven mitten - place the plate in the steamer (water is at full boil.)
Steam for 2 minutes.  **The flat rice noodle is Round shape because of the plate.
If you have a rectangular shaped 'container', then you will have a rectangular shaped flat noodle.
Prepare a clean 'slick' work surface brushed with vegetable oil.
Wearing a oven mitten, carefully remove the steamed flat noodle out of the steamer.  (The flat noodle should look translucent once cooked through - it should not look 'white'.)
Close the steamer lid quickly.  Place the plate on a heat safe surface to cool for a moment.
Prepare another plate with saran wrap and pour the mixture to steam another flat noodle.
Back to the cooked flat noodle:  hold both ends of the saran wrap of the cooked flat noodle and hold it up and with a quick motion, flip the wrap with flat noodle side down onto the oiled work surface.  Remove the saran wrap.  Prepare the plate covered with saran wrap.
Back to the flat noodle on the work surface:  Fill the flat rice noodle with saucey chashu pork.  It is then, rolled into a fat roll about 1-inch (depending on how much filling you are adding.) 
Place on a plate to serve.
If the filling has cooled off, then the rolled BBQ Pork HO-FUN and others should be placed back in the steamer to heat through before serving.
Variation:  Place in saute pan and brown a bit, then serve with dipping sauce or while in saute pan, add a bit of your favorite sauce or oyster sauce, heat through, then serve, with XO sauce, of course.

XO Sauce -
Rehydrated 8 large dry scallop - Steamed for 1 hour, and shredded.
Rehydrated mini dried salty shrimp - 1 lb bag - use only 1/2 amount of shredded scallops
Minced cooked ham - 1/2 amount of shredded scallops
Fried Red Onions - 1/2 amount of shredded scallops
4 Tb peanut oil or vegetable oil + 1 C set aside
oyster sauce
soy sauce
diced chili pepper

Stove at high heat.  Heat wok (not with teflon-but the old fashion true wok) - till it start smoking.
Add 4 Tb of peanut oil.  Bring to smoke.
Add all ingredients into wok.  Stir fry continuously to reduce the liquid.   The mixture should look a bit caramelized.
When the liquid has evaporated enough, there should be only oil remaining (floating).
Taste - should be more on 'salty' side.  Add 1 more Tb of oil.  Heat through.  **There should be more oil than the stir fried mixture. Otherwise, add more oil.  Heat through.
Remove from heat.
Cool completely and store in clean mason jar.

Sauce for CHASHU (Cooked BBQ Pork) filling:
Prepare a bowl of cornstarch and water mixture.  2 Tb of cornstarch + 1/4 C water.  Set aside.
Using the same wok without washing - Preheat wok till it smokes. 
Remove wok from the heat.  Turn heat to medium low.
Add 2 Tb oil, 2 Tb oyster sauce, 1/2 Tb sugar to wok.
Return to heat and heat through.  **The mixture should be sizzling at this time after returning the wok back to the heat.
Add 2 tsp water into wok.  
Turn heat to medium high.
Stir up the cornstarch mixture and add 1 Tb cornstarch into wok.
Stir.   Visually check for thickness.  It should look thicker than soupy.
Done.  Remove from heat and pour over chopped CHASHU pork.  Set aside.
Fill the flat rice noodle and serve.

Stir Fried Shrimps:
Prepare 1 lb cleaned, devined, shelled large shrimps - patted dried,
1 egg white - slightly beaten
2 tsp cornstarch
Pinch of sale and white pepper
1/2 C Oil

1 Tb diced fresh organic scallions (from garden  :-)  )
1 Tb water
1 Tb Soy Sauce
1/2 Tb Sugar
1 Tb wine
1Tb cornstarch + 1 Tb water

Step 1:  Mix shrimps  with 2 tsp cornstarch and beaten egg white (from 1 egg)
pinch of salt and white pepper
 1/2 C oil

Heat wok to smoke.  Add oil.  Bring to smoke.
High heat - -Add shrimps.  Stir fry 30 seconds.  Remove from heat.  Set aside.
Drain oil out of wok and keep about 1 Tb of oil in the wok.

Step 2:  Return the same wok back on the stove - high heat.
Add all the rest of the ingredients into wok.
Add stir-fried shrimp.  Stir to mix all well.
Cook 30 sec to heat through.  Remove from heat.  Set Aside.

Fill the flat rice noodle and serve.

Dipping Sauce - Heat all together over high heat and set aside.
Pour over filled flat rice noodle to serve.

1/2 C water
2 Tb oyster Sauce
1/2 Tb Sugar
pinch black pepper
pinch of salt to taste

Cut each flat noodles into desirable size - using kitchen scissors is much easier - Serve with dipping sauce and homemade XO sauce.

So what did Anna and I learned after 10 hours of cooking?  we both looked at each other and had a good laugh.  We both agreed that there are many "kung fu" involved in making this dim sum.  At home, we know and use the best ingredients and control the taste.  But "let's dine at the Dim Sum house, the next time."  And we give the Dim Sum Chef the full 10+ points for turning those wonderful steaming HO-FUN at the dim sum house.

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