CHAR Siu wonton noodles has a strong Singapore hawker heritage that endears us to our cultural roots. Sometimes it takes on a cultural role by serving as Singapore’s culinary icon at international food festivals. Often served with wontons and egg noodles, this Cantonese classic is one dish that Singaporeans grow up with and is easy to replicate at home.
Total time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4 persons
4 bundles of noodles @75g-100g per person
2 litres water
B: Tossing Sauce
2 teaspoons black soy sauce
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
4 teaspoons chilli paste, store-bought
2 teaspoons garlic- or shallot-flavoured oil, store-bought
2 teaspoons oyster or hoi sin sauce (bean paste with Chinese 5 spices)
1 teaspoon sesame oil, optional
400g char siu (Chinese barbecue pork)
8 heads baby Shanghai greens or baby xiao pai cai (see photo below)
Wontons, about 4 per person
1 litre chicken stock, store-bought
1 stalk spring onions, chopped
Pickled green chili, store-bought
1. Wash and rinse vegetables. Cut each head of xiao pai cai into halves. Set them aside.
2. Slice char siu and set it aside.
3. Prepare 4 serving plates with cutlery – chopsticks and Chinese soup spoon. For each serving, combine 1 teaspoon each of light soy sauce, chilli paste, and ½ teaspoon each of dark soy sauce, garlic -or shallot-flavoured oil and hoi sin sauce plus ¼ teaspoon sesame oil (if preferred).
4. In a medium pot, bring water to a rolling boil. Loosen each bundle of noodles (adjust quantity depending on each person). Using a pair of chopsticks, add individual bundle of noodles into water to cook, stirring continually, for about 25-30 seconds. Lift up noodles using noodle sieve. Do not discard water.
5. Pour cold water into a large bowl. Using the sieve, plunge noodles into it – this halts the cooking process and prevents them from getting soggy.
6. Using tongs or a pair of chopsticks, lift noodles up and dunk it into hot water (from step 3) again for 3 seconds.
7. Transfer noodles swiftly to serving plates with sauce.
Using a pair of chopsticks and a spoon, toss each individual bundle thoroughly to ensure noodles are evenly coated.
8. Meanwhile, pour stock into a medium pot. Bring it a rolling boil. Add wontons in to cook until they float. Using a sieve, transfer wontons to Chinese soup bowls, dividing them equally.
9. Put in vegetables to cook for 25-30 seconds and then transfer to plated noodles.
10. Add char siu and garnish with spring onion. Serve immediately.
TIPS: Ready wontons are available at major supermarkets – choose from shrimp, pork and vegetable or plain vegetable fillings.
TECHNIQUE: To ensure noodles have al dente (QQ in local lingo) texture, it is first cooked in hot water followed a cold shower before returning it to the hot bath.
Photos: Evonne Lyn Lee
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