Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mien Xao Cua

I spent two weeks in Vietnam over Christmas break and still I have not gotten over it. I often think about living there for a few years and experiencing what could have been if my family did not get the chance to to move to the states. I am still young so one day it could happen...maybe.

Vietnam is a food lover's heaven! I just love going to the market and EVERYTHING is fresh. You can enjoy a bowl of Bun Bo Hue for less than a $1. You can sip on freshly squeezed sugarcane juice, it's incredibly refreshing. I can go on an on about all the great food I've encounter but that would take forever. I dedicate this blog to cellophane noodle "mien" because Vietnam made me into a huge fan.

My mom occasionally made mien ga soup and mien with hotpot but I never really care for it. In Vietnam we often go to noodle vendor that specialized in mien ga soup but I often pass it up for a bowl of hu tieu or mi ga. I then was introduce to this yummy plate, Mien Xao Cua, Crab Stir Fried Cellophane Noodle. Being a crab lover I simply could not pass up trying this dish. I'm sure glad I did because it was delicious. The noodles were soft, yet chewy. Not something that could be accomplish with the cellophane noodle from the states. Maybe I've been doing it wrong but I can never get these cellophane noodle to be chewy? Seriously the fresh crab meat took the back seat here because the mien made this dish.

My next encounter with mien was when my aunt prepare mien ga soup for breakfast. It's a shame I did not get any pictures because my camera was out of battery. Let's just say it was the best soup I had during my two weeks visit in Vietnam. I wasn't surprise because she actually woke up early that morning to a slaughter a chicken just for the soup. And this was the moment I became a mien lover. I couldn't leave vietnam without taking some back with me to the states.

Over the weekend I finally had the chance to make my version of the Mien Xao Cua.

-cellophane noodle
-wood ear mushroom
-crab meat
-green onions
-ground black peper
-fish sauce
-oyster sauce
-cooking oil

1. Soak cellophane noodle in warm water until it's easier to stir fry. Avoid soaking it for too long because it will overcook when you stir fry it.
2. Soak mushroom in warm water until soften.
3. Stir fry the mushroom with garlic and shallots with salt, pepper, sugar, cooking oil, and oyster sauce.
4. Add the cellophane noodle and coat the noodle with the oyster sauce.
5. Add 2 cups of water and cover the wok/pan/pot. The steam will cook and soften the noodle.
6. Add crab meat and stir fry. If the noodle are sticking together then add some cooking oil to help separate them.
Optional: Try stir frying the crab meat with garlic, shallot, and black pepper in a separate pan. This makes the crab meat more fragrance and flavorful.
7. Add green onions.
8. Garnish with cilantro and extra ground pepper.