It must be the Chinese influence, birthdays are always celebrated with noodles in my culture, for long life. Even with my friends from the West, I insist on it, that’s an anathema to my faith. I’d like to think it is just the tradition of it all and not something that is superstitious, ha ha.
I love noodles, that’s the Pinoy in me, I don’t eat it with rice, mind you. Noodles, just like pasta is for just a vessel for flavors, single pan cooking method, which makes it convenient even if cooking for one. My freezer is loaded with mainstays like shrimp, pork, Chinese sausage (chorizo) and different kinds of fish cake, fish balls, etc.
Oh, a little note on the noodles, there are rice noodles – wash and let sit in the water for a few minutes; dry egg noodles that you boil in water just like pasta, fresh egg noodles- has to be pre-cooked too, otherwise it will be starchy.
So, the basic ingredients are:
onions, sliced thinly (I like to cut up the ingredients in the same way as the main ingredient, for convenience, mainly.)
garlic or ginger (I freeze my ginger, so it is easy to use a cheese grater instead of slicing)
cabbage thinly sliced (carrots, zuchini, beans, celery stalks will also work)
broth or water – a cup
salt and pepper to taste
If you’re using pork, I cook it first with a little water and salt, once the water is dry and the meat turns brown, the meat will secrete(w?) a little oil. Add olive oil, caramelize onions, add garlinc or ginger, the chorizo would have been added to to the pork, then the cabbage, or the veggie of your choice. Let it cook for a little bit, add broth or water, season to taste, then add noodles. Add any seafood last to avoid overcooking.
Some folks remove the vegges and the meat and top it to the noodles later. I don’t I like everything mixed in so that the flavor is infused in the noodles.
You can garnish with parsley, slices of boiled egg.
Enjoy with lemon and soy sauce, toyomansi or ponzu in Japanese cuisine.
As mentioned earlier, this is a very versatile recipe, tofu can be added in place of meat or it can be an all vegetable recipe. The difference from Chinese and Japanese way of cooking is that broth is used here instead of just oil and sauce. Chinese cooking uses corn starch as a thickening agent. Black bean sauce or garlic sauce can be used as an option too. The options are endless.