About a week ago the girlfriend came home rather late one night complaining about her day. It was one of those when nothing goes right: deadlines were perilously closed to being missed because stories hadn’t come in on time and the stories that had come in needed to be re-written. With no time to order dinner she was rather annoyed and hungry.
After a long harangue orders were issued “OK I’m hungry now. Cook me something.”
So at 11:30 at night this is the soup I dutifully made with whatever was available.
600 ml water
75 gm rice noodles
2 large cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
5 dried black mushrooms
1 chicken/ beef stock cube
2 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp oyster sauce
8 medium-sized prawns
salt to taste
1 tsp oil
1 tbsp corn flour dissolved in two tbsp water
Soak the dried mushrooms in about 100 ml of hot (not boiling) water. Separately immerse the rice noodles also in hot water.
Cut the onion in half and slice along the breadth (as though you were cutting rings).
Split the prawns along the vein. Keep 3 pieces aside to garnish, chop the remaining into about 5 pieces each.
Drain the mushrooms after 10 minutes. Do not discard the soaking water. Cut out and discard the thick fibrous stem. Slice the mushrooms thinly.
Heat the oil on medium heat in a wok and fry the onion for about a minute. Add the garlic and fry another minute. Add the mushrooms and fry for another minute.
Raise the heat. Add in the water and stock cube. Stir well to dissolve. Add in the mushroom water, sauces, vinegar and sugar. Stir well.
Add in the 4 sliced prawns kept for garnish. Remove after about a minute.
Lower the heat and add in the chopped prawns and rice noodles.
Mix well to ensure that the vegetables and prawns are well mixed into the noodles.
Stir in the corn flour mixture. Raise the heat, stir continuously till it come to a boil and then turn off the heat.
Pour the soup noodles equally into 3 bowls. Garnish with the sliced prawn.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Note: This is more of a noodle meal that’s rather heavy on the noodles than a soup. The proportions are perfect for a meal; it doesn’t work as well for a soup.
If you want to have it as a soup, reduce the quantity of noodles as well as the fish sauce, sugar, soy sauce and vinegar by half.
I didn’t have any at the time, but you could stir in a tbsp of chopped greens from a spring onion after you take the soup of the heat.