The title sounds like a war cry. Well Chinese cooking is a mix of art and martial art, hence the war cry! This is my quick-kick-to-hunger’s-abdomen recipe that I call the LD Egg Hakka Noodles. Good, you guessed two ingredients immediately, Sherlock. Very good start. Now sharpen your knife and get chopping.
A big handful of cabbage. Roughly chop it in thin strips.
Ideally a bell pepper makes its way in here but my crisper had none left, so I sent a mental “miss-you” love note to it and got on with life. Onion, a medium sized cry-bomb should be enough. Thinly slice them up. Now clean and finely chop spring onions. I kept the slightly insipid greens separate from the more flavourful white part, including the small onion bulbs.
Then take on the carrot. This needs a stronger hand than the others. And a sharper knife. My faithful Samurai (blade) served me well and julienned the daylights out of the out-of-season carrot. Now, take about 3-4 cloves of garlic and finely chop those up as well.
In a bowl, mix about 2-3 tablespoons of dark soy sauce, about 1 and a little more, of vinegar. To that add a little green chilli sauce and a hint of red chilly sauce. Pop quiz – which is the wrong chilly in the previous sentence?
Mix and keep.
I learnt this urban slang – noods. A homonym aimed to shock. Nonetheless, take your packet of noodles (preferably egg noodles – for they taste better) and keep it handy. Let the water boil. When roaring, dunk in the noods. No need to add oil here (refer to your childhood school lesson on oil and water not mixing well like political groups), just ensure there is salt in it. The noodles will cook in 2-3 minutes. Drain them, give them a cold shower, and because of increased humidity, oil them up a bit here, so that they do not stick to each other. Who likes sticky noods anyways?
Targaryen. They like eggs – dragon eggs. I took three. Those were hen eggs and they can turn pretty dragon-like when they like. Don’t wait for Khaleesi to incubate the eggs; crack them and beat them together. Add in a pinch of turmeric and salt, while at it.
Wok On Fire
The brave part of cooking Chinese at home, is when you blaze your biggest burner and put on your heavy wok. Now, it is battle time. Oil in, throw in the egg emulsion. Swirl them, twirl them, get the eggs to curl in and scramble them. Remove them in a bowl.
Wok back on fire, oil in. This time, double the measure. Throw in the onions (red and green) along with the cabbage. Move them real quick. Add in the garlic and get in the carrots. Shake that wok, move that ladled right hand. Add in half of the spring onion greens.
Do not take any calls, photographs or check WhatsApp while cooking Chinese. They catch-up pretty fast. Also, am glad that they haven’t banned noodles.
Add in your well oiled noods – ah! the sight of the well oiled noods wiggling and sizzling in the wok. Not the time to salivate, you need to move on and mix the solution of soy-vinegar-sauce. And now do all the jazz you can with the wok and ladle. Take a breather to add in the eggs and add salt. Don’t stop – the fire below is roaring – keep shaking everything you have and stirring everything you get to, in the wok. Turn off the fire. Garnish with the greens of the spring onions.
You have done it.
Plate them in bowls. Take a picture and send it to your out-station colleague or your favourite family member. Get wooden chopsticks out, and dig in. The last two steps are very important. You won’t get the right taste if you do otherwise. Enjoy, your LD Hakka!