Since I don’t have a kitchen, I’ve been spending lots of time in my mom’s kitchen, which explains all the Chinese recipes up recently. Every time we get together to write down one of her recipes, we discuss which one we’ll do next time. As we brainstormed, my mom started thinking we shouldn’t do certain recipes because she felt like my non-Chinese audience might not like it. Things like tripe, pig feet, duck feet, pig ears, or innards might be unappetizing to some. Dishes with fermented flavors or unfamiliar textures might be hard to handle. I thought about it and decided that I want to share as much as I can, and you can decide which recipes you want to make, right?

plate of basic mei fun

There’s nothing “weird” in this Basic Mei Fun (very thin rice noodles), but Lon did not like it. Lon finds some Asian foods bland (and he does not like shiitake mushrooms). I would call it subtle. Most restaurants tend to serve a Singapore Mei Fun, which is curry flavored, giving tastebuds a stronger wallop. I’ll probably eventually post that recipe too, but for now, I thought it was still important to share what is commonly found all-over Taiwan, and in the homes of Chinese people. Lon had this for lunch one day in the office and Tim said it looked just like the one his grandma makes, which might seem sparse and light if you’re used to ordering it from a Chinese take-out. I took that as a confirmation that I should post this very basic Mei Fun recipe. It is a classic.

By itself, the flavors are indeed very light, but it’s often served with condiments. In Taiwan, people like to throw on black vinegar, while oyster sauce seems more common among the Cantonese. Many will also add a variety of hot sauces on, varying from sambal to Szechuan style hot oils. I’m eager to here what you think, whether this is familiar to you or something new.

plate of basic mei fun 7

Basic Mei Fun
~6 to 8 servings

  • 2 large shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 (300g) package mei fun rice noodles
  • rounded 1/2 cup pork strips
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 4 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup julienne carrots
  • 2 cups thinly sliced cabbage
  • 4 cups mung bean sprouts
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • salt to taste

condiments

  • vinegar (distilled white, Chinese red, or Chinese black)
  • oyster sauce
  • sriracha or sambal
  • hot oils

Instructions -

1. Soak mushroom is a bowl of cold water for 3 hours, or until softened. Drain and squeeze out excess liquid. Slice and set aside.

sliced shitake and cabbage 2

2. Soak rice noodles in cold water for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.

3. In a small bowl, mix together pork, soy sauce, and cornstarch. Set aside.

4. Heat 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in a wok or similar on medium high heat. Add carrot and stir for a minute. Add cabbage and some salt, stirring and tossing until softened (but still al dente). Add bean sprouts and scallion and toss until well mixed and bean sprouts are just cooked. Remove to a bowl/plate and set aside.

stir fried veggies

5. Return wok/pot to the medium high heat with 2 teaspoons vegetable oil. Add pork mixture and stir until evenly browned. Add mushrooms and stir for about a minute. Add the chicken broth, rice noodles, and pinch of salt. Stir until noodles are evenly moistened. (You won’t see extra liquid though.)

stir fry pork strips and shitake shitake, pork, and and mei fun 2

6. Turn off the flame and stir in the vegetables. Check and add salt to taste. (Rice noodles can be difficult to toss with vegetables because they clump together. Sometimes I use two sets of chopsticks to evenly distribute.)

7. Cover with a lid and rest for 5 minutes. Serve with choice of condiments for guests to add on their own. Store any left-overs in an airtight container in the fridge. It will last for a week. You can reheat in the microwave.

basic mei fun

posted by jessica at 11:05 AM Filed under Chinese, Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.