This series of blogs is addressed to Oprah and all those out there battling the bulge and excess weight. I am often asked by my clients to prepare for them a special detox meal over a period of a week to a month. The following recipes are just a sample of our offerings and are unique to Sweet Mandarin (www.sweetmandarin.com). If you would like a one-to-one consultation, contact me, Lisa Tse on firstname.lastname@example.org .
A noodle is food made from unleavened dough that is cooked in a boiling liquid. Depending upon the type, noodles may be dried or refrigerated before cooking. The word noodle derives from the German nudel (noodle) and may be related to the Latin word nodus (knot). In English, noodle is a generic term for unleavened dough made from many different types of ingredients. Noodles exist in an abundance of shapes.
The first written account of noodles is from the East Han Dynasty between AD 25 and 220. In October 2005, the oldest noodles yet discovered were found at the Lajia site (Qijia culture) along the Yellow River in Qinghai, China. The 4,000-year-old noodles appear to have been made from foxtail millet and broomcorn millet.
What Types of Noodles are there?
Noodles can be made from various ingredients, primarily wheat, rice, mung bean or mung bean.
Oldest known prehistoric noodles, from 2000 BC.
Indian ragi noodles, made from finger millet flour.
Egg Noodles or Lamian (hand pulled Chinese noodles)
Mee pok (flat, green Chinese noodles, popular in Southeast Asia)
Pasta (approximately 350 variants of Italian noodles)
Udon (thick Japanese wheat noodles)
Flat or thick rice noodles, also known as ho fun
Rice vermicelli: thin rice noodles
Cellophane noodles, also known as glass noodles.
Potato or canna starch
Cellophane noodles can also be made from potato starch or canna starch or various starches of the same genre.
Gnocchi, small Italian dumplings.
Noodles, when cooked properly do not get mushy or sticky. Noodles are the only pasta products made with egg solids which give them a more intense colour than other pasta.
Most dried noodles doubles in volume when cooked. For accuracy, measure noodles by weight rather than by cup. The general rule is one pound of dry noodles will serve six as an appetizer or four as a main course. Remember – shapes may vary in size according to the manufacturer, so use these measurements as generalizations.
The easiest way to measure noodles is to use your digital scale.
4 ounces of uncooked noodles = a 1-inch diameter bunch of dry noodles = 2 cups cooked noodles.
How To Cook Noodles Properly
Important Rule: Noodles should be prepared just before serving it.
- Use a Large Pot (A too-small pot and too little water cause the noodles to clump and stick together, thus cooking unevenly).
- Use only COLD Water – fill that big pot 3/4 full of COLD water and cover the pot of cold water with a lid to help bring the water to a boil faster.
- Add Salt to the boiling water about 2 tablespoons of kosher salt per pound of noodles.
- Add the dried noodles to BOILING HOT water.
- Cook the noodles uncovered and gently stir the noodles during the first 1 to 2 minutes of cooking.
- Cook for 8 â€“ 12 minutes until the noodles are soft and chewy when bitten into.
- Turn off heat and add 1 cup of cold water â€“ this will lower the temperature and stop the noodles from over cooking.
- Drain the noodles immediately in a large colander standing in the sink and then pick up the colander with its contents and shake well to remove excess water. (Do not rinse â€“ the starch from the noodles could make the noodles stick together).
Tip about when to add the noodles : Noodles added to cold or warm water end up getting mushy and stuck together as the noodles quickly begins to break down in tepid water as the starch dissolves. Only add the noodles once the water is boiling – as this boiling temperature “sets” the outside of the noodles, which prevents the noodles from sticking together.
Should I add oil? No. Oil will coat the noodles and prevent the sauce from adhering.
CHICKEN CHOW MEIN
This recipe for chicken chow mein mixes the noodles with the chicken and vegetables for a healthier chicken chow mein.
â€¢ 1 lb (500 g) boneless chicken breast, cut in thin strips
â€¢ 1 tablespoon (15 mL) soy sauce
â€¢ 1/4 (1 mL) salt
â€¢ 1 tablespoon (15 mL) cornstarch
â€¢ 1 lb (500 g) Chinese-style steamed noodles or cooked thin egg noodles
â€¢ 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) Chicken Stock
â€¢ Â¼ cup (62.5mL) Half an onion thinly sliced onions
â€¢ 1/2 cup (125mL) Chinese cabbage
â€¢ 1/8 cup (31mL) One small carrot thinly sliced
â€¢ 3 large dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked and thinly sliced or from a can
â€¢ 2 spring onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
â€¢ 2 teaspoons (10 mL) sesame oil
â€¢ 3 cups (750 mL) bean sprouts, tightly packed
Combine chicken and marinade ingredients (soy sauce, salt and cornstarch), mix well and set aside.
Blanch noodles in large amount of boiling water with salt for 3 minute or as per package instructions.
Drain well and cool slightly. Plate up. Meanwhile, heat wok over high heat, add stock and bring to boil. Add ginger, onions, carrots, Chinese cabbage and mushrooms and cook for 1 minute. Add chicken and cook for 2 minutes. Stock should thicken slightly. Add flowering chives or green onions and sesame oil; stir to mix for 1 minute. Add noodles, bean sprouts and mix together.
Remove from heat. Serves 4.
Each serving includes:
Calories 358, 43 g Carbohydrates, 33 g Protein, 6 g Fat, 1 g Saturated Fat, 100 mg Cholesterol, 5 g Fibre, 466 mg Sodium, 555 mg Potassium. An excellent source of vitamin D, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, folacin, and iron. A good source of fibre, vitamin C, vitamin B-12 and zinc.
Best wishes and Sweet Dishes to You and Your Family