Thursday, May 7, 2015

Lomi Noodles with Banana Blossom Flowers and Crispy Ikan Bilis



     A Tasty Malaysian Style Noodle Entrée!
     Traditional Malaysian cuisine is an entity of its own, but modern Malaysian cuisine can be considered to be a melting pot of Asian fusion style cooking.  Traditional Malaysian food has a tropical theme and many entrées are served on banana leaves instead of plates.  Old fashioned Malaysian cuisine is tropical food at its best!

     Lomi is another name for thick fresh egg noodles.  Lomi Noodles can easily be made from scratch or they can be purchased fresh at an Asian food market.  Packaged fresh Lomi Noodles are a nice convenience, because these noodles are usually pre-cooked.
     Ikan Bilis translates to sun dried anchovies.  Sun dried anchovies do not have a strong fishy aroma or salty flavor like European anchovies.  The flavor of sun dried anchovy is gentle and the flavor falls into the umami range of taste sensations.  When sun dried anchovies are fried crisp, the flavor actually is similar to deep fried chicken wings.  Crunchy stir fried ikan bilis is commonly used in Indonesian and Malaysian entrées as a garnish.
     Whole fresh Banana Blossoms can be purchased at Asian food markets.  If no fresh banana blossom is available, then salted dried banana blossom flowers are a good choice.  The outside of a banana blossom has an artichoke kind of flavor, while the long slender flowers have a pleasant bitter flavor.  I used salted dried banana flowers for today's recipe.  The salt does have to be rinsed off, before cooking.  

     *This entire recipe yields 1 noodle entrée!

     Fried Ikan Bilis:
     Step 1:  Heat a small sauté pan or mini wok over medium heat.
     Add 1/4 cup of vegetable oil.
     Add about 1/3 cup of small sun dried anchovies.  (ikan bilis)
     Stir fry, till the sun dried anchovies are crisp and lightly browned.
     Step 2:  Use a slotted spatula to remove the pan fried sun dried anchovies from the pan and set them on a parchment paper lined platter.
     Season the ikan bilis with sea salt and white pepper.
     Keep the ikan bilis warm on a stove top.

     Lomi Noodles with Banana Blossom Flowers and Crispy Ikan Bilis:
     Packaged pre-cooked fresh Lomi Noodles were used in this recipe.  If fresh uncooked Lomi Noodles are used, they can be boiled in water with lye to create a nice texture.  
     *Keep a pot of water boiling so the noodles can be heated.
     Step 1:  Heat a sauté pan or wok over medium heat.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
     Add 1 minced garlic clove.
     Add 1 teaspoon of minced ginger.
     Add 1/2 of a thin sliced shallot.
     Add 1/2 cup of a mixture of these vegetables:
     - julienne sliced onion.
     - red bell pepper strips.
     - green bell pepper strips.
     - 2 green onions that are cut into bite size pieces.
     Sauté till the vegetables just start to cook.
     Step 2:  Add 10 to 12 rinsed dried banana blossom flowers.  
     Add 1 1/4 cups of light fish broth.
     Add 1 pinch of yellow curry powder.
     Add 1 pinch of turmeric.
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Add 1 pinch of Chinese chile powder.
     Add 1 teaspoon of thin soy sauce.
     Add 1 tablespoon of palm sugar.
     Toss the ingredients together.
     Step 3:  Heat 1 portion of prepared Lomi Noodles in boiling water.
     Drain the water off the noodles.
     Step 4:  Add the noodles to the vegetables in the pan.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of lime juice.
     Toss the ingredients together.
     Simmer and reduce the liquid, till only enough thin sauce remains in the pan to coat the noodles with flavor.
     Take the pan off the heat.
     Step 5:  Place the vegetables and noodles on a plate. 
     Sprinkle the reserve crispy ikan bilis over the vegetables and noodles.
     No garnish is necessary!

     This is a very healthy Lomi Noodle recipe! 

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