Thursday, December 8, 2016

Turmeric Lime Seafood with Thai Basil and Lucky Fuzhou Noodles






     Lucky Noodles!
     Fuzhou Noodles are also called "Long Life Noodles or Lucky Noodles."  Chinese Fuzhou Noodles are made with a special fine Fuzhou region flour and high alkaline lye water.  Lye does occur naturally in lake water around the world.  Bottles of food grade lye water are available in Asian food markets and this product can be used to make a wide variety of noodles, salad dressings or even German style pretzels.  
     The locally available lye water is why Fuzhou Noodles have their own unique characteristics.  When dry, Fuzhou Noodles are as thin as a thread and they are very fragile.  Fuzhou Noodles cook very quickly and they can be finished in less than one minute.  Fuzhou Noodles can be shocked in ice water to give them a chewy texture, just like many other Chinese noodles are prepared.  Many chef do not shock Fuzhou noodles, because they want to retain a soft texture.  Even when served soft, the elastic thin Fuzhou Noodles are quite durable and they do not break apart.
      Fuzou Cuisine is one of the four styles of Fujian Cuisine.  Fujian Cuisine is one of the eight classic Chinese cooking styles.  The taste sensation of umami is important in Fujian Cuisine.  Sauces should not mask the flavor of food in Fujian cuisine.  Fujian food tends to be light and lively, yet there is no shortage of flavor.  Fuzhou Cuisine is famous for fine soups.  Sweet and sour flavors are also a recurring theme.
     Today's noodle recipe looks like it has strong flavors.  Because of the bright turmeric yellow color, one may assume that the flavor of this noodle entrée will have a strong curry spice flavor.  Looks can be deceiving!  Turmeric is a spice and it is not just a food coloring agent.  Turmeric can be tasted and it has a very delicate flavor.  If you can notice the delicate flavor of turmeric in this entrée, then you did very well at using a light touch when seasoning!

     *This entire recipe yields 1 large noodle entrée that can be shared by 2 guests!

     Preparation:
     This noodle recipe only takes a few minutes to make, so all of the ingredients must be ready before starting to cook.  
     Step 1:  Keep about 2 quarts of water boiling in a small pot on a back burner, so the Fuzhou Noodles can be cooked later in the recipe.
     Step 2:  Place 1 tablespoon of salt packed dried wakame seaweed in a strainer and rinse the salt off with cold running water.
     Chop the wakame and set it aside.
     Step 3:  Soak 8 to 10 small sun dried anchovies in a little bit of water, till they become soft.
     Drain off the water and set the anchovies aside.
     Step 4:  Poach 10 Blue Mussels in boiling water.
     Cool the mussels.
     Shell the mussels and set them aside.
     Step 5:  Prepare 1/2 cup of thick sliced squid.
     Step 6:  Cut 4 ounces of whitefish into bite size pieces.   (Tilapia, pollock, catfish, carp or any sustainable whitefish is good for this recipe.)
     Step 7:  Select 8 medium size shrimp and remove the shells
     Step 8:  Large dice 1/3 cup of mixed red, yellow and green bell pepper.
     Set the peppers aside.  
     Step 9:  Prepare 3 tablespoons of small chopped onion.
     Step 10:  Chop 1 green onion.
     Step 11:  Prepare 3 tablespoons of small chopped daikon radish.
     Step 12:  Thin slice 1 shiitake mushroom.
     Step 13:  Be sure to have the rest of the ingredients handy, before starting the recipe.
     - 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
     - 2 minced garlic cloves
     - 1 teaspoon of minced ginger
     - sea salt and white pepper
     - 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
     - 10 whole Thai Basil Leaves
     - 1 teaspoon of Korean style Red Serrano Chile Pepper Sauce (sambal)
     - 3/4 cup of Fish broth
     - 1 1/2 portions of Fuzhou Noodles
     - 1 tablespoon of lime juice
   
     Snow Peas & Bok Choy Garnish:
     Step 1:  Boil 3 cups of salted water in a sauce pot over medium high heat.
     Add 1 baby bok choy that is cut in half lengthwise.
     Add 10 feather cut snow peas.
     Blanch the vegetables for about 45 seconds.
     Step 2:  Drain the water off of the bok choy and snow peas.
     Set the blanched vegetables on a dish and keep them warm on a stove top.
 
     Turmeric Lime Seafood with Thai Basil and Lucky Fuzhou Noodles:
     Step 1:  Heat a wide sauté pan or mini wok over medium/medium high heat.
     Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
     Add 2 cloves of minced garlic.
     Add 1 teaspoon of minced ginger.
     Briefly sauté for a few seconds, till the garlic and ginger are aromatic.
     Step 2:  Add 1/3 cup of mixed of red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper and green bell pepper.
     Add 3 tablespoons of small chopped onion.
     Add 3 tablespoons of small chopped daikon radish.
     Add 1 thin sliced shiitake mushroom.
     Add 1 tablespoon of the prepared wakame seaweed.
     Add 1 chopped green onion.
     Stir fry the vegetables till they are halfway cooked.
     Step 3:  Add 8 medium size shelled shrimp.
     Add 8 to 10 small reconstituted sun dried anchovies.
     Add 10 poached shelled Blue Mussels.
     Add 4 ounces of whitefish filet that is cut into small bite size pieces.
     Add 1/2 cup of sliced squid.
     Stir fry and toss the ingredients together till the seafood is almost fully cooked.
     Step 4:  Add 3/4 cup of light fish broth.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric.
     Add 1 teaspoon of Korean style Red Serrano Chile Sauce.
     Add 10 whole fresh Thai Basil leaves.
     Add sea salt and white pepper to taste.
     Step 5:  Bring the liquid to a boil and stir the ingredients.
     Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
     Simmer till the noodles are ready.
     Step 6:  Place 1 1/2 portions of Fuzhou Noodles in the pot of boiling water.
     Stir the noodles occasionally till they are fully cooked.  
     *Fuzhou noodles cook quickly.  Just drop them into boiling water and one minute later they are fully cooked!
     Drain the water off the noodles by pouring the thin noodles into a fine mesh strainer.
     Step 7:  Add the cooked Fuzhou Noodles to the seafood and thin sauce.
     Add 1 generous squeeze of lime juice to the seafood and noodles, while tossing the ingredients together.
     Remove the pan from the heat.  

     Presentation:
     Use a long tine carving fork (or big chop sticks) to mound the noodles and seafood on the center of the plate.
     Try to expose a few of the vegetables and seafood on the surface, so they can be seen.
     Arrange the blanched baby bok choy halves and feathered snow peas on the plate around the noodles.

     Even though this is not a traditional Fuzhou region entrée, it was made with the cooking style of Fuzhou in mind.  Light umami seafood flavors taste nice with Lucky Fuzhou Noodles!

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