I have three things to rejoice over today.
First, I turned in my last final paper today. That means I’m done. Finito. Free as a songbird for this semester.
Second, I paid the security deposit for my new apartment today.
That’s right, biatchas, I finally found myself a place to sleep during the summer! I’ve signed the form stating that I have the right to reserve my room, so this manager cannot pull a stunt like my last one.
Third: my family will be visiting me in five days!!! They’re gonna help me move, and then we’re just gonna chill and enjoy being a family again. I’m so freaking excited. I think I already mentioned this before, but it’s worth mentioning again. HIP HIP HOORAY!!
What kind of music should you be singing when you’re rejoicing? Even while I was singing praises to God, weirdly enough I’ve also had this song stuck in my mind:
Yeah, it has nothing to do with rejoicing, but it’s still got me dancing so that’s a good thing.
So. I’m in such a good mood today, I feel like kissing everyone. I was pushed and shoved in the bus on my way home, but I let them. I even smiled at a dog today. It growled back. I smiled at many many babies today, too. Most of them scowled back.
But who cares? I’m in such a fabulous mood I felt like I had enough to share with everyone, even those in a crabby mood like I was a few days before.
There’s still a lot of things left to do, though. I need to meet friends before they leave, I need make final edits to an article my professor wants to submit to the L.A. Times, I need to go for a drug test, and dear Lord, I need to pack.
It’s shocking how much kitchen stuff I have. And aiyah, so much food in the fridge to finish off. At least it’s helped me be a bit more spontaneously creative in the kitchen.
What do you do when you have a whole set of Asian condiments like these?
They’re my favorites: Oyster sauce, Kecap Manis, hoisin sauce and fish sauce. Every bona fide Asian should have these in the pantry. If you don’t, you’ve got some shopping to do, my friend.
Add that all together, and you’ve got a Singaporean-inspired meal.
Bak Chor Mee Imitation
- ground beef or pork
- frozen corn (optional)
- frozen pea (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 inch ginger, minced
- 1/2 small onion, diced
- tablespoon oyster sauce
- tablespoon kecap manis (or more hoisin)
- tablespoon hoisin sauce
- tablespoon soy sauce
- teaspoon fish sauce
- tablespoon rice vinegar
- tablespoon oyster sauce (or hoisin)
- drop of sesame oil
- sprinkle of red pepper flakes
- a bit of hot broth/water
- green onion, chopped
Mix all the condiment ingredients together in a small bowl; set aside.
Fry garlic and ginger in oil on skillet. Once fragrant, add the beef, corn, peas and onions.
Sautee for a couple minutes, then add in the rest of the sauces. Cook until done.
Meanwhile, cook noodles.
Once the noodles are cooked, place them in a bowl. Mix in the condiment mixture, toss to coat. Ladle on the meat/vegetable mixture on top. Sprinkle with green onions. Serve immediately.
Yummy. Don’t let the list of ingredients deter you. I used as many different ingredients as I could because I’m trying to use them up, and really, how much effort does it take a squirt a tablespoon of sauce out of a bottle?
Every second is worth it, once you taste this dish. And as always, to maximize flavor, eat with your best chopsticks.
In case you’re wondering what Bak Chor Mee is, it’s a Singaporean dish that means “Minced Meat noodle” in Hokkien (肉挫面 in Chinese). Usually the dish is served with stewed mushrooms, fish cakes, and pork slices as well, but I don’t have the luxury of getting new ingredients; I made do with what I had in the fridge.
I love, love Bak Chor Mee, and though this random recipe was similar to the nostalgic hawker dish, it didn’t have the same punch, sad to say. I think I am missing the famous Singaporean chili sauce and Chinese vinegar.
Still, it was great in a pinch, and especially wonderful for clearing up your fridge. You can use any kind of carbohydrate base here, though Chinese yellow wheat noodles are the most authentic (called Mee Pok or 薄面).
Rice noodles, linguine, macaroni, or even rice and quinoa would be fine, too. If you want to take a look at the more traditional Singaporean hawker noodles, check out this bowl of fishball Mee Pok I got last summer.
By the way, I made more beef/vegetable topping than I needed, so I kept the leftovers and cooked them into oatmeal for dinner:
Sprinkled with the nutritional yeast Mimi gave me. See? This is perfect clean-up-the-fridge-and-pantry dish (and yes, I eat oatmeal with chopsticks, apparently…).
Okay it’s time to count down till the day my parents and my brother arrive!!
Question of the Day: What’s your favorite condiment? Mine is gochujang, for sure.