Angel hair pasta tossed in scallion oil, dark and light soya sauce, boiled broccoli and prawn gyoza. Super simple, super yummy, and quite healthy 😊
What’s scallion oil, you ask?
It’s the main star in cong yau meen or scallion oil noodles, which I first heard of when I watched The Wandering Earth, a Chinese movie about the end of the world. One of the characters was reminiscing about how he misses his wife’s scallion oil noodles with such longing that my mouth started watering. Curious, I googled several recipes and made it 🙂
How to prepare scallion oil
1. Take a bunch of scallions and cut them into match stick size.
2. Then in a pot or wok with narrow base, add a mild-flavoured oil (i used rice bran) followed by the scallions. Use enough oil to cover the scallions.
3. Heat over low fire until the scallions start to brown. The objective is to infuse the oil with the flavour of the scallions. Remember, gentle heat. For maximum effect, cook longer. I’ve done it for anything between 30-45 minutes. The longer you wait, the browner your scallions will end up. Can you eat them? Sure, I love them! But if munching on carbon freaks you out, just throw them away since you’ve extracted the very life juice out of them already …
When you’re done, your whole house will be filled with the most wonderful aroma. Remember to close your bedroom doors if you won’t want scallion oil aroma to be all over your furniture and clothes 🙂
How to make sauce for the noodles
Just mix together 2: 1: 1 ratio of scallion oil, dark soya sauce and light soya sauce, and heat until the sauce starts to boil.
How to assemble meal
1. Bring water to a boil. Toss in broccoli and boil for 30 seconds. Remove.
2. In the same water, add dried angel hair and cook for 2 minutes. Remove.
3. Cook gyoza according to package instructions.
4. Toss noodles in the sauce, assemble various components on a plate, and voila, dinner done!
1. I use angel hair pasta interchangeably with bee hoon. Think beehoon except made of wheat flour instead of rice flour, and just a wee bit thicker. Best of all, no need to pre-soak in water. Angel hair pasta is also slightly thicker, which gives it more body.
2. Some of you might be horrified that I boil my pasta in the same water as my vegetables. Well, I figure that the vegetables infuse the water with a nice mild flavour, so why not? Less utensils to wash 😛
3. Place gyozas flat side down on a lightly oiled nonstick saucepan. Fry for a few minutes, then pour in a thin layer of water (enough to cover the bottom of the gyoza), cover with a lid and steam for 5 minutes or until water has completely evaporated and bottom of gyoza is golden brown.
4. I enjoy my gyozas with a dipping sauce made from mixing equal amounts of chin kiang black vinegar and Uncle King’s chilli flakes which I get from Queensbay Mall. Penangites will know this as the pork-free chilli pan mee stall with the eternal queue on the highest floor of the mall.
5. Scallions are also known as spring onions or green onions.
6. Pop trivia. A friend asked me, isn’t this the noodles we used to eat in our school canteen? Yes and no – a lot of Chinese-style dry noodles in Ipoh are tossed in soya sauce, so that’s the common denominator. What’s uncommon is the use of scallion oil which really elevates the flavour to become Shanghai’s celebrated cong yau meen or scallion oil noodles, at least according to what I’ve read and researched 🙂