Monday, August 3, 2009

Mad for Mee Sua

To say that I've been a little obsessed with mee sua the last two months is an understatement. Mee sua is Taiwanese for noodle thread (translated literally). The pinyin for it is mian xian (麵線). It is a flour based noodle and dried with salt as preservative. It can be either red (kinda burnt sienna-ish) or white. Many of the Asian markets in SF and Ranch 99 in Daly City do not carry this noodle. I found some at Pacific Super in Daly City and Marina Foods in Foster City.
I bought few kinds of the white kind and found the following brand to have the right bite and consistency for making Taiwanese style mee sua. The main thrust of my mee sua making has been for sesame oil chicken mee sua. One may think that having this in the middle of summer is too hot. But I live in SF and the cold, foggy nights are perfect for this dish.
The instructions for making this dish I found on a Youtube clip of Chef A-chi. You take some chicken thigh meat and cut into bite size pieces. Peel and julienne up a ginger root. The rest couldn't be simpler yet Chef A-chi's tips really make a difference. First you take some normal cooking oil (not sesame), I used canola, and saute the ginger pieces until fragrant and slightly burnt as the edges. In the meantime, add the mee sua to boiling water. When the noodles are cooked (after about 2 min), remove the noodles in to a separate bowl (don't get rid of the pasta water). Drain the canola oil into the bowl with noodles. Add 1/2 cup of rice wine and stir up the noodles.
Add a cup of sesame oil and heat with the ginger on medium (don't do high heat as the sesame oil will turn bitter). Add the chicken pieces in and saute until slightly browned. Then add a cup of rice wine and a cup of the pasta water. Bring to boil and let simmer for 15 minutes so all the flavours meld.
Add the soup mixture to the noodles and... Viola! Delicious sesame chicken mee sua. As a side note... do not ever add salt to this dish. The residual salt from the pasta water is enough.
I also tried the red mee sua noodles to make oyster mee sua.
The results were just okay. One problem is that our oysters in SF are too big. Also, I don't have broth quite right. I need Chef A-Chi to make a video for this dish...

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