19 February 2013

Chinese New Year Longevity Noodles 长寿面


There are so much food Symbolism for Chinese festive celebrations that I could never keep up or remember them all. The symbolic significance of a food may be based on its appearance or on how the Chinese word sounds.

The foods that are prepared each have their very own meaning and a definite, one of those are noodles - a symbol of longevity. Superstition even tells that it's bad luck to cut the noodles during Chinese New Year/Birthday Celebration.

My Malay girlfriend visited us during the Chinese New Year, and I decided to make long life noodles for dinner, and eat to our longevity!

Serves: 2

• 150g thin spaghetti
• 200g shrimp, deveined
• 1½ tsp kosher or sea salt, divided
• ½ tsp cornstarch
• 1 tablespoon cooking oil
• 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
• 16 snow peas, sliced thin on diagonal
• ⅓ of a carrot, cut to matchstick size
• 1 tbsp soy sauce
• 1 tbsp Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
• ½ tsp sesame oil
• 1 tbsp sesame seeds
• 2 bird's eye chilli

1. Bring a stockpot of water to boil. Add 1 tsp of salt to water and cook thin spaghetti for 2mins (or according to package directions). Drain and set aside.

2. Place shrimp in a small bowl and add the remaining ½ tsp of salt and the cornstarch. Mix well and let sit for 8 minutes. Rinse the shrimp well, washing off the salt and cornstarch. Pat very dry with paper towels.

3. Heat cooking oil on high in a wok, until a bead of water sizzles and evaporates upon contact. Add the shrimp and fry until halfway cooked through, about 1 minute. Dish out the shrimp to a plate, keeping as much oil in wok as possible (you should have about 1 teaspoon of oil left and you may add an just a bit of oil into the pan if needed.)

4. Turn heat down to medium and add garlic. Fry until fragrant, about 15 seconds then add the snow peas and carrots. Fry for 1 minute, until the carrots and snow peas are cooked but still retain a nice crunch. Add the soy sauce and rice wine. Turn heat to high and add the drained spaghetti noodles and shrimp. Toss well to combine, add more soy sauce & Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry) if needed. Let it cook for 2 minutes, until shrimp is cooked through. Toss with sesame oil and sesame seeds.

5. Served with cut Bird's eye chili.

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