SINGAPORE - Welcome the Year of The Rat with a dish of rat's tail noodles cooked with three types of scallops, prawns and sakura shrimp.
This is a versatile dish as it can be part of your line-up for a grand festive meal, or a one-dish meal for a quick luxurious lunch.
Rat's tail noodles (louxufan in Cantonese) are also called bee tai mak in Hokkien. In Hong Kong and Taiwan, these noodles are referred to as silver needles.
Made from rice flour, these noodles are smooth, succulent and do not require a long cooking time.
Elevate this humble ingredient with seafood, shredded carrot, Chinese sausage and jiu huang (yellow chives) for a colourful and festive dish that you can whip up easily for friends and family this festive season.
Sakura shrimp is available at Meidi-ya. But for a more convenient option, you can always use dried prawn, in which case, you will need to soak them first, and add them to the pan before frying the dried shiitake mushroom.
Here's a cooking tip: To get that bouncy springy texture in your prawns and scallops, marinate them in a little cornflour and sugar.
Marinating them also helps rid them of strong seafood odours.
For a prettier presentation, use a bowl as a mould to form a neat mound of rat's tail noodles.
Use egg omelette strips and sprigs of coriander for garnish and you are all ready to serve.
SEAFOOD TREASURE RAT'S TAIL NOODLES
12 prawns (360g), shelled and deveined
200g frozen bay scallops, defrosted
1 tsp cornflour
¼ tsp sugar
2 eggs (60g each)
Pinch of salt
Dash of pepper
4 Tbs cooking oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
4 dried shiitake mushrooms (20g), soaked and sliced
6 dried scallops (24g), soaked until softened
40g dried baby scallops, soaed until softened
6g sakura shrimp
1 carrot (120g), shredded
1kg bee tai mak (rat's tail noodles)
2 chinese sausages (150g), blanched, skins removed and sliced
150g yellow chives, cut into 5-cm lengths
4 Tbs soya sauce
2 Tbs oyster sauce
2 Tbs fish sauce
1. In a bowl, place the prawns and add half a teaspoon of cornflour and half of the sugar. Mix well, cover the bowl with clingwrap and allow to marinate for 20 minutes.
2. Do the same with the bay scallops using the remainder of cornflour and sugar.
3. Remove the prawns and bay scallops from the fridge five minutes before cooking.
4. In a bowl, add the eggs, a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper. Beat well.
5. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a frying pan.
6. Pour in the eggs and turn the heat to low. Allow the egg to cook for about a minute. Use a frying slice to cut the omelette in half and turn each half over carefully.
7. Once the egg is cooked through, remove from pan and allow to cool. Cut into thin strips and set aside to use for garnishing.
8. Heat 1½ tablespoons of oil in the frying pan.
9. Add one-third of the chopped garlic and stir-fry over medium-high heat for 30 seconds.
10. Add the prawns and fry for 45 seconds until nearly opaque. Add the bay scallops and fry for 40 seconds.
11. Remove the prawns and bay scallops from the heat and set aside.
12. Heat the remaining oil in the frying pan or wok.
13. Add in the shiitake mushroom and fry over medium heat until fragrant.
14. Add the remaining chopped garlic and fry for 45 sconds until fragrant.
15. Add the dried scallops and dried baby scallops. Fry for a minute and add 50ml of water. Continue cooking until you do not see any liquid at the bottom of the pan.
16. Add the sakura shrimp and shredded carrot. Stir-fry for 45 seconds.
17. Add the rat's tail noodles. Mix well and stir-fry for a minute.
18. Add the soya sauce, oyster sauce and fish sauce.
19. Add the remaining water. Stir-fry briefly.
20. Add the Chinese sausage and cover for three minutes.
21. Uncover and add the stir-fried prawns, bay scallops and yellow chives.
22. Stir-through, cover and let it cook for another two minutes.
23. To serve, take a bowl, add a few strips of omelette and arrange the prawns and Chinese sausage at the bottom of the bowl. Fill the bowl with rat's tail noodles and invert the bowl onto a plate.
Makes six to eight servings.