About a couple of years back, I opened up a small catering service, very off-hand, just playing around and seeing if it had any takers. I was surprised to find out just how many people want to eat good food for reasonable prices. And from then, I have been organizing and helping others carry out their own food fantasies, by creating meals which satisfy the soul. I have also found people around Kolkata who are huge food enthusiasts and has followed their dreams and created places which talks about honest food, unpretentious, delicious and cooked to perfection.
Take a bow, Rahul Arora of Bon Apetit cafe. For making this Pasta. Oh God. Those were the words that came into my head when I had this.
On the other hand, this is my Bean Thread Noodles that went in my Hot and Sour Chicken Soup. The recipe is dead simple, and adding the slightly more resilient Mung Bean noodles make it less starchy and more about the broth, which is what I like.
What you need:
One recipe Chicken Stock (Made by boiling 1 kilo chicken bones in 3 liters of water and one old onion in a pressure cooker till neck bones gave up and then strained off), about 1.6 liters of stock
1 packet (80 gms) Bean Thread Noodles, Uncooked
1 tablespoon dark soy
1 onion, julienned
1/2 carrot, julienned
1/3rd cup cabbage, julienned
1 recipe red chilli paste (Made by pasting together 2 chopped dried red chillies that were soaked in 1 tablespoon vinegar with 3 large cloves of garlic)
1 egg, if you like your stuff eggy
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves, or cilantro
1 teaspoon fish sauce
salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoon oil or bacon fat, to fry the veg
How to Make it:
In a fat bottomed wok, heat your oil or bacon fat. I rendered mine from a fat strip of bacon. Then remove the bacon, eat the fatty crispy bits and crackling, and then proceed.
Fry the veg, beginning with the onions and following with the carrots, cabbage, and stir fry for a couple of minutes and then add your stock. Well, my stock was this ridiculously rich gelatinous mass, so I didn’t need cornstarch and MSG. The broth had way too much happiness going on in it already.
Add your mung bean noodles, lemon juice, red chili paste, soy sauce and mix well. Let it boil till your noodles and veg soften, not get mushy, mind you, just soften. When you see that happen, check for salt, pepper, add coriander leaves, fish sauce, and if you like it (I don’t) an egg, beaten, and stir it around till you see the egg settle out in strands. Check for salt and pepper. Serve.