Fast and easy to cook, frozen convenience food is combined with fresh vegetables, Asian sauces and egg noodles to make this stir fried noodles with fish balls and quekiam.
Dried noodles have a shelf life of at least several weeks and that makes them an ideal pantry staple. But fish balls and quekiam? Asians will understand immediately but if you’re rather new at cooking Asian dishes at home, fish balls and quekiam are frozen food items. In the grocery, they are usually found in the section for hotpot ingredients.
Fish balls are made with fish paste (pounded raw fish flesh), vegetables, starch and water. The mixture is formed into balls, dropped in boiling water, cooled, packed and sold. So, yes, fish balls are pretty much ready to eat because they are fully cooked.
Quekiam, on the other hand, is a Southeast Asian adaptation of ngo hiang, a Hokkien and Teochew food made with minced pork and vegetables wrapped in beancurd skin. It is usually fried and served with sweet chili sauce.
Most commercially sold ready-to-fry quekiam is so called only because it is shaped and colored like the real quekiam. In truth, it’s mostly flour. So are the fish balls, actually. You can’t use real quekiam for this stir fry but if you want to make it on another occasion, there is a quekiam recipe in the archive.
There are so many brands of commercial quekiam and fish balls, choose the best quality that you can afford because the cheaper ones turn tough as rubber after frying and often taste like cardboard.
Stir Fried Noodles With Fish Balls and Kikiam (Quekiam)
- 200 grams dried egg noodles (see notes after the recipe)
- 200 grams kikiam (quekiam) store-bought
- 200 grams fish balls store-bought (see notes after the recipe)
- 1/2 head garlic
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 1 bunch Chinese cabbage bok choy is especially good
- 1 bunch scallions
- 1/4 cup oyster sauce
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 3 to 4 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 6 tablespoons cooking oil
- sesame seed oil
- Cook the noodles according to package directions. Set aside.
- Peel and finely mince the garlic.
- Peel and finely slice the onion.
- Peel the carrot and slice thinly.
- Cut off the leaves of the Chinese cabbage and reserve for future use. You only need the crisp stalks for this noodle dish. Cut the stalks into one-inch lengths.
- Discard the root ends of the scallions and cut into one-inch lengths.
- Cut the fish balls into halves.
- Slice the kikiam diagonally into two to three pieces.
- Heat the cooking oil. Lightly fry the fish balls and kikiam.
- Add the carrots and cook, stirring, for about a minute. Add the garlic, onion and Chinese cabbage stalks; cook for another minute. Add the onion leaves. Stir.
- Pour in the soy sauce, oyster sauce and hoisin sauce. Add pepper. Stir to blend.
- Add the noodles, toss and stir to coat the noodles with the sauce.
- Turn off the heat, drizzle with sesame oil and serve.
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