In Gratitude of Mom + a Recipe for her Famous Toishan-Style Stir-Fried Vermicelli Glass Noodles (Chow Fun See)featured
Hello, old friends! So…I went dark for awhile, sorry about that! There have been so many times I wanted to tell you about some new dish or recipe or meal I had, but alas, life has been keeping me on my toes with a new business (ad)venture. Oh yes, and last month I had a baby (!!!), there’s that too. She already shares our love for eating, so she’s fitting in quite nicely.
My parents were recently here to help out and spend some QT with their new granddaughter. They were a Godsend – cooking, cleaning, taking the night shift with the baby, and, taking good care of me. My mom taught Hua and me how to make some of her signature dishes, which brings me back here.
As I took notes and wrote down her recipes for these dishes she’s made for me a hundred times, dishes I wish to commit to memory, it reminded me of why I first started Lick My Spoon long ago. I started writing about food and documenting recipes because I wanted to create a space to share with others the joy I derived from things I’ve eaten. I also wanted to create a place to remember. To keep safe these precious recipes.
As I watched my mom make her famous stir-fried vermicelli noodles — an old Lee family recipe her grandmother (my great grandma) taught her — I realized, this is important. I need to document this so I can recreate these flavors of home whenever I want, so I can make it for Hazel one day, and so I can share it with you.
So on this Mother’s Day, my Mom is the person who has pulled me back to this blog. (Thanks, Mom!) No, seriously, thank you Mom, for everything you’ve ever done for me. Motherhood is hard, yo.
Mother-daughter relationships in particular can be complicated. After this past month though, I have an entirely new appreciation for my momma. Her unconditional love, patience, selflessness, and overall super mom-ness. Thanks, Mom, for taking such good care of me. Thank you for feeding us, for vacuuming my apartment, for sitting with me while I pumped and massaging my wrists because they were sore from holding my baby. Thank you for doing all the sewing patch ups and fixes I’ve been piling up for you, for knowing I didn’t mean it when I got snippy, for teaching me how to put a shirt on a newborn (it’s scarier than you’d imagine), and how to bathe a baby (also potentially terrifying). Oh yeah, and thank you for everything else from the past 33 years. I can only hope to be as good a mom as you.
Now, on to the recipe, shall we?
If you follow me on IG, you may have seen this little snippet of my mom in action making her famous Toishan-Style Stir-Fried Vermicelli Glass Noodles (Chow Fun See in Chinese).
In this dish, thin glass noodles (sometimes referred to as vermicelli noodles) are stir fried until fragrant with dried scallops, scallions, and a bit of soy sauce. The Toishan style is drier than some other versions so you end up with a springier, almost fluffy, texture in the noodles.
You need to plan ahead a bit since the dried scallops and noodles need time to soak and soften, but once it comes time to cook, the dish comes together really quickly. The brand of noodles my mom recommends is called Lungkow. The noodles come in small 50 g packages – estimate using about 1 package per person.
Also, a note on the dried scallops. They get shredded up and reconstituted in hot water. That flavorful scallop water then gets used as the cooking liquid for the noodles. That’s one of the secrets to this simple recipe!
When it’s time to start the stir fry, it’s important to constantly toss the ingredients so that the noodles don’t stick. My mom uses a pair of chopsticks in one hand and a spatula or wooden spoon in the other to lift, fluff, and stir the noodles as they cook and absorb the scallop water.
These noodles make a great quick and easy side dish. Hope you love it as much as I do!
This is an old Lee family recipe passed down from my great grandmother to my mom, to me, and now to you! Thin glass noodles (“fun see” in Chinese) are stir fried until fragrant with dried scallops, scallions, and a bit of soy sauce. The Toishan style is drier than some other versions so you end up with a springier texture in the noodles. Makes a great simple side dish that comes together in a flash!
- 3 medium-sized dried scallops (about 1-inch diameter)
- 200 g dried vermicelli glass noodles (Lungkow brand)
- 3 pieces scallion
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
- Break apart the scallops and soak them in about a cup of boiling water for 2 or more hours until they are soft enough to shred easily.
- Soak the noodles in warm water for about an hour until softened.
- Cut the scallions crosswise into 1/4-inch rings.
- Drain the scallops, reserving the water. Drain the noodles (you can discard this water) and cut them roughly with a pair of kitchen scissors.
- Heat a nonstick pan (or well-seasoned wok) over high heat. The nonstick part is essential here. Add the vegetable oil. When the pan is hot, add the scallops and half the scallions. Saute for a minute until fragrant.
- Add the noodles, salt, and soy sauce and quickly toss so the noodles don’t stick to the pan. Stir continuously, gently lifting the noodles up using a tossing/fluffing motion. A pair of chopsticks and a spatula or wooden spoon work well.
- Lower the heat to medium-low. Add half of the reserved scallop water and let it absorb, still tossing. Continue for 3-5 minutes until noodles are tender yet springy. If they are too firm, add more of the scallop water. Add the remaining scallions and give a few more tosses for good measure.
Recipe Source: LickMySpoon.com.
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