What is the first thing that comes to your mind when I say "Street Food"? For me, I think of comfort.
I remember the days when I was living in Qatar or vacationing in India or even when I visit my parents in Dubai, street food was always one of the highlights. You see in Asia and in the Middle East the notion of street food is not as we know it here in Europe or in the States. No! Going out with friends to the beach side promenade for a walk or the bazaar and enjoying the multi-cultural, multi-colored foods offered was an event. An event that one dresses up for, gets together with friends and go out to have a blast.
In Europe I realize that street food is more or less considered as a quick lunch or a take away. Just something where you can get a huge portion for little money.
I loved spending the evenings with my family in Bombay on the beaches of Juhu. Not a brilliant place to swim but fantastic when you wanted to eat some scrumptious Bhelpuri or Panipuri. Of course I cannot forget the juice stalls in Doha. Thursday nights (the weekends were Thursdays and Fridays) were not the same if we missed out starting or ending our evening at one of these little stalls on the beach promenade. After a party with all my friends we'd head on over for fresh fruit juice and awesome sandwiches and pasta. Then of course strolling the Al Riqqa Road in Dubai with Tom and other friends, where food was available like sand on a beach. Everything from Arabic, Indian to Chinese cuisine as far as the eye can see. Everyone polished up to a tee, in their best outfits laughing, joking and enjoying the simple pleasures of life. The aromas of mixed spices and freshly cooked food in the air. SIGH!
Street food for me is certainly not to be mistaken or compared to the fast food joints one goes to. For those thinking "Is it clean? Is it fresh?" Let me tell you that these places depended on their clientele and offering a clean location and fresh food means everything for most of them. Most of these places used fresh ingredients that were bought at the local market on the same day.
I loved a little Asian place in Dubai that I just have to visit every time I am there. The people there already know me and what I like and as soon as they see me ask how I, Soeren and Tom are doing. How things are in Germany and so on. Then they get to work preparing my Chinese Spicy Vegetable Noodles.
They also have a few tables and chairs set out on the promenade right next to the famous Dubai Creek with a great view of the Dubai city skyline. The things you order are actually served in proper porcelain dinnerware. A luxury class chinese street food locality!
Well pretty much everything tastes delicious, but those Spicy Vegetable Noodles are the best. Complete with crisp vegetables and eggs. After you have eaten one of their huge portions you just sit back and this satisfying and comforting feeling takes over.
What could be more perfect for Ivonne and Orchidea's one off event where the theme is Dishes of Comfort.
I found this great link from Wikipedia about street food and thought it would interest you too.
I went to work trying to remember the ingredients added into the dish. I rolled up my sleeves, got out my wok and started the comfort procedure.
Music while cooking:
Sugababes - Easy - New on my iPod and a brilliant song.
*Artwork and music courtesty of iTunes
200g Egg Mie Noodles (in the link the ones that come close to what I used are either the chow mein noodles or the Hong Kong noodles) or any other type of Asian noodles
100 - 120g Mixed vegetable - finely sliced in julienne. I used
- Shitake mushrooms
- Red bell peppers
- Bak Choy or any other cabbage
- Spring onion
1 onion - finely chopped
2-3 red/green chillies - finely chopped
Sambal Oelek - according to the heat you can take
Sesame seed oil
Neutral tasting oil
6 egg - beaten
Cook the Mie Noodles according to packet instructions.
In the meantime heat up your wok and add a touch of neutral oil. Add in the chopped chillies, onions and garlic and sauté for a few minutes until the flavors have integrated well.
Throw in the julienne vegetables and mix well. Sauté for a few minutes until the vegetables start getting soft but are still crunchy.
Drain the noodles and add to the wok. Pour in soy sauce, ketjap manis and the sambal according to your taste. Mix well and covered allow for all the flavors to blend with each other, making sure you do not overcook and mixing every now and then.
In the meantime add a dash of soy sauce to the beaten eggs and make a thin omelette out of them. Cut in strips and add to the wok. Season with a dash of sesame oil.
- If you like cooking chinese and other Asian food as often as I do, buy fresh vegetables in larger amounts and cut these in julienne and freeze in portions. This way you simply need to take out of the freezer and add to any dish you are craving for without having to spend too much time with the preparation.
- If you like you can add any type of meat or seafood to this. Try, chicken, beef, pork or shrimps for a different flavor each time.
- Adding crispy fried duck breast makes this into an exquisite meal.
Comforting to the core. OK, we do not have the Dubai creek nor do we have the skyline. We have the comfort of our backyard and the warmth of our home to enjoy this lovely meal. It was perfect. For Soeren I made this without the heat of the chillies and he loves his noodles. He loved the flavors this style offered. Tom enjoys hot Asian food and this was a huge treat for him.
It is a quick and easy meal to prepare and has all the flavors that one craves for. Something for the entire family or just for you alone. I ate the leftovers the next day sitting on my huge sofa with a steaming bowl in my hands.
How many of you are in Bond fever? Now that was a change of subject! Well the new 007 flick premiers here next week and we are getting tickets for it. I can't wait for it. I am a die hard Bond fan since I was a kid. Have any of you already seen it?
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