Friday, August 6, 2010

Got that Eggy Sambal Pasta Goodness on... with Pics!

I actually wanted to make these fish tacos today, but it turns out we already ate our leftover fish. Bummer. If there was one thing I should've gotten in the States, it was definitely a fish taco. So I made that sambal with pasta I'd been thinking about ever since I made it with rice. My ancestors are probably not thrilled.

So I finally brought the camera to the table, looking like a freak and all. Apparently, I've had flickr since 2007. Who knew?

Sambal Pasta with Egg

Also, I finally used that mythical object that had been but a distant memory to me: the stove. If there's one thing I never want to cook in the microwave, it's pasta, not sure why. I think it's because it's in there for so long, and I've learnt that anything in the microwave for over five minutes at a time will explode. The automated nature of hopping up every minute and punching another minute in again is no fun, either. I guess you could say it compares to having to check your stove stuff just as frequently, but doing that's more spontaneous and fun.

I do plan on using my rice cooker to make pasta, though. Apparently, you don't even have to drain it!

You know, one of the things I adore about Malaysian cuisine is the indiscriminate use of eggs in, like, everything. Fried rice and noodles just aren't the same without it! My fave fried rice here is Yang Chow fried rice, just for that eggy kick. So it was guaranteed that I was going to use egg. Especially once I came across this comment on Allrecipes from Leo in NJ:

"Leo in NJ
Apr. 30, 2010 11:50 am
Cheaters' "poached" eggs: I make them this way whenever I want eggs sunny-side up. Break eggs into a buttered skillet as for fried eggs (med-low heat). Sprinkle seasonings quickly, then add 1-2 tsp water and cover. Steam over very low heat until whites glaze over the yolks. Much less trouble than poaching."

I've never, ever been able to poach an egg; how could I resist?

Unfortunately, I don't think I waited long enough for the butter to heat up, though it melted, because the egg spread across the entire pot. Still delish.

So without further (and further. and yet further) ado, let me skip back to the beginning and explain my one-pot dish.

Eggy Sambal Pasta
1 egg, single serving of pasta (1-2 handfuls), 3T sambal paste, 1T ranch dressing, 0.5T t hoisin sauce (added too much), 0.5t butter, 1T water
  1. Cook and drain pasta (preferably in non-stick pot). Lay aside for now.
  2. Put butter in pot on med-lo heat and wait until it is melted and sizzling.
  3. Crack an egg in, add 1T water, and cover. Add sambal after 1 minute.
  4. Once egg is done, remove from heat and break it up. Add the pasta back in.
  5. Add ranch and hoisin sauce. Serve when hot.
Second opinion: Mum said it "wasn't bad" - her top compliment for family members - though she thought it was spicy.
My spiciness rating (this sambal's not that strong): 1 bottle of water, 15 minutes for burning in mouth to stop.

I added the hoisin sauce to mine while eating, actually:
Sambal Hoisin Pasta with Egg

The dish needed some sweetness to it, and I didn't want to use sugar or cross cuisines even further. Good thing I wasn't daring enough to add our ridiculously sour pico de gallo at the beginning! Maybe pico de gallo + hoisin sauce can be my next sauceperiment. I love hoisin sauce; I added it to plain chicken wraps (this was at my boyfriend's, where there are never any cooking basics like tomato sauce) and it was fantastic and got me craving Peking duck ever since.

I added the ranch for creaminess, though coconut milk/cream is really what you want to use. I just like ranch and didn't want to open a full tin or, you know, gain a pound in one sitting.

I really like the fusion of pasta and Asian sauces. I made a neat peanut butter-salsa-Kraft Dinner (it adds smokiness somehow) sauce that actually tasted Thai. If I revisit it (and find a way to cut out the KD), I'll post it. But yeah, this dish was a success. Only thing it needed was veggies. We're sort of low on vegetables right now. I considered roasting some red peppers to go with but ultimately didn't want to bother.

Vegetable thoughts for next time: sautéing any of onion, eggplant, pumpkin, and/or spinach with the sambal would be great (maybe lentils, too). The aforementioned roasted peppers. Adding frozen mediterranean veggie mix. Mushrooms. Avocado (even more fusion, haha). Corn or one of the more stringy/liquidy squashes in place of the hoisin sauce for sweetness. Um.... I don't think I know many vegetables. I better start hanging out in the fruit & veg section of the supermarket.

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