…the time when I was staying with a nice elderly lady in Kuching in the 70’s. I was renting a room at her house and what I paid was inclusive of breakfast…and sometimes, if I was at home, she would just cook a bit more and ask me to join her to eat as well, be it lunch or dinner. The bonus was that she was a great cook and she would always come out with very nice dishes that I really enjoyed a lot.
I remember the time when she cooked mee sua with fish! All my life, I had been eating mee sua with chicken soup cooked with traditional Foochow red wine…and there she was serving it with ikan lumek , not exactly soupy nor dry – it had just a bit of soup or gravy. I was kind of surprised to find that it was actually very nice and I loved it a lot though I would not eat the fish. They say it has no bones but there are so many minute ones that are impossible to remove…and despite their telling me that I could just eat the flesh together those bones, no problem at all, I just cannot get used to it so to this day, you would not see me buying that fish at the market…ever.
…that were in the freezer instead. I sliced them thinly like this…
…and I also sliced a bit of ginger, the crucial ingredient in soups with traditional Foochow red wine for mee sua…
Feel free to add more if you’re like my missus and would want your soup to have stronger taste of ginger. She would probably pound it or cut it into thin strips but though I love the taste and fragrance of the root, I hate biting into it when eating so I did not do that. These chunky slices could easily be removed after cooking and thrown away.
I cooked the soup first…starting with heating up a tablespoon of sesame oil in the wok and frying the ginger in it till brown before putting in the fish cake slices and adding water and traditional Foochow red wine. When the soup had started boiling, I let it simmer for a while before adding half a cube of chicken stock which may be substituted with salt and msg, according to taste, if one so prefers. In the meantime, I cooked some mee sua and putting the cooked noodles along with the sliced fish cake into a bowl, I poured the soup over it…
I also fried an egg to go with it though it was a failed attempt to come out with what they call a golden nui pao (egg purse)…*face palm*.
In the event of their being no traditional Foochow red wine available, I would not advise using any of the other red wines, Chinese or otherwise, as a substitute. Personally, I feel it would be better to just cook the soup without it and prior to eating, add a spoonful of brandy to it. This would definitely bring the taste to a whole new level, of that I am pretty sure.
Well, all things considered, I must say that it tasted great and a welcome change from the usual chicken. I certainly would want to cook it like this again sometime and perhaps the next time around, I would use fish fillet instead – I bet it will taste just as nice or maybe, even better.
Well, just for the fun of it and to show a bit of support, I am submitting this post to the event, Little Thumbs up organised by Doreen from my little favourite DIY and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids that my Singapore blogger-friend, Chef and Sommelier is hosting for this month and ginger is the theme for July.