Not much left…

We did not have much left from lunch that day so I decided to fry what was left of the packet of bánh phở for dinner.

I had one kilo of pek hay (white prawns), the seawater variety of the crustaceans in the freezer, peeled and de-veined and divided into four tubs for use as and when necessary. The biggest one of the lot was selling for RM15.00 a kg that morning when I went to the market. There were some really huge ones going for RM45.00 a kg but no, thank you – I can live without those.

One thing I’ve noticed is how the seller(s) would place all the big ones on top and when you ask for a kilo, he or she would use the plate to scoop the ones buried below for you and more often than not, those would be much smaller plus there would be all that water that would also go onto the weighing scale. Then, to make up the weight required, he or she would take those from the sides in between the trays – I would not know what those are, probably some even smaller ones, the rejects. Yes, I’ve seen that often enough to assume that it is the regular practice but no, I never bothered to make a scene and did not say a thing.

To be fair, there are the likes of these everywhere. Once, I bought some buah pakon (wild durians). I picked the ones I wanted and put them in a plastic bag and paid for them. Then I went to get my car so I would not have to carry them so far and I thought the guy was so nice as to help me carry and put the bag full of the fruit in the boot. When I got home, I found that they had been switched and I got all the not-so-good ones.

And haven’t we had our fair share of those errant teachers who bluffed their way through day in and day out, not bothered to put in any effort at all in their work, and laughed all the way to the bank at the end of every month? Well, God is all seeing, all knowing and what goes around comes around – they will get their due “reward” one day.

Anyway, back to the prawns that I bought, I only used one of the four tubs so that means it would be less than RM4.00…and I also took one of the very nice wine-infused lap cheong (Chinese sausage) from my friend, Annie, in KL and sliced it very thinly for use…

Char kway teow ingredients

…and two of the fresh-from-the-farm kampung eggs, a whole tray of them that I got from my friend – thanks so much for them, Mary. My girl would take those to her jungle school to enjoy but she did not take all so we would help ourselves to the ones left for breakfast…

Instant noodles with kampung eggs and prawns

…for instance, like this one that I had with my instant noodles with prawns added. It certainly looks like there is some truth in what they say that it is very difficult to peel really very fresh eggs and look at the mess that I made! That sure speaks volumes about the ones from the shops and supermarkets – I never had a problem peeling those!

Other than the prawns and the eggs, I had some sliced shallots and chopped garlic, pounded fresh chilies – two of them, taugeh (bean sprouts) and I did not have any kuchai (chives) so more for the colour, I used the spring onions that are growing abundantly in my garden and of course, though not the same, those would render their own fragrance and taste. Don’t worry about the chilies – that is also for the colour. I bought some HUGE ones and no, they are not spicy hot, not at all, what a let-down!

Yes, I boiled the noodles and then I tossed it with some dark soy sauce and pepper…


…and after frying the shallots and the garlic in a bit of oil till golden brown, I added the chili, lap cheong slices and prawns and after those, in went the noodles and the spring onions and the eggs. Lastly, I added the taugeh, making sure that I would not overcook them and once ready, I dished everything out…

Fried noodles 1

…and served.

That sure was a lot, enough for at least 5 or 6 plates, normal coffee shop stall serving…

Fried noodles 2

…and it tasted all right – a bit sweet and a little too strong on the lap cheong and it drowned out all the taste and sweetness of the prawns. Perhaps I should have added half only. Now I see the wisdom of those people at the stalls and shops when they only add two or three very thin slices to their plate of fried kway teow.

What was most disappointing was the fact that the chilies were absolutely hopeless so we had to add some more while eating – my missus’ special extra-spicy blended chili in a bottle in the fridge to give that much-needed kick…

Fried noodles 3

No, I did not try cooking my own pad thai like I said I would. I was thinking that now that we can get to enjoy the very nice one here, I can always drop by and have it there instead of having to go through the trouble of whipping up my own.

There wasn’t much left after dinner that evening but yes, there was a bit that I could save for breakfast the following morning.