3.07.2014

Blasian Cooking: Spicy stew noodles

山東大麵 (Large Shandong noodles) are
perfect with stew.
I think anyone living abroad for a long period of time begins to miss the comforts of home, whether it be shopping at certain stores, sleeping in your old bed, or eating certain foods.  For me, food is the only thing I really miss about home, aside from my family and friends of course.  Don't get me wrong; I love the food in Taiwan, and I eat pretty much everything and anything (stinky tofu, pig's blood, etc.)  It's not American food I miss as I don't really eat fast food.   It's Nigerian food that I crave.  Rice and stew, dodo (fried plantain), egusi soup (soup made with egusi seeds)...the list goes on!

Luckily, I had the luxury of having my dad visit me last month.  Naturally, I was happy to see him, but I was also ecstatic that he brought some of my mom's cooking with him, frozen and wrapped tightly so it would be safe during the 24+ hour journey.  Of particular note was the peppery, Nigerian tomato stew.  Why?  Because it goes amazingly well with noodles!


Last year, the first time he visited me, my dad brought me some stew.  Since I'm sometimes too lazy to cook rice myself, I decided to put the stew on noodles as they're fast to make.  Since then, I've loved the combination!
The Shandong noodles ready to go.
Mom's stew!
I think it's clearly the oiliness of stew that makes it pair well with noodles.  And, what makes stew awesome is it's longevity.  I can keep it for months as long as it's in the freezer.  Plus, I find that "old" stew tastes better since the flavors have really sunk in.  It's my go-to dinner when I'm not sure what to eat because I don't have to add anything.  However, I find that adding 白菜 (baicai or bok choy) gives it a nice crunch.  A boiled egg is also a great topping.  

When I still had some, I would add also my mom's blasian-style turkey which was frozen and brought over.  Last year, my dad and I were taken to Yilan, a city in northeastern Taiwan, by a friend.  There, my dad bought some 豆腐乳 (doufuru or fermented tofu sauce).  My mom used it, curry powder, and a few other tasty spices to marinate the turkey.

The noodles before mixing...
...and after mixing!
Seriously, the noodles have a killer taste, too bad licking the screen will do no good!  In my opinion, they have a similar flavor to some Chinese noodle dishes:

Sichuan-style zhajiangmian which are,
of course, spicier than the usual.
Source
炸醬麵 (zhajiangmian or fried sauce noodles)
This bowl is from one of my favorite places
in my neighborhood.
辣味咖哩麵 (lawei kalimian or spicy curry noodles)
The curry sauce looks so much like Nigerian stew!
Source
I think the similarities between the stew noodles and the above dishes (especially zhajiangmian because the sauce used for that as well as stew are both fried) further proves the general connection between Asian and African cultures.  I don't think it's coincidental that the tastes are similar.  And, I think highlighting the similarities between my culture and Chinese culture has always been a great conversation starter here.  Breaking bread together has always been a way to connect for thousands of years, hasn't it?  It certainly has been for me; people here love my mom's food!

My mom's stew and turkey, ready to be attacked!
My dad thinks a Nigerian restaurant would be a success in Taiwan.  I think he's right!

What are some foods you crave when you're abroad?  Have you made any blasian dishes?

3 comments:

  1. OMG!!! I miss my mom's cooking!! I just really want some oxtails with the tomato sauce (oily goodness)...cassava...fried salted fish with the onions and tomato sauce. I just wanna scream! Sometimes I have dreams about my mom's cooking. I get asked all the time if the spiciness of the food here in Korea is okay for me and I always say its the same, if not less spicier than my mom's food. Oh, how lucky your dad brought you that food. I'm calling my dad right now.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You. Are. Genius.
    Doufuru and curry....OMG Your Mom <3
    I will be in the kitchen.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am not abroad, but I don't think I can be away from my parents cooking. I will break out in sweats lol. Nigerian cuisine is the business! Your mom and dad must open a Nigeria restaurant in Taiwan I will find my way there somehow. I feel that African food takes the cake when it comes to spicyness and I'm not one to really love spicy food, but being African and not liking spicy is an oxymoron. That food looks so good.

    ReplyDelete

Comments are no longer accepted.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.