Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Stir fried noodles and rice balls (人和豆付)

乾炒牛河 gan chao niu he

In what can basically be summarized as a stir fry of thick rice noodles, beef, scallions, and bean sprouts... 乾炒牛河 (gan chao niu he) is pretty one of my favoritest foods in the world (so much that I'll make up words to describe how much I love it). When I was younger (and refused to touch any sort of seafood or vegetables), it was pretty much the only item on the menu that I'd accept at dim sum places. Yes. I was very stupid as a kid (which isn't to say I've improved much on the intelligence, but I'll eat pretty much anything now). At a restaurant called 人和豆付, which translates to 'Friendly Tofu,' I was mesmerized by the picture of their noodles on the glass outside... I knew I had to order it.

Ha, actually I'm lying... I'm pretty sure the only reason I walked into this restaurant was because I wanted a place to photograph my egg tarts. I'm really glad I did though, their take on this dish was superb. I know, the dish has like 4 parts to it. How can anyone really screw something like that up? Well, it's not so much about screwing it up, it's about achieving the right flavor. I suppose I could throw some beef and scallions in a pan and add noodles, but I doubt it'd come out right. When it's properly executed, gan chao niu he has a certain 'smokiness' aspect of flavor. Combined with delicately sliced thin cuts of beef cooked just barely to completion, chewy, yet light, strands of wide rice noodles, and topped with ever so fragrant pieces of spring scallions and bean sprouts, a truly well prepared gan chao niu he is something that I can't even begin to describe. And they did it just that well. Way to go 'Friendly Tofu.' I think it was like 30 HKD (~$4), which is well worth the price of ecstasy methinks.

Rice balls

They also had rice balls. In my mind I was thinking of the HK spin on Taiwanese 飯團. Except it wasn't. It was just a fried cruller that was dipped in some sort of soy broth and rolled inside of sticky rice with a few shreds of pork floss. Except... their sticky rice smelled like feet. Did I really just pay 10 HKD ($1.25) for foot flavored rice? I thought maybe they just messed up royally with my order, but my mom explained that, what I described as the odor of foot was just how they're prepared in Southern parts of China. Well then. Duly noted. I will not be having any more foot flavored rice balls. I'll stick with the semi-sweet, yet savory, Taiwanese variety...


candy said...

Now I want rice noodles. I'm glad I can buy fresh rice noodles at the asian supermarket here, I should pick some up now :P

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