Baked ziti

Baked ziti

Lately I've been on a bit of an American food bender. Perhaps recent events have given me another reason to admire you freedom-loving crazies, as pulled pork, BBQ ribs, and the Rueben sandwich have all graced my table at some point over the last month. That will all get written up in due course, but today I wanted to show you my baked ziti. What other dish combines pasta, bolognese sauce, and mozzarella cheese, and still manages to remain a wholly American invention?

I can feel myself reaching the limit of what 6 seasons of The Sopranos taught me about baked ziti, so to avoid looking like a fool I will stop right there. The recipe below is for an individual serving baked in a bowl — which is convenient when you're cooking for one (cue the violins) — but it could just as easily be scaled up to fill a whole casserole dish. And just to be parochial, it uses the warm weather bolognese I wrote about the other day.

Now I'm no Italian-American, so I would love for someone who knows what they're talking about to tell me how I've butchered their classic*. Who knows, maybe one day I can make a batch that even Livia wouldn't criticise.

Baked ziti

Ingredients (makes one serving):

  • 110g ziti/rigatoni, cooked to al dente
  • 3/4 cup warm weather bolognese
  • 2 tbsp cream
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Grated mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat an oven to 180ºC/350ªF. Combine all of the ingredients except the cheese, and adjust seasoning. Transfer this to an oven safe bowl, scatter generously with grated mozzarella, and bake until golden on top.
2. Pat yourself on the back for freezing batches of bolognese sauce.

* It just occurred to me that my so-called baked ziti contains no ziti.

A farewell feast

Roast beef

If I'd known how much fun a farewell feast was, I'd have left years ago. In fact, my new goal in life may be to move somewhere, live there long enough to find friends who will attend a farewell dinner, then leave. My life will be a glorious adventure from one farewell feast to another, perhaps interspersed with an occassional welcome home feast when I return to Adelaide.

It's a pretty easy process too. The first step is to leave your hometown, leave all your friends, your family, your favourite places and faces. Easy, right? Next up, host a farewell dinner for yourself. Once that's done, you're free to dream up any kind of menu you desire.

Here's what I went for:

We started with a light sparkling pinot served with ricotta and chargrilled capsicum on something that I don't know the name for. It's a little bread square, buttered on both sides and crammed into a small muffin dish so when you put it under the grill the bread toasts into little cups. Let's call them toastinis, or crustettes, or something similarly naff.

Fortunately, I had my partner in crime Tim to attend to the entree. He made up a prawn stock by boiling up tomatoes, lemon zest and pulp, salt, prawn shells, parsley, and whole peppercorns. This was then magically turned into seafood risotto which was served with a prawn poached in butter, with a garnish of chilli oil. I'd have a photo and a recipe, but it was far too delicious to tear myself away from. This one went hand in hand with a NZ gewurtztraminer, which was a lovely and buttery supplement to the seafood.

The next dish was a purely experimental one. The official name was lime salmon with avocado and mango salsa on a bed of coconut rice. The coconut rice was simple enough (rice + water + coconut milk + rice cooker), as was the salsa (avocado + mango + coriander + lime juice). I panfried the salmon with a sprinkling of lime zest at the end, and constructed a mini food tower consisting of a rice and salsa foundation with a salmon ground floor and lime antenna. In retrospect, the hot salmon on cold salsa was an odd combination, despite the flavours working well together. An Adelaide Hills sav blanc provided the tasty wineyness for this one.

If you think that two tasty courses were enough to get me to leave, you're sadly mistaken. Main course, dessert, and a big breakfast cook-up are after the jump.

'Warm weather', Naples-style bolognese

Spaghetti bolognese

You may remember my version of ragu alla bolognese from a few months ago. It was quite a big deal, in all the papers. That was in the middle of winter, when a hearty, rich meat sauce over fresh pasta was the perfect comfort food. Now as I look down the barrel of an Australian summer, long slow braises, as good as they are, are making way for lighter, brighter foods.

This bolognese is more 'southern style' — by which I mean Naples rather than Louisiana (and by which I mean Naples, Italy, rather than Naples, Florida) — but once again I would not be so foolish as to claim authenticity. While my meat bolognese had depth of flavour with many different flavours melting together, this sauce has lots of clear individual tastes. Everything is left relatively chunky so you get individual bursts of flavour in eat bite, and the amount of tomatoes make it as much a tomato sauce as a meat one. Some chillies for kick and anchovies to round it out, and you're in business.

Unlike my other bolognese this works much better with dried pasta. I also make bulk and freeze it, so rather than putting fresh herbs into the sauce and dulling their flavour in the freezer I tend to instead toss them freshly-picked together with the pasta and sauce before serving.

Warm weather bolognese

Ingredients:

  • 300g beef mince
  • 300g pork mince
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of dry white wine
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 carrots, in a medium dice
  • 1 stalk of celery, in a small dice
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely-sliced
  • 3 dried birds-eye chillies, finely-sliced
  • 4 anchovies
  • 3 cans of tomatoes with their juices
  • A few gratings of nutmeg
  • Salt, to taste

1. In a wide pan, heat 3 tbsp of olive oil to a high heat and add the mince and some salt. Cook until the mince is well-browned, breaking up the mince so there are still some medium-sized chunks.
2. Add the wine and scrape the fond off the bottom of the pan while it sizzles. Turn the heat down to medium, ten add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and put a lid on the pan to let the vegetables sweat.
3. Add the anchovies, chillies, and tomatoes and bring to a high simmer. Grate the nutmeg over the pan, then reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook this for about 35 minutes or until the vegetables are completely tender, then salt to taste.

Fresh pasta vs. dried pasta

Pappardelle with a tuna & tomato cream sauce

The other day I got into an argument with a friend's girlfriend about the merits of fresh versus dried pasta. Earlier in the week I'd sat in stunned silence as an acquaintance lectured me about how global warming was a conspiracy, but the topic of pasta is not one that I take flippantly. Her claim was that fresh pasta is always better than dried pasta, which is no more than a cheap, easy alternative used only out of convenience.

Bitch please.

Don't get me wrong, I love fresh pasta. I love making it, cooking with it, eating it, and although the opportunity has never arisen, were I to stumble across a bathtub full of it I would seriously consider putting on some Amy Winehouse and reclining. But it is by no means always better. Nor it is uniformly worse. Rather, fresh and dried are but two types of pasta, each with their own strengths, weaknesses, and uses.

Fresh pasta is dainty, delicate, and hates to cause a scene. Around a domineering crowd it can be a bit of a pushover, but those who are willing to listen will find it really is excellent company. It pairs well with cream based sauces that won't overwhelmed the subtle egg flavour of the pasta, or as a discreet but solid delivery system for rich sauces with deep, warm, complex flavours like a meat ragu. Alfredo is the kind of sauce that fresh pasta does best: it's buttery and luxurious, so it's only fitting to serve alfredo sauce with a pasta that's equally easy and comforting to eat.

Dried pasta is a little more rough around the edges. It's tough, assertive and doesn't take any crap, but behind all of that it's loyal and has true character. You might be embarrassed to introduce it to your more 'proper' friends, but you know that if you were ever in a fight it'd have your back. Dried pasta will hold its own with sharply-flavoured sauces like a spicy, salty bucatini all'amatriciana, but its earthy flavour and al dente bite will shine just as much dressed simply with garlic and olive oil. No dish better illustrates the strengths of dried pasta than puttanesca — the pungency of the sauce would walk all over anything lesser.

Use this as a guide, not a rule book. That's another way of saying that if I break my own rules, don't harass me. I still can't decide whether I prefer carbonara with the more traditional dried pasta or with fresh — the two are completely different dishes and it depends on what mood strikes me. As always, all you can do is go by your own taste.

In return for reading my rant, I offer you this recipe. As far as the pasta-matching wankery is concerned, the sweet tomatoes & basil and touch of cream round out any strong saltiness from the tuna, making it an ideal sauce for the fresh pasta I've used here. Be sure to use the best quality olive oil-packed tuna, which really is night and day compared with the typical supermarket junk.

Pappardelle in a tuna & tomato cream sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 portion of pappardelle1
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small clove of garlic, sliced thinly
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 large ripe, juicy tomato, diced (or about 1/3 cup canned tomatoes)
  • 1.5 tbsp cream
  • 65 g good-quality canned tuna
  • Salt, to taste
  • A few basil leaves, torn

1. Sauté the garlic in olive oil over a medium-low heat until it softens (don't let it brown). Add the tomato and cayenne pepper and turn the heat up to medium-high, cooking until the tomatoes break down. Mash them to a pulp with the back of a fork.
2. Stir in the tuna and cream, salt to taste, and remove from the heat.
3. Meanwhile, boil the pappardelle. When it is done, drain and add it the pan with the sauce. Add the torn basil leaves and toss over heat to combine. Serve.

(1) I made 1 egg's worth of pasta from this recipe, cutting it into thick strips to make pappardelle rather than passing it through the pasta machine's fettucini cutter.

Cooking 2.0

Hello.

How are you?

The funny thing about this whole web business is that my tapping words into a screen is fundamentally separate to your reading them, as is my reading of all the other various words floating around in the ether. I've decided that today, for this post, I've had enough with the first person navel gazing and that it's time for a bit of good old-fashioned second person correspondence.

So, to reiterate: hello. How are you?

And, now that we've got the pleasantries out of the way, let's get down to business: I need a favour.

I'm planning a dinner for next week and, as the winely minded person that I am, I have several bottles selected for what will surely be a delicious evening. What I do not yet have, however, is the food to go with them. That's where you come in. I'm opening up the virtual floor to suggestions for what to have with each wine, and any that suggestions that end up being made will be dutifully photographed and written up on this here piece of electronic parchment.

So, with no further ado, here's the plan:

further ado

Start with a bottle of Bird in Hand sparkling pinot. This is a delightfully fresh, vibrant, eclectic little sparkling. It has a hint of redness to it due to the juice being kept on the skins (it's the skin of grapes, not their juice, that gives the wine it's colour) for only 3 hours. It's a beautiful wine for summer- which, conveniently enough, is our season at the moment- and deserves a very casual, easy, simple nibbly thing to start with as we all mill about enjoying the evening's sunlight. What do you think I should serve?

Next up, I've got either a sauvignon blanc from the Adelaide Hills which is so full of fruit you could slice it, or a gewurtztraminer from New Zealand that's so smooth and buttery you could spread it on bread. The savvy would probably go hand in hand with anything light and airy, whereas the gewurtz would be beautiful with some slightly richer seafood (I'm thinking salmon with avocado-mango salsa and coconut rice). Any suggestions here?

This next dish didn't exist until a second ago, when I decided that having something here would require less volume (and therefore less money) for whatever tasty meat I buy for the next one. So, I've got a faaaaaantastic Adelaide Hills pinot (from Abbey Rock who, sadly, have closed down) and its regional sister, an Adelaide Hills merlot. The pinot doesn't mess around- it's a kick you in the teeth, stomp around the palate kind of wine, which is unusual in a pinot but very welcome. Still, true to its variety, even with this boldness it's not so strong that it would overpower a more gentle dish. The merlot, if memory serves, is perfectly balanced between soft cherry and berry fruits, and the slight touch of oaky warmth at the back. If you could think of any stewy, soupy, crock-potty, ragouty dish to make en masse and ladle out to fill people up on, I'm all ears. Well, except for all the non-ear parts of me.

The next dish (whatever it ends up being) is the whole reason for this dinner. A few months ago my grandfather gave me a bottle of Wynns 1986 John Riddoch Coonawarra Cab Sav. This is a wine that I couldn't dream of affording if this year's vintage was half price, let alone one one that's over 20 years old. It will be, if you can forgive the understatement, nice. It will be quite nice, in fact. So to complement this niceness, we'll need a meal sturdy enough to stand up to this mighty old bastard of a wine. Something with backbone. No delicate aromatics and subtle hints here, give me flavour and give it to me straight. My second pancake partner in crime, Tim, is thinking that a whole beef tenderloin with a blue cheese butter could do the trick. Can you outdo him? Go on, I dare you.

Finally, I've got a bottle of birthday port, so named because it was made the same year I was: 1985. If it's as well developed and mature as I am, then it'll be a disappointment. If (fingers crossed) it's spent it's time more productively than I and has actually made something of itself, then it will be a dark, rich, intoxicating drop that will hopefully taste like christmas pudding in a glass. This could probably be suited to some old ripe cheeses and quince paste but, once more, I'm open to suggestions.

So what say you, gentle readers? What should I make? It's for 10-15 people, so anything bulky will probably be easier, for practical purposes, but I was never one for being sensible anyway. Give me orders, and I'll do your bidding.

Chicken korma (I think)

Chicken korma

This may be the wrong thing to admit in the first sentence of a post about chicken korma, but I have a confession to make: I don't entirely know what proper chicken korma is. Although I've eaten it countless times, I've ever had the same korma twice. A quick flickr search suggests that I'm not alone, either — korma seems to come in all shapes, sizes, and colours.

I have a bit of an idea, though. When I think of korma I think of a rich, creamy gravy, warm, sweet spices, and nutty, mellow flavours. As the story goes korma was first made for rich North Indian merchants wanted their curries to be as luxurious as possible, so unsurprisingly korma is not dish done by halves. Cook this low and slow to ensure as tender chicken as possible, and for the best results cook it the day before you plan to eat it. This is good advice for all curries, but the subtle flavours in this curry benefit particularly well from a night in the fridge before serving.

Chicken korma

For the onion paste:

  • 1 onion, sliced thinly
  • Salt
  • Vegetable oil

1. Spread the sliced onions out on kitchen paper and salt well. Leave this for 20 minutes.
2. Heat enough vegetable oil to deep fry the onions until well-browned (but not burnt).
3. Puree the fried onions in a blender, adding just enough of the (cooled) frying oil to make a paste.

For the curry:

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 blade mace
  • 5 cloves
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 4cm piece of cinnamon
  • 1 small onion, blended to a paste
  • 2 tbsp garlic & ginger paste
  • 600g boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp roasted cashew nuts, ground
  • 1 tbsp blanched almonds, ground
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground garam masala
  • 1 quantity of fried onion paste (above)
  • 150 ml cream
  • 1/4 tsp saffron threads
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

1. Add the mace, cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom to the vegetable oil and ghee, and bring to a medium heat. When the spices become fragrant, add the blended raw onion and cook until it just begins to go golden. Stir in the garlic & ginger paste and ground nuts and cook for another 2 minutes.
2. Add the chicken, chilli powder, ground coriander, and sugar and stir well to coat the chicken. Cook for 3 minutes, then pour over about 1/3 cup of water with the garam masala and fried onion paste (above). Bring this to a very gentle simmer, then cover and cook until the chicken is very tender.
3. Add the cream and bring to a low boil. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then stir in the saffron and fresh coriander and remove from the heat. Cover and let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving, or ideally refrigerate overnight and serve the next day with basmati rice or naan bread.

Lamb, olives, & potatoes, two ways

Roast leg of lamb

One of the troubles with cooking for one is keeping costs down whilst avoiding repetition. A leg of lamb is delicious and more economical than most other cuts, but once the initial roast dinner is over it's each to get sick of lamb sandwiches all week. As good as risotto and pasta are at incorporating last night's leftovers, it's hard to shake the fact that you're eating the same thing you ate last night tossed through a bowl of penne. This was the situation I found myself in last week, with an impulsively-purchased leg of lamb, a large batch of olive tapenade, and some mashed potato. The challenge was to create two distinct dishes from more or less the same ingredients, and at the risk of sounding too proud of myself I think I did pretty well.

Roast lamb, skordalia, and olive tapenade

Dinner number one was roast lamb with skordalia and a minted olive dressing. I regret not writing down the specifics, but I can offer a general outline. First the lamb: Make a marinade of greek yoghurt, honey, crushed garlic, dried oregano, chopped mint, and salt. Rub this over the a leg of lamb and roast in a 220ºC/425ºF oven for 20 minutes, before reducing the heat to 160ºC/320ºF and cooking until the internal temperature of the lamb reads 70ºC/160ºF. Meanwhile, boil some potatoes, then drain well and mash with crushed garlic, salt, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a liberal amount of olive oil. To make the dressing, combine equal parts olive tapenade and extra virgin olive oil with some finely chopped mint. To assemble, top portions of skordalia with slices of the rested roast lamb and drizzle with some dressing.

Potato gnocchi with lamb & olive ragu

For dinner number two I picked over the bones of the lamb roast to make potato gnocchi with a lamb & olive ragu. The gnocchi I've written about before, and the ragu recipe is below. It's meaty and very savory thanks to the olive tapenade, and goes well with grated parmigiano reggiano and finely shredded fresh mint. I used leftover roast lamb, but if you're making it from scratch, substitute lamb shoulder.

Lamb ragu

Ingredients:

  • 250g lamb, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp olive tapenade
  • Salt, to taste

1. Heat the olive oil to a high heat, then add the lamb and cook until it is well-browned. Remove and reduce the heat to low. Sauté the diced shallot and garlic with the bay and oregano until the onion is translucent.
2. Add the tomato paste, diced tomato, and cook until reduced to a pulp. Return the browned lamb and cover with water. Bring this to a boil then simmer, covered, for 1 hour or until the lamb is very tender.
3. Stir in the olive tapenade, season to taste, and serve.

Better late than never: Olive tapenade

Olive tapenade

In the background: Bucatini with olive tapenade and chickpeas.

Way back in June I posted a recipe for chickpea & olive bruschetta, in which I promised that an olive tapenade recipe would shortly follow. Regrettably my good intentions were thwarted by laziness, and it's taken four months for me to make it again.

There's no good reason for it to take so long — olive tapenade is quick to make, incredibly easy, and can be used in all sorts of ways. If you ask me, the simplest and still one of the best is to spread it on a thick piece of Italian country bread that's been drizzled with olive oil and grilled. It also goes terrifically with pasta (it is after all 2/3 of the way to puttanesca), and last night I thinned it out with extra virgin olive oil, stirred in a little fresh mint, and used it as a sauce for some roast lamb. Delicious.

Olive tapenade

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups pitted kalamata olives
  • 2 small cloves of garlic
  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp salt-packed capers, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (use the best you have)

1. Blitz everything in a food processor until well blended. I told you it was easy.

Sliders!

Sliders

No, I'm not talking about the moderately successful FOX science fiction series staring Jerry O'Connell. I'm talking about these:

Sliders

Sliders. Here in Australia, a land sadly bereft of White Castle restaurants, the concept of the slider is foreign to most. I've only heard of the thanks to the internet, and even then I still don't have a clear concept of what they are beyond being small burgers. So with that in mind, please be gentle in correcting me for what is no doubt slider heresy.

I wasn't even supposed to make sliders, to be honest. The idea was to make a regular burger, but when I got to the bakery late in the day to find that they were all out of burger buns, I bought a couple of dinner rolls instead. Fleetingly I considered making the patty smaller and photographing it to look like it was full-sized, but dear reader, I respect you too much to do that.

And that's the story of how I made sliders.

Sliders

Ingredients (makes about 14 sliders):

  • 500g beef mince
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 14 small burger buns/dinner rolls
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Chilli jam
  • Sea salt

1. Blend the onion and garlic with the tomato paste, mustard, pepper, and sugar to form a paste1. Mix this thoroughly with the beef mince and set aside in a cool place.
2. When ready to cook, set the stage: Half the burger buns and place cut side up on a baking tray, and cut bun-sized pieces of cheddar. Shape the beef mince into 14 equally sized balls.
3. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pan2 to a medium heat, then add the balls of mince and press down with the back of a spatula to form a thick round patty. Cook for about 5 minutes, then turn over and cook for another 5 minutes3.
4. While the patties are cooking, grill (broil) the cut surfaces of the burger buns until browned. Leave the grill on. Remove from the oven, set aside the tops of the buns and spread them with chilli jam4.
4. When the patties are cooked, place one patty onto each bun bottom, a seasoning of sea salt, and a slice of cheddar on top of that. Place back under the grill for 1 minute until the cheese is melted.
5. Replace the tops and serve.

(1) I find that this makes for moister patties than usual fine dice method, plus I hate biting into crunchy bits of undercooked onion.
(2) You want it to be a well-preheated heavy pan so the temperature doesn't completely drop once the meat is added.
(3) Use your heat with the timing — mine took 5 minutes a side because they were quite thick, but if you've got a hotter pan and thinner patties they will obviously cook more quickly.
(4) You don't have to use it of course, but have you tasted it? It's damn good.

Beef & green bean rice noodles, dry-style

Beef & green bean noodles

I simply can't resist ordering dry-style rice noodles when I'm in a Chinese restaurant. Pork, beef, duck, seafood, vegetables, they're all delicious. There's something about the perfect texture of fresh rice noodles that makes them so moorish, and as it turns out, they're a pleasure to cook as well.

If you've never cooked with fresh rice noodles before, I strongly recommend trying it. They're cheap, versatile, almost impossible to screw up, and it can't just be me that finds separating them to be a strangely relaxing experience. They're made by pulverising soaked uncooked rice into a paste, then spreading that out to a thin layer and steaming it. A layer of oil followed by a second layer of rice batter is poured on top, and the process repeated until you have a stack of steamed rice noodle sheets, ready to be cut into thinner strips. You could do this yourself if you were desperate, but just about everyone who isn't a Chinese farmer's wife buys them, and you don't want to be different, do you?

Fresh rice noodles

The other great thing about this recipe is flank steak. I'm shocked by what supermarkets pass off as "stir-fry beef" — If you're lucky it's tender-but-flavourless loin, but more often than not it's some unspecified cut that is sliced too thickly to become tender when cooked quickly. Flank steak, on the other hand, is perfect. It's a long, relatively flat muscle from towards the (wait for it) flank of the animal, with very a very obvious grain of muscle fibres that travel along the length of the muscle. While flank can be tough if not handled properly, very thin slices cut against the grain and stir-fried briefly are extremely tender. I took a photo of some raw flank steak to demonstrate how to cut it, but unfortunately it looked too much like an alien penis to post. Just remember, against the grain.

Beef & green bean rice noodles, dry-style

Ingredients (makes about 2 main serves):

  • 250 g flat rice noodles, fresh
  • 100g flank steak, sliced thinly against the grain
  • Small handful of green beans, parboiled until almost done
  • 1 egg, whisked together lightly with 1 tbsp water
  • Small handful of bean sprouts
  • 4 garlic chives, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tsp finely grated ginger1
  • 1 clove garlic, finely grated
  • 1/2 tsp chinese 5-spice powder
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper, ground
  • 1.5 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1.5 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Peanut oil for cooking

1. In a small bowl, make the sauce by combining the dark soy, light soy, hoisin sauce, and sesame oil. In another bowl, combine the beef and beans with the garlic, ginger, chinese 5-spice powder, and white pepper. Pour over a small amount of the sauce (about 1 tbsp) and toss to coat evenly. Set aside.
2. Heat 1 tbsp of peanut oil in a medium-hot wok and add the whisked egg. Cook until almost set on top, then remove to a bowl. Meanwhile, separate the rice noodles.
3. Heat the wok to the highest heat, then add 1 tbsp oil and the marinated beef and beans. Stir-fry for 1 minute, then add the noodles and about 3/4 of the remaining sauce. Toss to coat the noodles evenly with the sauce, frying for about 2-3 minutes. Taste and add more sauce if necessary.
4. Remove from the heat, and toss in the bean sprouts, garlic chives, and reserved wok omelette which should break up as you toss it with the noodles.

(1) Alternatively you can mince a 1/2 inch piece of ginger — I just find that grating ginger is a quick and easy way to get crushed ginger. Make sure you grate it over whenever you plan to add it, to catch any juice.