Tuesday, May 31, 2011
I am half Chinese, and grew up in a house eating peking duck and hot dogs, bird's nest soup and Campbell's Cream of Chicken. Mom is from Hawaii, and when we lived there, every day after school we'd walk over to what looked like a typical ice cream truck that was parked across the street. But we called this truck a "Manapua wagon" and instead of popsicles, it served steamed buns filled with pork, along with flimsy paper plates that sagged under the weight of the Pancit noodles piled on top.
If you know Hawaii, you know that any event is really just a thinly veiled excuse to eat. A Little League game means at least 5 families will have their grills set up in right field by the second inning, and the moment that final out is made, we'll all chow down.
So when my amazing photographer friend (who captured the vibe of the place perfectly) and I took a field trip to 99 Ranch Market, a huge Asian supermarket in San Diego (employees wear buttons that say, "For 100 We Try Harder"), I felt like I was going to visit old friends. "Hello, Aloha Shoyu!" "Shu Mai, it's been too long!" "Aji-No-Moto--I haven't seen you since high school!"
When I got home and started putting things away, I realized I had gone a little nutso with the fresh noodles. I wanted a good recipe for Cantonese pan-fried noodles like the ones my dad used to order from the China Doll restaurant when I was little, and came across this one from Yan Can Cook. If you don't know him, you should--he acts like a goofball but he's an amazing chef, and if I had his knife skills, I would be a happy camper.