It’s the SG50 holiday! It’s Singapore’s 50th birthday and a celebration of how far this little nation has come. Over the 50 years a million things could have gone badly wrong but somehow we get to celebrate the growth and blessings this little city state nation has enjoyed despite all odds.
As part of the SG50 celebrations we get a 4 day holiday from Friday to Monday, but being on call means that I can’t quite run away. I get to cook after hospital rounds though, which is all good. 😄
As a child I used to love this old hawker center at Tanglin called “Rasa Singapura”. The now defunct Rasa Singapura was located next to the Handicraft Center and was launched by the Singapore Tourism Promotion Board, selecting about 30 hawkers selling great local street food to promote local cuisine to tourists. One of my food memories was eating (and loving) the oyster omelette (orh luak) there. Unfortunately I discovered early that I had no stomach for oysters there as I would invariably have a terrible tummy upset after that, which is why I have a phobia of eating raw oysters to this day. I now eat orh luak without the oysters, leaving the dangerous little oyster villains for hubs to pick up (he has an iron stomach and I have never ever seen him get food poisoning).
So recently when I discovered frozen oysters at my favourite fish wholesalers I ended up with more oysters than I needed (how many times can you eat orh luak without keeling over?). I had to think of how else to use up the oysters; and these ones that I had bought in bulk were quite amazingly juicy and fresh tasting.
Which is why I decided that the next mini-cooking experiment would be Taiwanese oyster noodle soup (Mee Sua). This is not a dish I grew up with but there are quite a few taiwanese street food stalls in Singapore, which is why most people have tried and loved oyster Mee Sua. Mee Sua (面线) is a kind of super skinny thin wheat noodle originating from Fujian province in China. It is a eaten during celebrations such as birthdays, and is supposed to represent longevity. I have always loved Mee Sua as it soaks up whatever flavoured soup you have it in and is comfortable and starchy. That and traditional rice porridge are the 2 things I think of when the weather turns cooler and I am in need of a hot steaming bowl of something.
To make the oyster Mee Sua non-carby I did the usual Shirataki noodle substitute (although the Shirataki noodles are more chewy and turgid and don’t have the starchy slurpy quality of Mee Sua). Arrowroot flour replaced the corn/tapioca flour that is usually used to thinker the soup.
Low Carb Oyster Mee Sua Noodle Soup
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 2bunches of Coriander stems
- 2 sprigs of spring onions in 2 cm lengths
- 4 – 5 slices of ginger
- 2L water
- 400 g pork ribs
- 1 piece of kelp about 2 inches in length
- 10g bonito flakes
- 2 tsp dark soy sauce
- 3 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tsp sugar substitute
- 1/2 tsp black vinegar
- 2 tsp Shao Xing wine
- 5 tbsp arrowroot flour in 1 cup of water
- 4 packets of Shirataki noodles
- 2 chicken thighs
- 12 oysters
- Coriander leaves for garnishing
- Pinch of white pepper
- Young ginger, julienned (optional)
- Heat the vegetable oil in the soup pot. Stir fry the ginger for 2-3 minutes, then sauté the spring onions and coriander stems for another 3 minutes. Add the por ribs and brown the surface of the Bork. Add water and the kelp, ginger, dark and light soy sauce, salt, chinese wine and vinegar in a large soup pot for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Add the chicken thighs and boil for another 15 minutes, then remove the chicken and set aside. Shred the chicken meat when cool.
- Add the bonito flakes and boil for another 10 more minutes.
- Drain the soup stock and remove any scum.
- Add the slurry of arrowroot flour and water into the drained soup stock and bring to a boil, stirring as the stock thickens.
- Put oysters into the simmering stock and cook for about 1-2 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Prepare the shirataki noodles by draining and dry roasting in a non-stick skillet until dry.
- Place each portion of noodles into a soup bowl. Top each bowl with shredded chicken, 3 oysters and soup stock.
- Garnish with coriander leaves, ginger strips and a few drops of black vinegar. Serve hot.