Hakka noodles – a quick and easy dish that could be the most ordered indo-chinese dish in restaurants. It is a very common street food too, in many parts of India, specially in Kolkata.
I recently stumbled across this bit of interesting info on the origin of hakka noodles. Hakka noodles refers to the style of preparation of noodles by the Hakka Chinese. These people are also known as Hakka Han, or the Han Chinese, who are related to the provincial areas of Guangdong, Jiangxi, Guangxi, Sichuan, Hunan and Fujian in China. A majority of these people migrated to various parts of the world centuries ago, among which India is a prominent destination that they headed to. In India, the Hakka Chinese settled in Tangra, Kolkata, which came to be known as the Chinatown of India. The amalgamation of local Bengali cuisine of Kolkata and the Hakka Chinese cooking style gave birth to what we know as ‘Hakka noodles’ today. (Source: http://www.differencebetween.info/difference-between-chow-mein-and-hakka-noodles)
Hakka noodles is subtly different than chow mein because of the way it is cooked, even though the ingredients used are pretty much the same. Hakka noodles is tossed and fried, where as chow mein is stir fried.
The key of cooking hakka noodles (or any indo-chinese dish) is to cook them very quickly on very high flame. Toss and fry this quick dish for a weeknight dinner – serve it by itself or try it with some chilli paneer.
Hakka noodles – 2 packets (noodles made with durum wheat)
Cabbage – ½ cup, thinly sliced
Carrot – 1 small, thinly sliced
Onion – 1 large, thinly sliced
Capsicum – ¼ cup, thinly sliced
Beans – ¼ cup, thinly sliced
Ginger – ½ inch, finely chopped
Garlic – 2 cloves, finely chopped
Soya sauce – 3 tbsp
Vinegar – 1 tbsp
Chilli sauce – 1 tbsp or as per taste
Salt to taste
Pepper – 1 tsp
Oil – 3 tbsp
Spring onion – chopped, for garnish
Long red chilli – chopped, for garnish
- In a large sauce pan or stock pot, boil 8-9 cups of water
- Once the water is boiling, add the noodles and cook them for 3-4 minutes or until almost done (like al dente in pasta)
- Pour into a colander and drain out all the water
- Spread on a wide tray and let it cool
- In a wok or kadhai, heat oil. Add ginger, garlic and saute for a minute
- Add all vegetables and fry on high flame for 2-3 minutes
- Add soya sauce, vinegar, chilli sauce, salt and pepper. Mix well
- Add the noodles and toss on high flame for 1-2 minutes
- Turn off flame and garnish with spring onions and sliced red chilli
- Serve hot
- It is essential to keep all the ingredients ready and handy before starting cooking. Chinese cooking is done on high heat very quickly. Stir frying on high heat produces the characteristic smoky flavour – but take care not to burn the food.
- Soya sauce is quite salty. So adjust the salt level accordingly
- Make sure you don’t overcook the noodles. Else it will turn mushy. Also, make sure you spread the noodles on a wide tray and cool it completely before cooking