Cooking wasn’t something that I liked, nor was it something I wanted to do.
Rather, it sprouted out of necessity. I could travel out for lunch, but as time went by – me not being the kind of guy who could eat the same things day after day – and the options ran out. I remember my first time: wallet empty, stomach rumbling…I opened the refrigerator door, and my mind got creative. I’d usually do lunches, but on this particular night, dinner would be really very late, so I texted my Mom to “forget about my dinner”, and I headed to the kitchen to see what I could work with.
Bottom line, it’s merely instant noodles, but the influence of TLC (Travel & Living Channel) and BBC Lifestyle with shows like Gordon Ramsay’s The F Word, Masterchef and all has rubbed off me, and I’m now completely obsessed with “cooking things properly”, flavor and presentation. In my mind, I knew my noodles needed to be “just right” – al dente, nothing more; I wanted my egg to be perfect, without the yolk becoming that pale yellow powdery mess; my slices of chicken fillet had to be tender; my Chinese mushrooms couldn’t overpower the entire bowl. Lastly, but not the least, I wanted to rely, as little as possible (avoid, if possible), on the instant noodles’ pre-packaged seasoning.
Bringing a pot of warm water to boil, I drizzled a single handful of anchovies, seasoned with only pepper and salt, and allowed that to simmer for a while. Like a hot pot, I cooked my chicken fillet, Chinese mushrooms and egg, taking them out just after they’ve been boiled through – allowing them to cool to room temperature under running water. The noodles were also soaked in this broth, and again, taken out once it was just about al dente. For presentation, I sliced the fillet and mushrooms into neat slices, and the boiled egg into half, placing them pleasantly around the edges of the bed of noodles. Then, I gently poured the broth (which was warm, and no longer steaming) into the bowl, before finally garnishing with chopped spring onions, chopped red chili and parsley.
Personally, I thought it was awesome. The broth managed to be rather flavorful without any use of the packaged seasoning, and really, what’s more perfect than a warm bowl of chicken noodle soup for dinner on a cooling night such as this?