The Trattoria Project and Spectaculars: December 2008

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Really good(and easy) noodles. Recession friendly.. uhh.. relatively.

Ginger-infused Dark Noodles with Spicy Fried Eggplants

It's cold outside and you're broke and you've been surviving on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for breakfast, lunch and dinner for a week. I feel your pain. Let's get drunk on cheap whiskey like hobos, admire our trophy mantels and commit seppuku with a plastic knife.


I hope everyone is looking on the bright side somehow because everything happens for a reason. Like how my new restricted meal budget has expanded my creativity to make use with what I can afford and have them taste amazing. See, the recession isn't so bad after all, it allows us to settle down to reorganize our plans for a bit and realize the things we've been taking for granted and hiding from all these while. In other words, it's the right opportunity to make you a better person if you want to. Everyday is a new day to learn something. Start afresh tomorrow and be happy, because you can. (what? no applause?)

Spend less than ten bucks*, and serve really good noodles for four with the recipe I'm about to show you. It consists mainly of rice vermicelli, not the chinese dried type but the ones already cooked and packed in plastic wraps. If you can't find them, get Spaghetoni or Bucati, it works great as well.

* That's presuming you already have the spices and condiments at home.
** Okay, I might be wrong. But just to be fair, it costs SGD$8 in my country.

Hot, invigorating, saucy and absolutely luscious.

Ginger-infused Dark Noodles with Spicy Fried Eggplants
serves 4

1 pack of Rice Vermicelli or cooked Bucati
200g Minced Pork
3/4 cup Dark Sweet Soy (careful, don't get the over-salty ones)
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
2 tsp Shaoxing Wine or Sherry
1 thumb of Ginger, peeled and sliced lengthwise
1 Tbsp Sesame oil
White Pepper
Corn or Olive Oil

4 small Japanese Eggplants or 1 large Eggplant, sliced lengthwise
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 tsp Sea Salt
1 Tbsp Cornstarch

Fried Shallots
Chives or Spring Onions

- Heat oil in a hot pan.
- Saute ginger for 3 mins. Add pork and saute for further 3 mins.
- Add wine, dark soy, soy sauce and rice vermicelli. Toss with tongs.
- Saute for 5 mins, until noodles are well coated with sauce.
- Discard ginger.
- Turn off heat, add sesame oil and white pepper.

- Salt eggplants and let rest for 15mins.
- Add spices and cornstarch, eggplants should be sticky now.
- In a saucepan, heat oil until relatively hot, fry eggplants in batches until they turn golden brown. Set to rest on wire rack.