I was staying up late last night doing my school work. I had my TV on, and I was flipping channels. I came across a show on TLC called “Hoarding Buried Alive”. I cannot imagine how people can bury themselves literally with tons and tons of stuff. The whole house was like a storage room. A psychologist was there to help them. It turns out that people were holding on and keep piling up stuff because every item represents a piece of memory to them. It’s hard to let go a part of the memory. I guess people use different ways to hold on to their memory. For me, I’m not super neat, but I don’t pile up junk either. Instead, I associate food with people, memory, all the good and bad times of my life. A lot of food I like may not really taste super yummy, but it is the memory I associate with it that makes the food special. Here is one of them – Cheung Fan, some kind of rice noodle that you can order at a Chinese Dim Sum restaurant. The noodle itself doesn’t have much taste. When you mix it with soy sauce, hoisin sauce and hot sauce, it would be yummy. There was a street vendor near to my house when I was kid. They sold breakfast food including Cheung Fan, Chinese Donut Sticks, Congee in the morning. Mom would ask me to get some Cheung Fan, and Congee for breakfast. Usually there were like 10 or so people waiting in line to get them. I saw the owner put a thick, white, glue-looking mixing on a flat pan to make a thin layer. Then he quickly put a cover on top. After a few seconds, the white mixture was steamed. It turned into a big flat piece of noodle. He would cut it into 3 pieces, then quickly roll each piece into a long roll. This whole process happened so fast. I loved watching how the noodles were made and how fast the guy could do it. He passed the rolls of noodles to his wife who took care of the customer’s orders. She would hold a few rolls in her hand, use a pair of scissors and cut them into edible size like 2 inches long. Put the noodles on a piece of non-stick paper or so, and sprinkled quickly some dark soy sauce, put some hoisin sauce and hot sauce on one corner, and then she put the whole thing in a small white plastic bag. The noodles were soft and melt in my mouth. It was one of my favorite breakfast.
Of course, now we don’t have any street vendors making fresh Cheung Fan in US. I can only buy a bag of ready-made Cheung Fan from the refridgerated section of a Chinese grocery store. They were nowhere as good, but it was the memory that it reminded me that left a warm feeling.
- 1 package of Cheung Fan. You can get it from the refridgerated section of a Chinese grocery store.
- Dark soy sauce, 1 Tbsp
- Hoisin sauce, 1 tsp
- Hot sauce, 1 tsp (optional if you like it spicy)
- Put the noodles on a plate. Since they were refridgerated before, the noodles became harder and all turned into a big lump. It’s OK. We’ll untangle them. Wet a piece of paper towel. Put the wet paper towel on top of the noodles. Then put it in a microwave on high temperature for 1 minute. This will make the noodles softer.
- Break the noodles by hand. Be careful, some part of the noodles could be hot. Use a pair of scissors and cut the noodles into edible size like 3 inches long.
- Use a large non-stick frying pan. Spray non-stick cooking oil to the pan. Put the noodles in the pan. Spread them out in one layer.
- Use medium heat. Let the noodles cook for 2 minute or so. Don’t touch it. This is not a stir fry dish.
- Flip the noodles over to the other side. Cook them for another 2 mins or so or until the noodles are soft.
- Put them on a plate.
- For the sauce, you can pre-mix the sauce together like I did, or you can add the soy sauce first, then put hoisin sauce and hot sauce on the side.