i love improvising dishes using leftover ingredients from previous days. i love it even more when my attempt works out well.
the idea of this dish came from leftover fresh noodles (for stir fries) and some cabbage. i didn’t want to use the ready made powder which comes with the noodles to give out the taste of worcester sauce, and wasn’t in the mood for using pork slices i normally use for stir-fry noodles. ok, i thought, maybe i should be a bit more adventurous this time, and grabbed a big squid and a pack of crams at the shop and rushed out of there to head back home.
in our kitchen, the battle started with the squid. it needs to be cleaned with running water, skinned, and then gutted (unfortunately i broke the ink bag, so it went straight down the drain…). i asked for my husband’s help, who is equally inexperienced with any type of fish, letting alone cooking it. when pulling out of some soft bones from the squid, we held the flesh from both sides with our eyes closed at the same time, quite not getting what exactly we should be doing. not sure if we followed the right routine to clean a squid, but it finally started to look edible.
after the squid fight, the rest of it seemed quite easy. stir-fry chopped garlic & chili pepper with vegetable oil, put crams in, and when the shells start to open put the sliced squid, and after 10 seconds or so pour in a half cup of sake (rice wine). i did this thinking it could remove the overly fishy taste out of the dish. put salt & pepper to taste, and put it aside.
in a different pan put more oil, this time stir-fry onion, kōngxīncài（空心菜）, and cabbage. after a few minutes, put the noodles in, and stir-fry for 2 more minutes or so. when the ingredients in the pan get mixed, add the seafood which was put aside earlier, and a bit more salt & pepper to taste. at the end, pour in some oyster sauce & nam pla (thai fish sauce) from the rim of the pan. lightly stir up all the ingredients before putting off the heat.
sprinkle some chopped chives & green (i used leftover trefoil, 三つ葉）over the noodles before serving.
the dish from the sea, satisfied our taste buds greatly, worth the battle.