Mein III: Tan Mein

Tan Mein (tahn mane) is eaten all over China, not just as a soup but as a meal or snack as well.

4-6 servings.

1 teaspoon salt

12 oz. egg noodles or spaghetti

1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil small onion, thinly sliced slices fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped, or teaspoon ground ginger .8 oz. lean pork, finely shredded

1 tablespoon butter

4 oz. mushrooms, wiped clean

4 oz. cabbage, blanched for

5 minutes and drained

4 oz. bean sprouts, blanched for

1 minute and drained

4 oz. shrimps or prawns, shelled

1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

10 fl. oz. water

1 chicken stock cube, crumbled

1 pint

1 tablespoon sesame oil

5 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoons dry sherry

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon cornflour , dissolved in

4 tablespoons chicken stock

3 TO

4 oz. (or a heaped side-dishful) shredded cabbage, blanched for

4 minutes and drained

3 TO

4 oz. (or a heaped side-dishful) shredded carrots, blanched for

4 minutes and drained

3 TO

4 oz. (or a heaped side-dishful) bean sprouts, blanched for

1 minute and drained

3 TO

4 oz. (or a heaped side-dishful) shredded cucumber

2 to

3 oz. (or a saucerful) shredded radishes 1 to 2 oz. (or a saucerful) mixed pickles 1 to 2 oz. (or a saucerful) chutney

Arrange the shredded vegetables, pickles and chutney on individual serving dishes. Set aside.

Half fill a large saucepan with water and bring it to the boil over high heat. Add the salt and the noodles or spaghetti.

When the water returns to the boil, reduce the heat to moderate and cook the noodles for 8 to 10 minutes, or the spaghetti for 17 to 18 minutes, or until they are just tender. Remove the pan from the heat and drain the pasta in a colander. Set aside and keep warm.

In a large frying-pan, heat the vegetable oil over moderate heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and fry, stirring constantly, for 1 ½ minutes. Add the pork or beef and stir-fry for 5 minutes, or until the meat loses its pinkness.

Stir in the sesame oil, soy sauce, sherry and sugar and continue to stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add the dissolved cornflour and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the meat sauce thickens and becomes glossy.

Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the meat sauce to a warmed serving bowl. Keep warm.

Divide the noodles or spaghetti between four serving bowls. Serve immediately, with the meat sauce and shredded vegetables.

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