Ginger and cha lua noodles
A fast stir-fry.
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Fusion, Vietnamese
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Total time: 30 mins
(still writing the Imaginales report–mostly been holding that one because I don’t have the pictures yet…)
So, for reasons it would be too complicated to explain, I’m not at home at the moment, and so, when it came time to cook dinner, I found myself with a dearth of ingredients.
The original plan had been to cook chả lụa with egg noodles and soy sauce, but it had to be scrapped when I found the soy sauce had gone slightly funky (it was 5 years old, and mostly tasted like the salt had taken over). So I was left with ye old nước mắm sauce–which is nice, but quite insufficient to make a dish (chả lụa already has nước mắm in it, so they’re hardly contrasting ingredients). Fortunately, there was a spice shelf…
- 4 bunches egg noodles (180g dried)
- About 5 thickish slices of chả lụa/Vietnamese ham (enough meat for 2-3)
- 5-6 spring onions
- 1 tablespoon nước mắm/fish sauce 
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- Cut up the chả lụa into rectangles, about 2cm x 0.5cm wide (see picture for an idea of the size). Cut up the spring onions into slices, separating the white parts from the green part. Make thinner slices of the white part.
- Cook the noodles: bring the water to a boil, throw the noddles in, and wait for the water to boil again (2 minutes, or check the instructions on your pack of noodles). Then drain, and rinse in plenty of cold water to remove as much starch as possible.
- Bring a frying pan or a wok to medium heat with some oil: put in the white part of the spring onions, and fry until fragrant (about 30-1min).
- Add the ground ginger, the fish sauce, and the meat: stir very quickly in order to coat evenly with the seasonings, and wait for a few minutes (not so much to cook the meat, as to make sure everything is homogenous).
- Then throw in the noodles with some oil, and toss together until everything is evenly coated. Wait a few minutes for the noodles to become hot again; and add the spring onions. Withdraw from heat and serve.
- Very, very lazy dish. It would work equally well, I suspect, if you replaced the chả lụa by another meat with a strong taste (xá xíu/roast pork is the one that comes to mind, but any marinated meat will do).
I had Thai fish sauce, which is way weaker than table-grade Vietnamese fish sauce (the one I usually have in my kitchen is 35°. If you happen to have this one, I’d put in 2 teaspoons instead of the tablespoon. If you don’t have a grade on your fish sauce bottle, chances are it’s 20°, and you’ll do fine with the 1 tablespoon).