I love my meats. Ok, that came out wrong. I am a meat lover. Better? Point is, I don’t think I can ever turn full vegetarian. Sure, I can go a day or two without meat but you’ll find me eyeing your dog with crazy eyes and smacking my lips by day three. No, I don’t eat dog.
I do, however, make it a point to not eat meat twice a month for religious purposes. When I remember, that is. I’m not the most pious devotee and I don’t really pray, but for some reason, I feel like it’s something I need to do.
So twice a month you’ll find me scratching my head over what to cook. Most of my recipes are meat based. Even the veggie recipes involve meat or fish / oyster sauce. And to be honest, asian vegetarian dishes seem to involve a lot more prep work than their meaty counterparts. So more often than not, you’ll find me throwing a pack of spinach ravioli into a pot of boiling water and call that a meal.
On the days when I do feel up to it, I might whip up this dish, Vegetarian Fried Bee Hoon. It’s what my mum would make every full and new moon (that’s when we go vegetarian). She would usually accompany that with a pot of vegetarian curry and boy, do they go well together. But I’m lazy and lazy people don’t cook TWO mains.
This is a very versatile dish and can bend itself any way you want to suit your taste. Can’t go without meat? Throw in some strips of beef and use oyster sauce. Don’t like woodear? How about Shitake? Or no mushrooms at all. You can use pretty much anything in it. The sky is the limit.
Vegetarian Fried Bee Hoon
- 300g dried bee hoon (rice vermicelli), soaked in warm water until soft and drained.
- 3 Tbsp vegetable or peanut oil
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced*
- 3 cups napa cabbage, julienned
- 2 carrots, shredded
- ¼ cup dried mu’er (woodear mushroom)
- 100g bean sprouts, picked
- 2 Tbsp vegetarian stir-fry sauce
- 2 Tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 tsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp black vinegar
- dash of white pepper
- ¼ cup water
- Soak the dried mushrooms in warm water for 20 minutes. Drain the water and remove the stems of the mushrooms. The stems are the hard wrinkly bits. Give the mushrooms a good scrub with 1 tsp of salt. Rinse and julienne the mushrooms. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for seasoning and set aside.
- In a large wok, heat oil over medium heat and fry garlic till fragrant.
- Toss in cabbage, carrots and mushrooms and give it a good stir. Allow to cook until cabbage and carrots are tender, about 5 minutes. Keep tossing to avoid burning.
- Add the bean sprouts and mix well. Cook for a minute.
- Add the bee hoon and seasoning. Toss to mix well. You want to keep tossing and not stir or you’ll break the noodles.
- Keep tossing and cooking until all the sauce has been absorbed by the noodles and the noodles are just starting to turn crisp.
*I should point out that true Buddhist vegetarians don’t eat garlic or onions either. So if you want to go true vegetarian, leave out the garlic.