Chicken, Tofu bok and glass noodles stew.
Casseroles are easy for times when all you want is to just feed the brood. No fancy elaborate dishes, just plain one-pot feeds all, from stove to table, very no-fuss cooking and serving. Saves on money, time and washing up too.
Here's a Shanghainese stew that you can cook ahead upto Step 3, although it's not necessary because the cooking prep and time are short. Add the glass noodles when re-heating and voila, a meal. You can serve some stir-fried greens to balance the diet or better still, serve it with a hearty soup. It doesn't look impressive but is very tasty. In my family, the glass noodles and tofu bok ( deep-fried spongy tofu balls) are finished before the chicken and it's no wonder because all the flavor and sauce are absorbed by the noodles and the boks. Try it and tell me what you think.
Chicken, Tofu Bok N Glass Noodles Stew
1/2 chicken (500 gm) or about 3 whole chicken legs, chopped into serving-sized pieces*
2 packets tofu bok (about 20 boks)
a large handful of dried mung bean/glass noodles, soaked & drained
2 slices of ginger
2 large stalks of spring onions, washed and tied in a bundle
3 to 4 T light soy sauce
2 T shaoxin hua tiao wine
1 piece rock sugar, about 1 teaspoon
1 T veg oil
2 to 3 cups water plus 1/2 chicken stock cube or 2 to 3 cups chicken stock (plus extra, if necessary)--the dish should be quite soupy
* in Chinese cooking, the chicken skin is not removed because it adds to the flavor and keeps the flesh moist.
1. Boil a small pot of water. Switch off and add the tofu boks, pushing them down with a wooden spoon. Cover and let soak for 3 to 5 minutes. Drain away the water and rinse with tap water. Squeeze out all the water gently. This step is done to remove as much oil as possible from the boks.
2. Heat up a clay or glass pot or an ordinary heavy-based pot and add 1 T oil. Put in the spring onions and ginger and fry for 1 minute. Add the chicken pieces, turning them over until they shrink and turn white.
3. Add the soy sauce, salt, cooking wine, rock sugar and water + stock cube or chicken stock. Cover the pot. When the liquid boils, add the boks, stir well and reduce the heat to low until the liquid just bubbles. Once in a while, stir to make sure the chicken or boks don't burn.
4. When the chicken is tender (about 25 minutes), add the mung bean noodles. Taste and season with more soy sauce or wine or sugar if necessary. If there's not enough liquid, add more. Depending on preference, this dish can be very soupy or not. The noodles are very absorbent.
Serve hot with rice.