Spicy potato sticks. I've added leftover Sichuan sausages (YUM!) so the dish was greasier than usual.
I've been back to Moon Bell, the only Xinjiang restaurant in town, twice in the last 3 weeks, seeking a different taste for my jaded mouth. While I like the food in Moon Bell, I find their portions very stingy. Looking at the photos of Moon Bell's dishes in my review and comparing them to the same dishes I had at lunch today, I see that portions have shrunk even more although prices have gone up.
A plate of spicy potato sticks in Moon Bell is RM10/USD3.30. I cooked a similar dish using two potatoes and it cost less than RM2/USD0.65, other costs like rental and gas not included.
So, here's my clone of the restaurant's spicy potato sticks. I've added Sichuan peppercorns and I think the clone is as good as, if not better than, the original.
Spicy Potato Sticks
2 potatoes ("Holland" or Kipfler are good)
5 to 6 small dried chilies
1/2 t Sichuan peppercorns (optional but worth it)
1 small stalk of leek, washed well
1 fresh red chili (optional)
a generous dash of cumin powder
pinch of salt
1/8 t caster sugar
pinch of msg (it's a cloned dish remember)
oil for frying
1. Peel and cut the potatoes into thin julienne sticks--not too thin or there's no bite but not thick either or you'll stand there frying all night. Slice the red chili and the leek (always soak the sliced leek briefly to get rid of any sand) into small diagonal pieces.
2. Heat 2 T veg oil and add the dried chilies (do not wait until wok or pan is smoking because the chili'll char) and Sichuan peps, fry for 5 seconds and add the potato sticks. Stir fry in medium heat, turning and flipping the potatoes to get even cooking.
3. Add the remaining ingrdients and season to taste. Do not over-fry because the potatoes should be crunchy.