Not My Finest Moment

This is not the dinner I intended to cook tonight.

Kim Chee Fried Rice with Over Easy Egg and Kecap Manis

kimchee fried rice with easy over egg and kecap manis 2

I had recently written a post with a recipe for KL Hokkien Mee that I saved to draft for Nate to fine-tune and add pictures (all the pictures I had tried to take of KL-style Hokkien Mee sucked–obviously, Nate is the photographer in this family).

So, for the sake of a nice picture (and also because I do like Hokkien Mee a lot), I decided to cook it again for dinner tonight.  I had most of the ingredients already and had gone out yesterday to get the noodles from the Asian grocery store.  I told Nate that I would wait for him to come home before cooking dinner and had everything prepped and ready to go when he got home.

Nate came home, took out his new toy and set up his new tripod, (he even changed the lights in our kitchen) and we were all set.  I had the wok out and started cooking.  First the oil and garlic, then the pork, shrimp, fishballs,

frying garlic for fried hokkien mee frying pork for fried hokkien mee frying shrimp for fried hokkien mee frying fishballs for fried hokkien mee

sauce, and veggies.

pouring sauce for fried hokkien mee baby bok choy for fried hokkien mee

Everything was working really well.  I could taste the dish already.

pork shrimp fishballs and bok choy for fried hokkien mee

Then came the noodles…the noodles, what can I say about the noodles.  This brand of Taiwanese noodles has never failed me before.

Taiwanese Noodles

taiwanese noodles for fried hokkien mee

It has good texture, doesn’t need precoooking, and absorbs the flavors of the sauce well.  It was wonderful.  I had found the noodles that I loved for this dish when others had not worked as well.  I really liked this noodle…a LOT…until tonight.

After Nate took a picture of the noodles in the package, I proceeded to dump the noodles into the wok.

taiwanese noodles on hokkien mee

I frowned a little because the texture wasn’t quite the same–it broke apart as I tried to separate the noodles.  As in, broke apart into little, tiny pieces that were no longer noodle-like!  And the more I stirred it into the sauce and fillings, the more it broke apart.

taiwanese noodles in fried hokkien mee

At that point, my frown was followed by dread.  I leaned in, took a whiff and smelled very yeasty, overly sour noodles.  Oh no!  No! No! NOOOO!!  Baaaaad noodles!

Being very pake (cheap Chinese), I immediately told Nate to fish out all the good stuff (shrimp, meats, fishballs).  I was quite upset.  Now what were we going to do for dinner?

Thank God for Leftovers

This is when I thank God for LEFTOVERS.  We had some leftover rice in the fridge. We had a large jar of kimchee.  We had eggs.  So, kimchee fried rice was what I ended up making for dinner. I took the saved good stuff from the Hokkien Mee and combined it with the kimchee fried rice.  I figured the bacteria from kimchee would overpower the little bit of spoiled yeasty noodles clinging to my good stuff.

kimchee fried rice with easy over egg and kecap manis

Yes, we’re still alive, and no, I didn’t feed this to my kids.  They had leftover soup (did I already say thank God for leftovers?).

The Hokkien Mee post is still ready to go and, aside from this bad experience, is a really good recipe which can be put together quickly.  We will be posting it soon and hope that you have better luck with the noodles than I did today.

Not Your Finest Moment?

Have you ever saved a kitchen disaster?  Don’t be shy! Leave a comment and tell us about it!

Cheers, Annie

13 thoughts on “Not My Finest Moment”

  1. >Nice save! I probably would have thrown in the towel and ordered pizza.

    I did have a kitchen disaster awhile back. I was making fritatta (sp?). I had fried up my chopped veg with onion and garlic. I reached into the fridge to get the eggs. Little did I know they were fetal duck eggs my mum had gotten and put in the egg carton. Needless to say the trauma I went through as I had never heard of them at that point, and I had blood all over my hands and the fetal duck fell into the pan. I was turned off from eggs for the rest of the year.

  2. >Kim chee fried rice, oooooo…I especially love sauteed kim chee with fried pork belly over steamed rice. Anyways, kitchen disasters, I was making some pepper sauce, had 2 pounds of Fresnos, about the same of Jalapenos and a pound of Habs. I made some seasoned apple cider vinegar, tossed the raw peppers in and proceeded to bring em to a simmer. Then I wandered off. And burned the batch. Wow, the stench, holy smokes, I could not the the odor out of the house…

  3. >Thanks for dropping by. Your kimchi fried rice looks just as good! We’ve worked with those noodles before, the best way is to soak them in hot water for a very short time to allow them to separate, then throw them into your stir fry for less than a minute and serve!

  4. >Good save and love the kimchi rice. We’ve been gorging ourselves on kimchi rice ever since we got a jar of kimchi last week.

    So what happened to the noodles? Were they just on the shelf too long?

  5. >Nice save! Those noodles did look a little suspicious coming out of the package. I’m pake, too, so I would have fished out the good stuff, just like you.

    Last week I made several batches of zucchini brownies, which may not sound very tempting but is actually extremely moist and flavorful. (My kids say they prefer this over regular brownies.) But I used baking POWDER instead of baking SODA, so instead of baking up light and chewy, they baked up very dense and chewy. They were not pretty.

    I didn’t really have a save for this, other than to claim they were supposed to be dense. We enjoyed them anyway.

  6. >@judyfoodie – Ack! That must have been horrifying!

    @robert – so did you ever get that pepper sauce done?

    @Angry Asian – this kecap manis is prety good – sweet / salty.

    @tastymeals at home – no, these noodles were too far gone. They were beyond rancid. They could not be redeemed.

    @js – yeah, they were probably sitting on the shelf for too long. We’re not going to that market again!

    @Jenster – they’re supposed to be dense…LOL! Too funny.

  7. >Really nice save with the rice, kimchee makes anything better in my book. What kind of lights did you put in for photography?

  8. >@Maggie – I replaced the soft-white CFLs in the kitchen with higher wattage, day-white CFLs. Now I won’t have to compensate so much for the yellowish cast of food in the kitchen.

  9. >@Maggie – in photography, lighting is the key ingredient. You might want to have a professional photographer friend give you some advice.

  10. If you have some space, you might consider making a set in a spare room and doing your food photos on the set instead of in your kitchen. I’ve seen some food bloggers do the photos in their garage. If you’re like my friends living in SF, you probably don’t have spare space.

    1. Jim,

      thanks for your comment.

      We do take our “hero” shots mostly inside a small studio box but we don’t have anything as fancy as some other flood blogger setups. I think our best photos come from our wet kitchen, though, since we can get a lot of light there.

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