Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Recipe of the month: Vegetarian Lo Mein + Giveaway from Market Fresh Singapore

Boy oh boy, do I have something good in store for all you folks in Singapore! 😎 So, in case you have something important going on and are absent-mindedly scrolling through this post, I suggest you push the other stuff for later and give me your undivided attention (I'm being pushy for a reason, trust me 😛 ). What I'm talking about is a fabulous recipe and a chance to win a voucher to buy the ingredients you need to make the above-mentioned fabulous recipe - a double bonus for all you foodies!

To elaborate, I am so excited to be hosting my very first giveaway! I am using my blog's facebook page as the platform to host the giveaway so if you are residing in Singapore and want to participate, follow the simple rules mentioned in the top-most post HERE and stand a chance to win!

This post is a collaboration with MarketFresh.Sg as part of their "Modern Mummies in the Kitchen" campaign. For the uninitiated, MarketFresh is an online wet market with next-day delivery option throughout Singapore. They are a new generation of wet market stall owners, bringing to you Singapore’s fresh & best value wet market groceries online for your convenience and hassle-free shopping.


In order to bring you the freshest ingredients, MarketFresh operates just like a wet market. In three easy steps you can enjoy your choice of fresh produce hand-picked especially for you each morning. First you order and customize from sections including fruits, vegetables, butcher, fishmonger, yong tau foo and dry provisions; second, you pick your delivery time from 4 convenient time slots and third, you receive groceries from express couriers who will deliver your order within hours. They operate before daybreak and take their last orders before noon in-keeping with how a wet market functions. This is to ensure your order gets to you on the same day, fresh as can be 😊

I love the wet markets in Singapore. Every Saturday morning, it is a ritual for me to rise early just so I can hand-pick fresh produce from the wet market located opposite my residence and get home before my kids start to stir. MarketFresh were kind enough to give me the luxury of an extra hour of sleep by doing my job for me! I was given the choice to order groceries of my choosing from the online website and I was pleased to note that I found everything that I usually buy from the nearby wet market and at affordable prices too!

Placing the order was a breeze and this is what I received (and is similar to what my typical weekly market haul looks like). All the groceries were fresh and were delivered within the time slot I had chosen. There was an assortment of fruits, greens, vegetables, freshly grated coconut, fresh egg noodles and coconut milk. I had listed baby carrots in my order but I received a message earlier in the day saying they were unavailable at the market that day and hence I gave instructions to substitute it with something else. The order was correct except for a zucchini which had been mixed up with a bag of Japanese cucumbers. I'm sure MarketFresh would have set it right it for me if I had informed them but I had ordered zucchini purely on a whim so I settled for the crunchy cucumbers (and used them later in the week alongside a bowl full of homemade hummus 😊 ).


Some information about MarketFresh that you should know is,

  • Delivery is fixed at a flat rate of $6. Orders above $30 enjoy free delivery!
  • MarketFresh opens only when the wet market opens therefore they do not operate on Mondays
  • Since the wet market closes at around 1pm, all late afternoon orders are stored under refrigeration until ready for delivery
  • All orders will delivered within a time limit of 3 hours and the order will be packed with sufficient ice packs to keep your groceries cool and fresh

Okay so getting straight to the recipe, I have a local favourite for you - only a vegetarian version. Lo Mein is a Chinese dish made with stir-fried noodles. It often contains some type of meat or seafood, usually beef, chicken, pork, shrimp or wontons but it can also be eaten with just vegetables.

The Vegetarian Lo Mein that I have for you today is salty, savoury, bursting with that delightful 'umami' flavour and showcasing some bright and crisp veggies such as red cabbage, red bell peppers, snow peas and carrots. It is easy to make, delicious and hearty at the same time. What's more is that it is healthier and much better than take-out you guys!

Good Lo Mein needs a combination of dark and light soy sauce, sesame oil and brown sugar. I advise that if you do not use dark soy sauce in this recipe, you will not achieve the desired flavour so please do not skip it. If you have a particular brand of good quality dark and light soy sauce that you love, go ahead and use it. You will be thankful you did!

Coming to the noodles, Chinese egg noodles i.e. wheat flour noodles with egg added is what is typically used for Lo Mein. Fresh egg noodles work best for Lo Mein compared to dry and I was so happy that I could buy 1kg of fresh noodles from MarketFresh. It not only saved cooking time but ended up tasting great in the finished product. If you were wondering why they look short, I personally do not like tugging on kilometer long noodles so I cut them up a bit (is that blasphemous in the culinary world? 😝 ). I understand if you cannot get your hands on fresh noodles. You could use dried Chinese egg noodles or ramen or worst case scenario, spaghetti or linguine. Just cook the noodles according to the package instructions and proceed as normal with the recipe instructions.

You can use this recipe as a clean-out-your-fridge strategy as it can be made with a variety of vegetables (bell peppers, carrots, zucchini, baby corn, spinach, bok choy, kai lan, chives, mushrooms, snap peas, onions, cabbage, broccoli) and almost any protein you can get your hands on!

Oh, and before I go on to the recipe, did I mention one more bit of good news? For exclusively my readers, MarketFresh is offering a first-time 10% discount! The promo code is MEGHA10

So guys please try this recipe and let me know how it turns out! I'd love to get feedback. Also, be a dear and take part in the giveaway. It would make me even happier!

Happy shopping and happy cooking 😊

Vegetarian Lo Mein 

Preparation time: 15-20 min
Cooking time: 20 min
Serves: 4-5
Recipe category: Chinese/Main Course
Recipe level: Easy
Recipe source: A mishmash of various recipes

Ingredients:

For the sauce (whisk together):
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp sriracha or chili sauce
1 tbsp tomato ketchup, Optional
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch

For the noodles:
1kg fresh cooked Lo Mein noodles or 500gm uncooked ramen noodles or spaghetti/linguine
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1-inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and minced 
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 small bunch spring onions, white parts cut in 1-inch pieces, light green parts very thinly sliced
1 cup red/purple cabbage, cored and shredded 
1 cup kai lan (Chinese broccoli), sliced*
1 small carrot, julienned
1 small red bell pepper, julienned
1 cup shiitake or button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 cup snow peas, halved
Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish, Optional


Method:

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce and keep aside.


2. Depending on what kind of noodles you are using, i.e. uncooked/dried, you will have to cook it (according to package instructions) or else you can use it fresh as is (just rinse it in water and drain well before using). If the noodles need cooking, just cook in salted boiling water until al dente, drain and rinse in cold water. Set aside.

3. Prep all the ingredients. Heat the sesame oil in a wok over high heat and add the garlic, ginger, mushrooms, and the white parts of the scallions. Stir-fry for one minute and add the peppers, purple cabbage and carrots. Make sure your wok is searing hot. Stir fry for two minutes.




4. Next, add the snow peas and kai lan to the wok and cook until the greens are just wilted. Then add your noodles. Make sure that before you add them to the pan, they're somewhat loose and not all clumped together (you can rinse them in warm water to loosen them up before adding them to the pan).



5. Pour your sauce mixture over the noodles and stir-fry until the color of the noodles are uniform. A folding or scoop and lift motion works well for that. Taste the noodles and adjust seasonings if required.


6. Sprinkle the spring onion greens. Once everything is well-combined, dish out the noodles, top with toasted sesame seeds (if desired) and serve hot!



Notes:
  • If your spring onions don't have much of the white bulbs, you can use 1 small roughly sliced onion instead
  • * If you don't have kai lan, you can substitute with bok choy or baby spinach
  • If you don't have red/purple cabbage, you can use the white variety
  • You can add in broccoli and baby corn to make it more veggie-packed
  • You can add in any protein such as tofu, egg or meat of your choice
  • Serve the noodles fresh off the stove because it tends to go a bit dry the longer you keep it on the counter

Thank you MarketFresh for this opportunity!


Cheers,
Megha



Disclaimer: The groceries displayed in this post were complimentary courtesy of MarketFreshSg

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