Inspired by the wonderful Cantonese breakfast, Xiang Fan, Robert Noodles is a fast, easy and tasty noodle dish perfect for any meal time, but awesome as a breakfast.
It is basically a combination of egg, pork mince, rice noodles and spring onions. It uses peanut oil, sesame oil, soy sauce and shao xing and a pinch of white pepper. If you are at all into cooking Chinese, then these ingredients should all be on hand anyway.
There are no heavy hitting flavours here as it really is designed for breakfast. You don’t want to be heading to work reeking of garlic and chilli – so this dish is deliberately understated for that reason. Experiment with other flavours but perhaps do this when your body and mouth is ready for some extra zing.
There is a variation of this dish, which I originally called Robert Newdles, cos it was new, but it just ended up being very confusing… “did you say noodles or newdles?” It’s now called Robert Toodles and the pork is substituted with, of all things, tuna. Try it sometime when you’ve mastered the original.
The great thing about this dish is that it isn’t reliant on a raging hot wok or much skill, which is probably why it was named after me…
Ingredients (for 2 serves)
- 500g fresh rice noodles
- 2 eggs
- 100g pork mince (a small handful)
- 1 spring onion chopped finely
- 1 TBS shao xing
- 1 TBS soy sauce
- 2 drizzles sesame oil
- 1 pinch of white pepper
- Boil the kettle. Put the rice noodles in a bowl and pour the boiling water over them to cover. Drizzle a little sesame oil. (This helps to loosen the noodles.) gently stir with a fork. Let it rest for a minute then drain and set aside.
- Heat wok and add 1 TBS peanut oil. When oil is hot, crack open two eggs and toss them in. What you are looking for here is two bad looking fried eggs, like you buggered them up. Cook the eggs for about 90 seconds then remove. Put on a plate and roughly slice them.
- Ok, show time now. There’s probably enough residual oil in the wok, so let it get hot again before adding the pork mince. Fry the mince for a couple of minutes. Let it dry out a bit – you don’t want much moisture at this point, so if the pork has leaked a bit of water then drain it out.
- In with noodles! Mix the pork through and then in with the shao zing!
- Mix that through and then in with the soy! Mix it all together and then add spring onions, white pepper and the other drizzle of sesame oil. Mix it through and turn off the wok. You are done!
- Dish it up into two bowls and you have a lovely breakfast for two.
Help with the ingredients…
- Fresh rice noodles: get them from your Asian grocer. They are much better than what you will get in your major supermarket chains.
- Shao xing: this is rice wine. It is very cheap to buy. You can get it from supermarkets, but just buy a bottle when you’re buying the noodles from your Asian grocer. A substitute commonly recommended is dry sherry, but these days it’s just easier to buy rice wine, and who has dry sherry on hand any more?
Hope you enjoy Robert Noodles. It’s not Xiang Fan, but the best I can do here at home in Sydney. Let me know how you go in the comments below!
- The image above is Robert Noodles cooked in Kaiping. It is a variation of the recipe.
- You’ll note that I am neither a professional chef nor a nutritionist, so you will create this dish at your own risk!