I got a gorgeous Burmese cook book for Christmas last year, and as I read through it I realized that fried shallots are a staple in Burmese cooking; they show up everywhere from salads, to fried rice, to soups, to vegetable side dishes, etc. etc. etc. I would also recommend adding them to burgers, sandwiches, steaks and Drunken Soba Noodles. 🙂 As an added bonus, when you make these you also get a good amount of flavoured shallot oil! This stuff has come in handy countless times. It really takes sauces and salad dressings up a notch. And it keeps forever so I’m loving having both these things stocked in the pantry!
The thing to remember about making these is to use a medium-low, steady heat. You don’t want to burn them to a crisp, but just take on a nice golden brown colour and retain some of that onion-y flavour.
Don’t forget to strain the oil into a jar and stash it in your pantry!
Fried Shallots & Shallot Oil
Fried Shallots & Shallot Oil Recipe
1 cup peanut oil
2 cups thinly sliced shallots
- Place a skillet or wok over medium-high heat and add the oil. Toss in a slice of shallot. As the oil heats, it will rise to the surface, sizzling lightly. When it’s reached the surface, add the rest of the shallots (carefully, so the oil doesn’t splash you) and lower the heat to medium.
- Stir gently and frequently with a long handled wooden spoon. If they start to brown within the first 5 minutes, lower the heat a little more. After about 10 minutes they should start to colour. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally to prevent them from sticking to the pan or to each other, until they have turned golden brown, another 3 minutes or so.
- Line a plate with paper towel and use tongs or slotted spoon to lift shallots out of the pan onto the plate. Blot gently to dry. Separate any clumps and let them air dry 5 to 10 minutes so they crisp up and cool.
- Transfer the shallots to sealed container and keep in your pantry. Once the oil has cooled completely, cover tightly and store in a cool dark place.
From: Burma. Rivers of Flavour
Waaaaay back in December I tried the Drunken Soba Noodles from Sidedoor restaurant and they definitely left a lasting impression. I loved everything about this dish; the perfectly cooked steak, the balance between the cool noodles and the heat from the sauce, the crunchy fried shallots and the flavourful herbs. So when I picked up an issue of McLean’s magazine one day that featured “Canada’s Top 50 Restaurants”, imagine my delight when not only was Sidedoor one of them, but they published their recipe for Drunken Soba Noodles! Rejoice! I wasted no time in trying to recreate this for myself – take a look 🙂
Drunken Soba Noodle Ingredients
At the restaurant they use steak, but since I didn’t have any on hand I sautéed up a nice chicken breast instead. No complaints about how this turned out!
Boil the soba noodles for about 4 or 5 minutes and allow them to cool. Then pile them in a bowl and top with veggies.
Noodles and Veggies
Whisk together the ingredients for the sauce (soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, chili garlic sauce, sesame oil) and toss with the noodle/veggie mixture. Then just top with chicken or steak! And some black sesame seeds for visual interest.
Drunken Soba Noodles
Then all you have to do is work your way through this flavour heaven of a dish. Enjoy the journey!
Drunken Soba Noodles – Halfway through
Drunken Soba Noodles Recipe
1 3/4 lb (340 g) package buckwheat noodles
2 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp shaoxing rice wine (or dry sherry)
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp chili garlic sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
3/4 lb. strip loin or rib-eye steak
Salt and pepper1 cup julienned cucumber
1 cup julienned bell pepper
1 cup julienned napa cabbage
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
Fried shallots, to taste
Thai basil, to taste
- Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook soba noodles according to package directions, about four to five minutes. Drain and transfer to iced water. Drain once chilled.
- Toss noodles very lightly with canola oil in a large bowl to prevent sticking. Reserve.
- Whisk soy sauce with rice wine, sugar, chili garlic sauce and sesame oil in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Preheat grill to medium high.
- Season steak lightly with salt and pepper. Grill steaks to medium rare. Remove from heat and let rest.
- Divide the noodles between four bowls. Arrange the cucumbers, peppers and cabbage on top of the noodles in separate piles. Top with a small mound each of green onion and fried shallots.
- Slice steak thinly and add to bowls. Top with a sprig of Thai basil.
- Divide the sauce into four small ramekins and serve with the bowl. Let guests pour the sauce on top of the noodles and mix with chopsticks.