What is wat tan? Well, It’s silky soft sauce that is great on just about everything from the smoke-filled pan of seafood or meat and vegetables with flat white noodles (hor fun). It is enticing to most Asian table. Most Asian would serve it with pickled green chilies dipped in soy sauce. The secret ingredient is corn flour and beaten egg to thicken the gravy and make it smooth and silky. When adding the eggs, you need to swirl it to have broken strands of egg.
Today, my wat tan is a twist to the one my grandma and mom had always make them. Instead of just fried hor fun, I have added rice vermicelli and chicken pieces from my previous recipe: Drumsticks stock and shiitake mushrooms. I have written down the chicken pieces recipe for you.
My wat tan chicken hor fun vermicelli is not a lot of silky sauce as I wanted something different from the usual hor fun as many people had made them. In addition, I use red cut chili dipped in soy sauce. Let’s cook!!!
4-6 c water, just enough to cover the drumsticks slightly above 1”
4 garlic cloves
1 c extra water (OPT)
1 Tsp chicken powder stock (OPT)
1 ” ginger
Hor fun Vermicelli and sauces
2 blocks vermicelli
1 packet flat white noodles (hor fun)
8 dried shiitake mushrooms, soak in hot boiling water, reserve water
2 handful fresh bean sprouts, remove tail
2 1/2 bunches bok choy, washed and cut into bite sized pieces
3 carrots, cut into bite size
2 Tsp garlic minced
2-4 Tbs oyster sauce
2 Tsp light soy sauce, plus extra for colouring
2 Tsp dark soy sauce, plus extra for colouring
1/4 c water, 2 Tbs dark soy, 2 Tbs soy sauce with 2 dashes of pepper to marinade vermicelli
1 Tsp salt, extra
1 Tsp white pepper, extra
1/2 Tsp sesame oil (OPT)
2 Tbs cornflour
3 Tbs water
Do chicken stock one day in advance
In a pot, add drumsticks, 4 c water and bring it to a simmer on low heat about 35 minutes. As it simmers, skim the foam (impurities) off the top with a fine-mesh skimmer or a spoon. When it is done, strain stock through sieve into another pot (I usually line it with a muslin cloth).
Add remaining stock ingredients into pot with drumsticks. Simmer very gently for 1-2.5 hours. The longer the stock, the more flavour it will have, but the drumsticks will lose flavour. Remove the drumsticks from the pot once it has cooked.
Let it cool and remove meat from bones. Keep in an airtight container in fridge. Add in 1 extra cup of water and powder stock into stock. Bring it to boil for more stock and check seasoning. Switch off hob. When the stock had cool completely, spoon into sterilized jars with tight lids, label name and date make before you refrigerate them.
When you want the chicken pieces, use a clean dry spoon to scoop the amount you want. You can add the chicken pieces with anything. At least you have ready cook meat. Save you time. You can freeze them if you want to keep them for more than 4 weeks to 6 weeks.
The next day cook hor fun vermicelli
Open the hor fun packet and empty into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for about 1 minutes then strip it into long strips. Put kettle on. Once boil, pour into hor fun strips to blanch for about 4-5 minutes to remove some oil, drain well. Next soak rice vermicelli in warm water for 30 minutes or until they turn soft. Drain vermicelli and put in a bowl. Set aside both.
Reserved the drain vermicelli water to clean/rinse bean sprouts and set aside to drain. Mix the sauces and water for vermicelli marinade then pour into vermicelli, toss to mix well. Set aside. Bring about 2 c drumsticks stock to a boil. Add corn flour to 3 Tbs water in a bowl and mix well, making sure there are no lumps and set aside.
Heat up 2 Tbs oil in the wok and fry garlic until golden brown. Next add carrots, and bok choy; stir fry for about 5-7 minutes until vegetables are soft. Next add hor fun and vermicelli stir toss for about 6 minutes or until both turn soft and not wet. Then add some chicken pieces from the day before, fish cakes, and pork balls stir to mix well for about 5-8 minutes.
Now add oyster sauce, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and the mushrooms water. Next add bean sprouts and mushrooms mix well for about 4 minutes until cooked. Pour chicken stock in and stir well. Pour the corn flour mixture into wok and simmer until the gravy thickens.
Finally, pour in the beaten egg, swirling it over the gravy mixture until the egg is 3/4 cooked, then remove from heat. Spoon into bowls and spoon some cut chili with soy sauce over. Serve immediately. Serve with a beer or white wine. Enjoy!!!!
Note: Remembered grandma said to add in beaten eggs last and turn off the heat once three-quarters cooked, to avoid overcooking the silky egg strands. You can add cabbage, prawns, and pork instead of chicken pieces. If you are using prawns cook prawns about 70-75% doneness during the precooking stage, so that they will be just done at the end of the cooking process. You can add 2 c extra stocks if you want more silky eggy sauce.