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 made them. Instead of just fried hor fun, I have added more stock to make it soupy and of course adding the last few chickens’ meat, bought pork balls, fish cakes, and bok choy serve with a glass of red wine as I wanted to finished off my last bottle of drumsticks stock. So, I can make new batches when I can get drumsticks on sale.
I have omitted bean shoots, fish balls, cabbage and cut red chili as they are so expensive with soy sauce. As I always like to create food that suit my palate and it has got to be satisfying, comforting and delicious. I am glad that adding more stock to the wat tan hor fun do gives additional flavour and it’s not dry thus certainly keep me hydrated and warms me up especially when it’s a cold raining day. Let’s cook and enjoy the soupy with a big slurpy satisfying smile and stomach.
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)
Hor fun and sauce
1 packet flat white noodles (hor fun)
3-4 bunches bok choy, washed and cut into bite sized pieces
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 packets fish cake, thinly sliced
2 packets pork balls, thinly sliced
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 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
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. Heat up the oil in a wok over medium high heat. Add the hor fun, dark soy sauce and light soy sauce. Stir fry and toss until evenly coated with the sauces. Continue until the noodles are cooked. Set aside.
Bring about 3 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 bok choy; stir fry for about 5 minutes until vegetables are soft. Next add hor fun and toss for about 6 minutes or until turn soft. Then add some chicken pieces from the freezer that had thawed, 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 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 is thickens. Finally, pour in the beaten egg, swirling it over the gravy mixture until the egg is 3/4 cooked, then ladle about 4-5 ladles of stocks in, stir and warm up for about 5-7 minutes, then remove from heat. Spoon into bowls and serve immediately. Serve with a glass of red today. 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.
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