Lunch With Vermicelli

When you work from home, planning for lunch becomes a bit of an issue. If you decide to eat out, there’s the question of where (and how) to go, and then there’s the weather that is an excellent deterrent to any venture outdoors. There’s the lunch crowd that doesn’t seem to disperse until 2pm, and then some places take their last lunch orders by 2.30pm.

It’s very likely that I just can’t be arsed to get dressed and head out. It seemed much easier to cook, eat and wait for dinner.

But I have started to enjoy cooking lunch. Our rice cooker takes 90 minutes to cook rice and I can’t be trusted to predict when I would be ravenous, so unless I have leftover rice in the fridge, I don’t cook rice dishes for lunch. Soba and udon make appearances, but I like them chilled and there can only be so many times I can have something cold for lunch.

Enter vermicelli. Dunk them in water for 10 minutes to rehydrate and they are all good to go. In fact, I like my bee hoon so much that I can eat vermicelli-based dishes for days in a row.

Fried beehoon

The first attempt was a simple fried version, with ingredients left over from the previous evening’s dinner. I added spring onions as a garnish because erm, I wanted to take a photo and needed an accent colour (hey you occupational hazard!). It turns out that spring onions add a great flavour (a nice spiciness not unlike red onions, but spring onions are milder and don’t require me breaking out the knife and the chopping board).

Fried beehoon with pork belly

Round 2: I was cooking braised pork belly for dinner and sneaked in a few pieces for lunch that day. It was a good meal. Dinner was great too.

Zi-char style beehoon

I am very fond of zi-char style stir-fried beehoon, so I attempted it for dinner last week. That didn’t go so well; the broth didn’t thicken and I put in the egg too early. It tasted decent still, but zi-char beehoon is not the same without an eggy, viscous gravy. Attempt 2 (above pic) took place the following afternoon and that was a much more successful effort. Thanks to Google and a blog entry, I found out that you should not throw in corn flour directly into the simmering broth. Instead, mix it with cold water first before stirring it into the broth. Lesson of the meal: Short cuts are sometimes bad.

To conclude, Siew cooks lunch and a lot of vermicelli.

(P/S: I cook food that I miss. Right now, I really miss the ipoh horfun at Amoy Food Centre so that’s next on my to-try list.)

The Anatomy of A Siew Entry


I need to write this quickly before I run out of steam. First, let’s start with some random backstory. Then, I write another one during which I decide that it’s more interesting to write about the exact thoughts that are running through my head right now than something I planned for one paragraph back (the first backstory, if you’ve lost track). After that, maybe we will come to the link between the backstories and maybe I will decide that oh, I was actually foreshadowing even though the more accurate term for it is bad writing. After I suffer through the telling and after I make you suffer through the reading of two not-really-relevant paragraphs, I arrive at the point where I know that I must try to get to the point of the entry (for e.g., a café or book review entry typically warrants a review). I get distracted and bored, because by now, I would have been typing and un-typing for the last 30 minutes with nothing to really show for it. I run out of things to say about something, or these previously perfectly eloquent thoughts (real or imagined) suddenly escape my mind. I get hungry and my cup of water runs down so I have to refill it. A trip to the kitchen yields other snacks and so now, while I am back at the computer, I can’t type because I’m snacking. More entry-title-appropriate thoughts escape (maybe they were never there in the first place) and we hit the hour mark. Then I have to end the entry.