Monday, February 02, 2009

Cooking disaster: fresh lo mein noodles

It's a long story, a long and incoherent story. You really don't need to know all of it. Suffice it to say, last night I tried cooking a dish with fresh lo mein noodles. The dish, coincidentally enough, was pork lo mein.

My main problem, probably, was that I've never cooked with fresh pasta before (though I love pasta and cook it often). Having obtained a likely-looking package of noodles labeled lo mein from the refrigerator case of the Asian supermarket, I proceeded to treat them as I would any package of dried noodles: toss into boiling water and move on with the rest of the dish.

What went into the boiling water was a chunk of relatively firm, brownish, thin noodles. What came out was something akin to an omelette gone horribly wrong; eggy, sticky, with threads of (I guess egg) that brought mozzarella cheese to mind. Not good. Very not good. Not in flavor, so much, but in consistency.

I tried to delude myself that if I had spritzed the noodles with cold water while they were sitting in the colander, all would be well. As I worked on the leftovers today at lunch, I became more skeptical about that. The pork was good (if still a little tough, but that's another post). The shiitake mushrooms and scallions were good (though maybe I'd been a little too enthusiastic on the amount of the scallions). But the gluey disaster that had been the noodles kept giving. Not inedible, just very sticky and not what one would expect from any stripe of pasta or noodles.

Clearly, working with fresh pasta (should I attempt to do it again) will be a work in progress.

7 comments:

Erlyn3 said...

Tut tut. You should always read the packaging. Cooking regular dry pasta requires 10-12 minutes while fresh pasta requires 2-3 minutes.

My problem is with recipes. Just last week I was about to put a homemade pizza in the oven when I realized I hadn't put cheese on it yet. Oy vey.

Anne said...

thank you, thank you for writing about a culinary mishap! i have so many of them, but read about so few in the food blogs i peruse. which makes me wonder if it's just me, and i'm cursed in the kitchen, or something.

Winslow said...

Erlyn3 - yeah, you're right, I should have read the instructions on the package. I'm just so used to tossing pasta in the pot to cook and then concentrating on other things. I guess dry pasta fits my cooking style much better. Believe me, I've forgotten ingredients too; it's very embarrassing to get something all ready to eat and then realize you forgot to add one of the main ingredients. Oops.

Anne - that's kind of why I wrote the post. :) I'm delighted when things work out right or better than expected, but this one didn't work and I figured, "Aw, heck, write about it anyway. Maybe someone else has had the same problem." Thanks!

Helen said...

i think fresh noodles have such a great taste when they are cooked correctly! Always better than dry noodles in my opinion. They just have more of a homemade taste rather than a store bought that dry noodles have. So, keep cooking those fresh noodles! Just reverse the cooking order by boiling them last since they don't take very long anyway.

Juandy said...

thanks for your experience, it taught me things not to do with pasta :) btw don't get too upset just take it as a learning experience :)

Authentic Chinese Recipes:
http://original-chinese-recipes.blogspot.com

Nancie McDermott said...

Winslow: Gold star for putting out your cooking disaster, along with the countless successful cooking adventures you've chronicled in this excellent blog. Makes me sigh with relief, ahhhhh, we readers get to mess up, too! Keep giving away the magic...

Winslow said...

Thanks, Nancie! I appreciate that. Unfortunately, life has made it hard to do a lot of food blogging lately, but I hope to get back at it over the summer. And I'm sure everybody has kitchen disasters; I try to take mine as learning experiences and fodder for future (hopefully more successful) dishes.