Crispy Egg Noodles with Abalone - Mi Xao Gion
Moderate - You'll be right
Crispy egg noodles submerged in a decadent umami gravy, accompanied by pristine Australian blacklip abalone and crisp seasonal vegetables.
My grandma once told me that cooking abalone requires a prolonged process to help tenderise the abalone meat— unless you’re using canned abalone.
This was one of her go-to options as the abalone comes fully cooked, is ready-to-go, tender, and packed with lots of umami flavour. A dish she’d often make for us with Australian canned abalone was a stir fry of abalone and mushroom. Because of this I am quite partial to its taste and texture, and have paired it with a classic Vietnamese noodle dish, mi xao gion.
In this recipe, I’ve opted for Eyrewoolf Abalones’s additive free canned black lip abalone which I strongly believe grandma would have approved of for its incredible natural umami flavour. Unlike most canned abalones, it consists of only three ingredients: a large abalone, water and salt. Eyrewoolf Abalone hand select their wild abalone from the pristine waters surrounding Flinders Island, located 35km off Australia’s Southern coast. They are shucked and chilled at sea then heat sterilised in the can to allow the abalone flavour to be concentrated in liquid.
The canned abalone liquid single-handedly elevates the natural umami flavours in this dish, eliminating any need for flavour enhancers like MSG. It’s also used to create a decadent umami gravy when combined with chicken stock and potato starch.
The crispy fried egg noodles become the perfect vehicle to transport this concentrated abalone flavour when this gravy is absorbed. Follow with a slice of abalone and some crisp vegetables to cleanse the palate, and this is truly a dish to die for.
Whether you’ve always wanted to try cooking with abalone or its already in your regular rotation, do yourself a favour and give Eyrewoolf Abalones’s additive free canned abalone a go in this Vietnamese recipe, to experience natural umami flavours on a whole other level.
Shallow fried egg noodles
250–300g fresh thin egg noodles
400ml neutral cooking oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
Abalone & seasonal vegetables stir fry
1 large carrot, cut into 1 cm rounds
1 bunch bok choy, quartered
100g snow peas, deveined
2 tablespoons neutral cooking oil
1 small brown onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
425g canned Eyrewoolf abalone, thinly sliced and liquid reserved
1L chicken stock (reduced salt)
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon cracked white pepper
2 tablespoons potato starch
4 tablespoons water
½ bunch coriander (optional)
In a large fry pan bring the oil to 180C. Place the noodles in the oil and shallow fry for 1–2 minutes, then flip and fry for a further 1-2 minutes or until golden. Remove noodles, place on a serving plate and season lightly with sea salt.
Duncan’s tip: Strain, reserve and store leftover oil as it can be re-used to fry spring rolls.
In a medium pot of boiling lightly-salted water, add the carrots and boil for 2 minutes, then add the bok choy and snow peas for 15 seconds. Strain and place into a large bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process. Strain again then set aside.
Duncan’s tip: the vegetables are interchangeable, so use your favourites or what’s cheap and in season.
In a large fry pan on medium heat, add a few tablespoons of oil and the garlic, and fry for a minute before adding onions. Continue to stir fry until golden or fragrant then add the strained vegetables, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sea salt, sugar and a pinch of cracked white pepper. Stir fry on high for 1 minute then remove and set aside.
In the same pan, add abalone liquid and chicken stock, and bring to the boil.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl add potato starch and water and mix well to create a loose slurry.
Once stock reaches the boil, add 3 tablespoons of potato starch slurry and immediately stir in well for 1 minute or until stock thickens on high heat. If desired thickness is not achieved add more potato starch slurry as required.
Add sliced abalone, return stir fried vegetables and warm through on high for 1 minute. Carefully pour gravy and ingredients onto fried noodles and garnish with coriander, chilli and cracked white pepper. Serve with a side dipping sauce of soy sauce and fresh chilli.