Cooking Fun

Sorry again for the delay in posting, but I was feeling under the weather and on top of that, I had to travel to the US. August was a trip, a road trip, that is! My daughter and I spent about a week and a half together, driving from state to state visiting prospective college campuses, and trying not to drive each other crazy in the process. We couldn't reach a compromise, holding back the questions during the student-guided tours (me) or trying to stay awake and keep the driver company during those LONG hours on the interstate (daughter), but we survived.

One of my last stops before heading home to Tokyo, was LA. I was able to meet up with an old college buddy, who now resides there, and he and his hubby took me to a dim sum restaurant in the heart of Chinatown. Empress Pavilion is well known to Los Angelites, and sure enough, when we arrived relatively early at 11am, it was already packed. The reality of being in LA was brought home when my friend mentioned that the guy sitting at a table across from us looked familiar. Turns out he's one of the stars of the TV show, "The Big Bang Theory." He won an Emmy later that evening for best lead actor in a comedy series and deservedly so; it is a wickedly funny and needless to say, smart, show.

Fast forward to the present; I am scouring the bookshelves high and low for my copy of Pride and Prejudice, per my daughter's request since she'll be needing it soon for her English class. Of course, the search came to a halt when I happened across some of my father's old cookbooks from Hawaii. I started leafing through one and my eye caught a recipe for fun (noodle). Boy, was I excited! I can try to re-create one of my favorite dim sum dishes I had at Empress Pavilion, cheung fun. After a miserable first batch (because I didn't follow the instructions of cooling the pan in cold water!), the rest came out pretty good. The recipe doesn't provide a yield, but I estimate about 6-8 rounds of noodles. I made my noodles smaller, in a 6 inch cake pan since my bamboo steamer is on the tiny side.


With the scrambled mess I made with my first batch, I tossed the noodles with the chive-pork filling I made for the rolled fun to make a chow fun.


Have fun cooking with fun!

PS, I never did find my Pride and Prejudice.


Posted By: Jan Opdahl
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Fun (Plain)

From the cookbook, Our Golden Anniversary Favorite Recipes, published by Maui Extension Homemakers' Council

1 cup sifted cake flour

1 tablespoon corn starch

1 1/2 cup cold water

1 teaspoon salt


Cooking Process:

Mix all ingredients together. Strain to remove lumps. Pour a thin layer of batter into an 8 inch round greased cake pan. I used a metal pan with a removable bottom. Steam for 2-3 minutes. Cool pan in cold water. Carefully roll fun up, jelly roll style. Slice in 3/4 inch strips if desired, or leave whole to stuff and roll. Repeat until mixture is used up. Estimated yield is about 6- 8 rounds of noodle, depending on the size of your pan and the thickness of the noodle.

Note: I greased the pan the first time and not for subsequent steamings with no problems of sticking. The noodle peeled off the botttom of the pan easily when completely submerged in the cool water.

Traditionally, the noodle is sprinkled with a meat filling, rolled up and then steamed again. I decided to stir fry my filling and then just rolled up the noodle with the filling. Drizzle the rolled fun with soy sauce, sesame oil, chili oil or a mixture of all three.The result is a bit messy as the filling falls out, but I didn't mind that at all. Maybe next time I'll do it the right way, now that I know the fun recipe works.

Chive Pork Filling

This is just an approximation, I hardly ever measure when cooking. Isn't that part of the fun?

200 grams ground pork (about 1 cup)

1 dried scallop, softened in about 1/2 cup warm water and chopped, optional

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 inch ginger, chopped

1/4 cup chopped scallions

1 cup chopped maitake mushrooms, or any mushrooms

1 cup chopped garlic chives

1 tablespoon sake

2 teaspoons oyster sauce

2 teaspoons soy sauce

salt and pepper

Heat some vegetable oil in a wok or pan over high heat. Add the ground pork and fry until the color is no longer pink. Add in the scallop, garlic, ginger, scallions and mushrooms and stir fry. Add salt and pepper. When mushrooms have cooked, add in the chives then the sake, oyster sauce and soy sauce. If the stir fry mixture seems too dry, add in a little bit of the scallop water. Season to taste with additional salt or soy sauce.

Note: For the chow fun, I added an egg, celery leaf, lettuce leaf and cilantro to the mixture.




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