Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas market in Bremgarten and CKT-style stir-fried spaghetti

It was two degrees Celsius on the half hour's drive to Bremgarten in Aargau. At the outskirts of the town, there were already signs to direct us to the 'park n ride'. It was very well organised - we parked for free in the huge lot and paid CHF4 each for a round trip by bus into the historical part of the town. The buses were very frequent indeed. Sitting in a bus holding hands to keep warm is quite romantic, I must admit.

On this outing, the 'official' photographer was the other half. My hands were kept deep in my coat pocket so as to keep warm; I hadn't bothered to bring my little snappy Nikon.

It was like a 'pasar malam' (night market) in Malaysia except that there were fewer varieties of food and a lot of cheese and Gluehwein (spiced sweetened red wine) in the tradition of Christmas here.

There were stalls hawking sweets and cookies (Lebkuchen) and others selling clothing, lamps, candles and costume jewellery. A 30m-high old-fashioned-style ferris wheel, boasting a substantial queue, soared above the crowds.

The market was situated next to a winding river, with a bridge and outdoor Christmas trees to colour the night scene. The buildings in this old part of town are well maintained and lovely indeed.

For this post, I would like to feature a 'char kway teow'-style stir-fried spaghetti for when I'm hankering for a taste of Malaysia on a cold winter's evening.

Malaysian-style Stir-fried Spaghetti

2 servings medium-soft boiled spaghetti, stirred with a bit of oil to prevent sticking
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 shallots or 1 medium-size red onion, sliced thinly
1 tbs corn oil or sunflower seed oil
1/2 cup fennel or spring onions, sliced
1 tsp dark soy sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp chicken or veggie stock powder
1 tsp red chillies, chopped (optional or sub with sambal oelek)
1/2 shelled prawns or clams or cockles (precooked or raw)
80g mung bean sprouts
1/4 cup chopped chives
1 egg
salt and ground white pepper to taste

1. Heat 1/2 tbs oil in a big frying pan or wok. Fry the onions and garlic on medium heat for a minute.
2. Add fennel or spring onions. Stir-fry for a minute.
3. Turn up heat and add cooked spaghetti. Stir-fry occasionally for 3 minutes.
4. Turn down heat to medium and add seasonings and chilli (if using).
5. Add bean sprouts and prawns/clams/cockles (add these in Step 4 if raw) and fry for 30 seconds.

6. Make a well in the centre. Add the remaining 1/2 tbs oil. Break egg into it and sprinkle it with pepper and salt. Scramble till almost gelled.
7. Stir noodles into the egg. Add chives. Raise heat and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Turn out of pan and serve immediately. Serves two.

This has been submitted to Presto Pasta Nights ( ) and this week's host is Mary of Baking Delights


Life for Beginners said...

For some reason this post kinda heartbreaking for me, though I know it's not how you meant it to be. Drinking Gl├╝hwein during winter... that experience is something I've been missing for five years and more now... and the thought of you trying CKT-style spaghetti reminds me of how us Malaysians living abroad would try to replicate home delicacies while being very, very far from home.

It's silly, isn't it? I'm right here in good ol' Malaysia and I'm homesick for both Germany AND Malaysia too! :P

Or perhaps just homesick for the old me who was homesick once. :)

Lee Ping said...

Merry Christmas to you and your family as well.

Aah...Char Kway Teow with fresh cockles and fried lard is one of my favorite Malaysian dishes.

I miss the various hawker foods at the Malaysian Pasar Malam as well.

Still learning how to use my new DSLR (Canon) to produce better food photos. Now that I have the right lens, I just have to learn how to adjust the apertures and ISOs. So, no new articles on my main blog yet.

Ruth Daniels said...

I love stir fried pasta, especially with prawns/shrimp and a little heat. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

Argus Lou said...

Dear Kenny, you're a sweetly complicated soul. ^_^ Homesick for the homesick old you indeed! Gluehwein is surprisingly alcohol-laden and not to be drunk on an empty tum. ;-)

Hi, Mrs HBT. Thanks for checking in on me. I know you're pretty busy what with Christmas being round the corner. Yes, those 'pasar malam' goodies are a nostalic taste memory. I look forward to your DSLR pics. ^_^

Hey there, Ruth. Thanks for visiting and for starting PPN, your mouth-watering brainchild. :)

Kak Teh said...

Argus, yes, I do use spaghetti too as my husband doesnt quite like the fresh yellow noodles because of the colouring. After sometime, you tend to accept that as the norm.

Even for laksa i'd use spaghetti.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

CKT styled spaghetti..hmmm truly fusion or confused or just plain home sick i suppose..

Argus Lou said...

Kak Teh, yes, I use the angel hair spaghetti in assam laksa if I've run out of rice noodles (bee hoon). The thicker pasta don't work as well because, well, they're too thick and heavy! :)

Yes, Joe, it's rather 'fusion'. But noodles are noodles, right? I don't get homesick because my home is where I set up house, but I do love the tastes of Malaysia.

Just me...Naz said...

With 3 kids (12.6.4), pasta is THE thing in this house. They love it. Me? Uff....
I senyum keluar pasta, i tidur mimpi pasta etc..haha!

Nice usual :)

Argus Lou said...

Naz, I take my hat off to you. Always admire women who handle children as well as cooking and other housework - not a moment to themselves, ya?

Mary said...

I love Asian noodle dishes. This looks especially tempting.

Argus Lou said...

Hi, Mary. Thanks! It is aromatic and tasty indeed.

My old living-room

My old living-room
In Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

A cherished dream

A cherished dream
To live on a pale beach by a crystal clear sea. (This was taken on the east coast of Johor state, Malaysia.)