A variety of dried noodles is available
in Asian stores and supermarkets, but fresh ones are quite different and
not that difficult to make. The freshly-made noodle sheets can be served
as a snack, drenched in sugar or honey, or dipped into a savoury sauce of
your choice. Otherwise, cut them into wide strips and gently stir-fry them
with garlic, ginger, chilies and nuoc mam or soy sauce.
Vegetable oil, plus extra for brushing silvers of red chili and fresh root
ginger, and fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, for garnishing (optional)
Place the flour in a bowl and stir in some
of the water to form a paste.
Pour in the rest of the water, beating it
to make a lump-free batter.
Add the salt and oil. Leave it to stand
for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, fill a wide pan with water. Cut
a piece of smooth cotton cloth a little larger than the diameter of the
pan. Stretch it over the top of the pan, pulling the edges tautly down
over the sides, then wind a piece of sting around the edge, to secure.
Using a sharp knife, make three small slits, about 2.5 cm from the edge
of the cloth, at regular intervals.
Bring the water to the boil. Stir the
batter and ladle 30-45 ml/2-3 tablespoons on to the cloth. (If it
doesn't peel off easily, you may need to steam it a little longer).
Transfer the noodle sheet to a lightly oiled baking tray, brush lightly
with oil, and cook the remaining batter in the same way. From time to
time, you may need to top up the water through one of the slits and
tighten the cloth again.