How to Cook KL Hokkien Mee

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The great Malaysian north-south culinary divide comes into play with this dish, which I, as a Seremban-southerner grew up knowing simply as Hokkien Mee. It wasn’t until many years after leaving Malaysia that I was made aware that Hokkien Mee in KL-Seremban meant something quite different to Hokkien Mee in the northern state of Penang.

Moral of the story – even we Malaysians may not be completely well-versed in the regional differences of the cuisine of our country – so next time you smartassed self-appointed Malaysian food critics out there are tempted to write off a Malaysian eatery’s dish as being inauthentic, make sure you have in fact done your research 😉

Anyhow, here’s my Hangout On Air where I made 2 versions of this dish – one using store-bought wheat aka Hokkien aka egg noodles, and a second one using homemade Udon noodles.

The homemade udon recipe I found online; it’s always fun to make your own noodles but if you’re short on time, I have to admit I had no problems at all with the store-bought variety – I didn’t think it detracted from the taste of KL Hokkien Noodles (aka Mee) as I remember it as a kid.  For this reason and also the fact that you can easily locate the udon recipe elsewhere, I won’t regurgitate it here. I’m pretty sure I rattled through the recipe for it as I was making it in the video anyhow.

KL Hokkien Mee using store-bought wheat noodles

KL Hokkien Mee using store-bought wheat noodles

KL Hokkien Mee

4 prawns, peeled

4 slices fishcake

2 pieces squid

2 slices chicken

1 TBS minced garlic

250g thick Hokkien or Udon noodles

Some Chinese greens eg. Choy Sum (I used Baby Bok Choy because that’s what I had on hand)

1 TBS tapioca starch

2 TBS cold water

Seasoning –

2 TBS Thick Caramel Sauce (aka thick soy – I use Cheong Chan)

1 TBS light soya sauce

200ml chicken stock or water

1/2 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp chicken stock granules

Dash of pepper

 Steps

  1. Mix tapioca starch with cold water and set aside.
  2. Heat up a saucepan until smoking, then add about 2 tablespoons of oil and bring to smoking point.
  3. Add garlic, then noodles and fry briefly.  Add prawns, fishcake, squid and chicken and cook a further minute.
  4. Add seasoning ingredients and allow to simmer.  Adjust to taste.
  5. Add Chinese greens and cook a further 30 seconds.
  6. Add tapioca starch mixture (stir it again before use if it had settled in the meantime) and simmer until the sauce is thickened and noodles are coated with gravy.
  7. Remove from heat and serve with fresh belacan (shrimp paste) sauce with calamansi lime.

 

KL Hokkien Mee with Homemade Udon

KL Hokkien Mee with Homemade Udon

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