How to Make KL Hokkien Mee With Homemade Noodles

On my most recent trip to Kuala Lumpur, I was reintroduced to a childhood favourite known in my hometown of Seremban simply as Hokkien Mee (Hokkien noodles). I bought it from a stall in Ampang run by Feh Loh (literally “Fat Guy” in Cantonese – that was what he called himself, I promise), asked for it to be made with no pork, and it ended up being the highlight of the KL Makan (Culinary) Mastermind where I took it to be judged that evening.

That experience taught me two things – 1) it reaffirmed my belief that Chinese hawker food can taste fabulous even without the use of pork (none of my pork-loving foodie friends realised it was pork-free) 2) I can simplify my own Hokkien Mee recipe by cutting out the oyster sauce, which was notably absent in Feh Loh’s cooking.

By the way, it wasn’t until sometime in my adulthood that I found out that Hokkien Mee means different things depending on which end of the Malaysian peninsula you hail from; in Singapore it refers to a pale-coloured, braised vermicelli plus egg noodle dish, and in Penang it means what we Southerners refer to as Har Meen, ie. soupy prawn noodles. (One day I should probably publish an encyclopedia of conflicting Malaysian food names and recipes and make it required reading for self-appointed food critics.)

Anyway, since then I’ve had to call it KL Hokkien Mee to distinguish it from all the other Hokkien Mees out in the culinary landscape.

KL Hokkien Mee is a dark-coloured, braised egg noodle dish, and most purists will tell you that the egg noodles used in it are not quite the same as what’s sold as “Hokkien noodles” (those yellow egg noodles you see everywhere) here in Australia. Some people think udon is a better match because it’s softer and chewier than Hokkien noodles, but store-bought udon noodles are a bit too thick in my opinion, hence why I like to make my own from scratch.

In this Live Asian Kitchen broadcast, I happened to be testing out my new kitchen toy, ie. an electric pasta machine, so I figured it’d be a good opportunity to try making these noodles in it. My past efforts had required cutting the noodles by hand, so using the machine helped speed up the process, even if the noodles came out thinner thanks to the mould.

Watch the noodles being made here, followed by the KL Hokkien noodle dish >>

Watch Highlight: Making & Cooking Homemade Wheat Noodles from JackieMFood on www.twitch.tv

Free Cooking Lessons at www.JackieM.Live

Homemade Wheat Noodles

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups plain flour

2 ½ cups tapioca starch

3 tsps salt

1 ¾ cups water

Pot of salted water for boiling the noodles

Large bowl of cold water

Either –

Dough mixer + rolling pin/pasta roller + knife

Dough mixer + potato ricer

Electric pasta machine

METHOD:

  1. Combine plain flour and tapioca flour in pasta machine or dough mixer; add water, then knead.
  2. Roll out and cut noodles, or feed through potato ricer or pasta machine mould.
  3. Bring pot of water to a boil.
  4. Cook noodles until they are slightly translucent and start to float to the surface.
  5. Transfer into bowl of cold water, then remove and it’s ready for use.

KL Hokkien Mee

INGREDIENTS:

4 prawns, peeled

4 slices fishcake

2 pieces squid

2 slices chicken

1 TBS minced garlic

250g wheat noodles

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

Seasoning:

2 TBS cooking caramel (aka thick soy – I use Cheong Chan)

1 tsp light soya sauce

200ml chicken stock or water

1/2 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp chicken stock granules

Dash of pepper

METHOD:

  1. Heat up a wok until it smokes, then add about 2 tablespoons of oil.
  2. Add garlic and saute briefly, then add prawns, fishcake, squid and chicken and cook for some 20 seconds.
  3. Add noodles and all seasoning ingredients.
  4. Simmer until thickened.
  5. Add Chinese greens and cook a further 30 seconds; adjust seasoning.
  6. Remove from heat and serve with fresh belacan (shrimp paste) sauce with calamansi lime.

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