How To Cook Vegan Kolo Mee (Sarawak Noodles)

In the final episode of Street Food Journeys: Malaysia, we turned our focus to Sarawak, Malaysia’s biggest state, which is located on the island of Borneo. Sarawak is famous for Laksa Sarawak but since we’d already covered how to cook Vegan Laksa Sarawak in Series 1 thanks to Vegan Chef Dave, we turned our focus instead on another iconic Sarawak dish, Kolo Mee.

Kolo Mee (which is derived from what we know as “kon loh mein” on the Malaysian peninsula), is a springy egg noodle dish typically served dry-style with minced pork and char siew (barbecued pork). Since I don’t eat pork, I have to admit to never having eaten Kolo Mee (though I hear the Malays make a non-pork version, which I’ll definitely have to check out next time I’m there).

This is my take on how to turn Kolo Mee into a vegan dish, using vegan mince and vegan char siew. I didn’t mention in my previous vegan recipe posts, but in this series of Street Food Journeys you’ll find that I’ve steered away from using processed meat substitutes but rather, deployed vegetables and tofu as my protein sources. Just as an FYI, whichever side of the fence you sit on where it comes to this sort of stuff.

Watch the replay of Street Food Journeys: Malaysia Plant-Based Edition (Sarawk) here; my Vegan Kolo Mee segment is at the 1:30 mark thereabouts onwards >>

Vegan Kolo Mee (Sarawak Dry-Style Noodles)


400g thin wheat noodles
1 cup Chinese greens, cut into 2-inch lengths
Water for boiling
Garnishes (optional):
Crispy fried shallots
Crispy fried garlic
Spring onion, sliced
Sesame oil
Char Siew (Barbecued “Meat”):
1 1⁄2 cups king oyster mushroom stems
1 TBSP hoisin sauce
4 TBSP sugar
2 cups water
1 tsp mushroom seasoning
2 tsp soya sauce
A couple of dashes of red food colouring
2 cups mushroom stems, finely diced
1⁄2 cup tofu puffs, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1⁄3 onion, minced
1 TBSP thick soya sauce
1 TBSP thin soya sauce
1⁄2 TBSP mushroom seasoning
2 TBSP Shaoxing rice wine (optional)
4 TBSP water
1 tsp white pepper
1⁄3 cup oil


  1. First, make the “char siew” by combining all ingredients in a saucepan. Simmer on low heat until mushroom stems are cooked through, adding more water if necessary to prevent drying. Set aside and allow to cool.
  2. To make the mince, heat oil in pan, then add garlic and onion and fry until aromatic and lightly browned.
  3. Add mushrooms and tofu puffs and saute a further minute.
  4. Add the rice wine if using, sizzle, then add all other ingredients and cook until well-mixed. Set aside.
  5. Bring some water to a boil in a saucepan, then cook noodles per manufacturer instructions; remove.
  6. Poach the vegetable stems followed by the leaves – cooking time varies depending on type, but it should not take more than 30 seconds.
  7. Remove and arrange on plate with noodles.
  8. Top with mince, sliced char siew, and garnishes; serve.

This episode of Street Food Journeys: Malaysia Plant-Based Edition (Sarawak) also features:

  • how to make Vegan Kompia (Sarawak bagels with a vegan mince filling) by yours truly
  • how to make Vegan Roti Canai by Elias Morad

The recipes for the entire series, produced in partnership with Tourism Malaysia Australia, can be found in the special edition MOMC eMagazine which you can download here >> Click to View or Download

Sign up to our email list so you don’t miss a single issue of our MOMC free recipe eMagazines >>

Share and Enjoy !