Chili Pan MeeBy Mable Tan • Jun 16th, 2011 • Category: From My Mother's Kitchen
The power of suggestion should never be underestimated. This dish was inspired by a friend’s continuous post on Facebook about her obsession for chili pan mee. Although I have never tasted the spicy version, I know the original flavour well enough. Pan mee is a fresh noodle dish in Malaysia. In Hokkien, we call it, mee hoon kueh and I love the rustic style of pinching the noodle dough and cooking it in boiling water. It’s served either in clear anchovy broth or dark caramel soy sauce with fried anchovies (ikan bilis), minced pork and Chinese mushrooms.
But because my brain has been wired to want chili pan mee, I arduously searched for the recipe. Now, I don’t know about you, but I cook by sensory memory. I recall the flavours of a dish and I try to cook it accordingly by adapting and matching the flavours I know by memory. But since I’ve never eaten this dish before, I have no memory file to know what it tastes like. Basically, I’m flying blind here. Even though I did find the recipe, I changed it to match something my mother made quite regularly.
In the end, I ended up making a spicy sweet dried shrimp sambal (sambal hebi) as topping and marry it with the dry-style pan mee. Verdict? Absolutely Delicious. But next time, I’m going to remove the seeds from the dried chili first. Gawd, it’s lethal! My friends and I finished 4 cartons of milk in one day just from the heat of the sambal.
1. Freshly made pan mee 2. Minced pork 3. Anchovy soup with vegetables 4. Dried shrimp sambal 5. Fried anchovies
Dried Chili Shrimp Paste
- 1 1/2 cup of dried chillies (deseeded and soaked)
- 2 fresh red chillies (deseeded)
- 3/4 cup dried shrimp
- 5 shallots or 1 large onion
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 3 tbsp of sugar
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
Blend the ingredients into a paste then in a wok of oil (and medium-low heat), stir-fry the paste for at least 30 – 40 mins until dry and dark red. It’s essential to keep stirring so the chilies do not burn.
To make the fresh pasta/ noodles, combine 500 gm all purpose flour, 2 large eggs, 150 ml water (extra if necessary), 1/2 tbsp of vegetable oil (optional) and a pinch of salt. Knead dough until well-combined and dough doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl. Cover with wet cloth or paper towel, allow dough to rest for 30 – 45 minutes.
Boil a large pot of water and add drops of oil and a generous pinch of salt. If you have a pasta maker, you can use that to cut the noodles or, to get everyone involved, have everyone (with clean hands) grab a piece of dough. Start pinching and flattening dough between thumb and finger to make flat, irregular shaped noodles then drop it into the pot of boiling water. When the noodle floats, it’s cooked.
To make the anchovy soup, boil 5 liters of water and add freshly washed anchovies. Cook for 30 minutes. Discard anchovies from the soup. Add in anchovies cubes and simmer for another 10 minutes. Add green vegetables and simmer for about 4 – 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low.
For the minced pork, marinate the pork with salt, sugar, pepper and corn flour for 15 minutes. Then in a heated pan, add oil and fry the minced meat. Stir fry till cooked, add in 1 tbsp of dark soy sauce and 1 tbsp of oyster sauce. Stir till blended, add salt and pepper to taste.
If you’re having the noodles dry, here’s the dark caramelized soy sauce to go with it. Mix 1 tbsp of oyster sauce, 1/2 tbsp of dark soy sauce, 1 tbsp of sugar, 1 tsp of salt, 3 tbsp of garlic oil, 2 tsp of sesame oil. Add to the cooked noodles. Serve with minced pork, fried anchovies, fried garlic and dried shrimp sambal.
Here’s a few more pictures of Linköping in summer time:
We’re just in time for the bloom of the beautiful peonies, and Mr. Wabbit …
I’m going to miss this place and my new friends very, very, very much when we have to go. I’m so lucky and grateful to have this opportunity to be here and meet all these gorgeous, happy people. So while I’m still here, I’m going to make full use of my time in this beautiful city, have fika with my friends and bond with nature.