Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Fried Mee Siam

Fried mee siam or rice vermicelli, together with apoh-apoh or curry puff, is an all time favourite among Malaysians, particularly as a breakfast and tea item. It is sometimes packed in banana leaves.

There used to be a Malay hawker who fried fantastic mee siam. His stall was at the present power sub-station between Jalan Mohd Akil and Jalan Sultanah. He was a plump, unsmiling man who looked upon frying his mee siam as an art. Those who wanted to eat or buy his mee siam would have to queue up patiently. He would start selling at 7.00 in the morning and close his stall by about 10.00 in the morning. He was never in a hurry even though several customers had surrounded his stall waiting for his mee siam. Each wok of mee siam was fried to his satisfaction on fire from cut wood. We did not obtain the recipe from him; by trial and error we managed to approximate that level of deliciousness. He had since passed on from a heart attack.

Some of the ingredients for frying mee siam

Pounded dried shrimps

Peeled shallots and garlic to be pounded

A mortar and pestle for pounding the dried shrimps and shallots and garlic

Bean sprouts

Chives soaked in water

chopped chives

Yeo's bean paste and chili paste

Dried assam juice or tamarind juice

Soaked mee siam or rice vermicelli

Frying the pounded shallots and garlic

Frying the pounded shrimps, bean paste and chili paste together with the shallots and garlic and assam juice until golden brown

Adding the soaked mee siam

Adding bean sprouts

The last to be added are the chopped chives

The mee siam is fried to a consistent dryness. You could of course add fresh shrimps or squids, but then it is the plain mee siam that tastes the best

To recap, the ingredients:

  • Pounded dried shrimps
  • Pounded shallots and garlic
  • Soaked mee siam
  • Chili paste
  • Assam juice
  • Salted bean paste
  • Bean sprouts
  • chives

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