This is the dinner I intended to make!
KL-Style Hokkien Mee
Over a month ago, a bad batch of noodles ruined my last attempt at making KL (that’s Kuala Lumpur, in case you didn’t know)-Style Hokkien Mee. Since my Mum is here visiting with us, we decided to make it again, this time verifying that the noodles were good. Here is our successful attempt.
I need my noodles!
There are certain foods that I ate a lot of growing up. Noodles are one of them, in all their different styles. It’s the one thing I miss more than anything while living in San Jose. I have not yet been able to find really good noodles here. Some have been decent but none are as good as the ones I can find at home. It’s no wonder that when I get home, my eating wish-list always involves so many noodle dishes.
When I’m home in KL, there is one noodle dish that I truly enjoy (ok, maybe more like 3 or 4 noodle dishes but this one is top of the list). You know how in the past, I said I would not eat Char Koay Teow anywhere but in Penang. Well, this noodle dish I’m talking about today is one I won’t eat anywhere but in Kuala Lumpur. This is the dish that everyone equates with KL. Any true KL-ite will tell you that the dark, thickly coated, BLACK looking noodle dish, KL Hokkien Mee (not to be confused with Penang Hokkien Mee) is the one thing you have to try when you’re in KL.
I have discovered a fresh noodle that comes in a 2-lb package here in my Asian grocery store called “Taiwanese noodles” and it seems to work pretty well for this dish. What I like best about this particular noodle is that it doesn’t need blanching or boiling ahead therefore cutting my cook time by a lot and lessening my need to wash one more pot (very important when you have kids running around demanding your time).
Other noodles you can use as a substitute are udon noodles, or thin rice noodles (beehoon). They all work just as well. Not as good as the real thing but hey, these are all my “make-do” recipes. You’ll just have to make a trip to Malaysia to taste the real thing someday.
Another important ingredient in this noodle dish is the dark and thick soy sauce. I have not been able to find a really good brand here and so the closest I have come to finding one that works is the Koon Chun Thick Soy Sauce which you should be able to find at the Asian grocery store. I love this sauce as you can use it for many different dishes. You will find me using this in my Char Koay Teow, Bah Kut Teh, chicken and pork dishes and marinades. So buy it and come back to look for different ways to put this sauce to use.
KL-Style Hokkien Mee
adapted from “Cook Malaysian”
Prep Time: 15 minutes, Cook time: 15 minutes
6 tbsp oil (lard is better if you have it)
8 cloves garlic, minced (about 5 tbsp)
2 tbsp thick soy sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 ½ cups water
½ tsp ground white pepper
6 oz pork tenderloin, sliced (chicken can be used too)
6 oz medium-sized shrimp, shelled and deveined
6 oz fishballs (cut in half), optional
1 (1/2 lb) bunch of mustard greens (yu choy) or cabbage, washed and cut into 1 ½ inch lengths
- Mix black soy sauce, soy sauce, sugar and salt with the water.
- Heat oil in a wok or large frying pan and brown the garlic.
- Add the pork and fry for a minute till it is slightly cooked, then add the fishballs and shrimp. Fry for another minute until shrimp is partially cooked.
- Add the soy sauce mixture and bring to boil.
- Add mustard greens and cover pan to wilt the vegetable.
Pork, Fishballs, Shrimp and Veggies for KL-Style Hokkien Mee
- As soon as the greens have turned bright green, loosen noodles and add to the wok. Toss noodles around the sauce to coat noodles with sauce. Continue to turn noodles around until most of the sauce has been absorbed and noodles are looking dark and sauce has thickened. Add the white pepper and adjust seasonings.
- Serve with sambal belacan or sliced chillies.
KL-Style Hokkien Mee
Now that’s more like it! It’s still not as black or as thick as I I like it, but you can only do so much on an electric stovetop compared to a high-output gas burner. Anyhow, we all really enjoyed this dish.