Tuesday, September 17, 2013

KL Chilli Pan Mee

Our palate can sometimes be unreasonably picky and weird.  For the past three weeks (just imagine, 3 WEEKS!) I have had a dire crave for Chilli Pan Mee.  It just happens for NO REASON!  Weird!  Almost twice a week I would have to please my palate with pan mee.  Well, yesterday I finally drew the curtain on.  I walloped two bowls of pan mee in a day - one at lunch and one at dinner.  That somehow cloyed my appetite and it was the last straw - it's time I call it quit!  No more pan mee for 1 month...or 2 weeks...or perhaps 5 days?? Well.......you see!  Weird!

I first had my chilli pan mee about three years back in this restaurant here, called Restoran Super Kitchen Chilli Pan Mee in Taipan, USJ, thanks to my eldest sister, Iris for bringing me there.  I would say it wasn't a love-at-first-sight kind of encounter.  It took me quite a while, after about 2-3 visits to this restaurant before I acquired the taste and eventually lurved this KL-born treat.  It was entirely different for my son where the taste almost instantly hit him and bingo, loved it!  

In Malacca, pan mee is not really that popular, well I can say not popular AT ALL!  It's normally called mee hoon kueh or in my Baba-nyonya language, kueh cubit-cubit (sorry if I'm wrong but my family has been calling it by that name ever since).  The shape is different in that the noodle is torn apart (from the dough), flatten and stretched to the desired thickness with the fingers. That's the reason some call it hand-torn noodles.  As a matter of fact, KL pan mee is seriously gaining its following here in Malacca.  Stalls selling pan mee are mushrooming steadily in food courts.  Whatever it is, KL's pan mee still fares better in taste.  But one thing the both have in common and I believe many would agree with me - eating pan mee can really be addictive! 

Well, let's come back to my experience in making my own pan mee.  To put it simply, the experience was frighteningly laborious!  The next time, I would rather buy it outside!  I spent the whole morning making just three bowls.  Making the chilli paste took me about 1 hour.  Making the dough including letting it set in the fridge was another 45 mins.  Making the minced meat ingredient stole another 45 mins.  Making the soup and poaching the eggs took another 30 mins.  And the worst part was making the noodles (I manually handmade them, strand by strand), 1 more hour.  Luckily, assembling everything was just a miniscule 5 mins.  And luckily also, it was for my wife and children.  Had it for other people, I would have cursed and sworn! 

Generally, I am quite satisfied with what came out.  Although the work was painstakingly time-consuming, the satisfaction eating what you have laboured for hours made all the efforts paid off.  What excites me when eating pan mee is when I puncture the egg yolk and mix everything together.  Looking at how the runny egg yolk oozes out and blends with the other condiments and eventually makes up the sauce just fires the taste buds and salivates the mouth.  Aarhh, heavenly! 

Now, here's the recipe:

The Recipe:
(Serves 4)
(I adapted from Swee San from The Sweet Spot)

A) Dry Chilli Paste
      2 handful of Dried Chillies, soaked
      2 Fresh red chillies
      2 Fresh Chilli Padies (or more if you want even more
         kick) - I omitted this
      1 palm of Dried Shrimp
      5 Shallots or 2 Medium Onions
      4 tablespoons of Oil

      Blend the ingredients, you might need to add a little
      bit of oil to help the blender

      Then transfer into a pan on low heat, fry slowly until
      dry and golden brown. 

      Make sure you keep a close watch over it and stir it
      quite often so it doesn’t burn. This takes about
      30 mins. 

      Once completed, set aside to cool.

B) The Noodles
     500g bread flour
     480ml water
     Pinch of salt

     Mix flour, salt and water together in a mixer with 
     a dough attachment and knead for 5 minutes. 
     Cover in cling film and let it rest for 30 minutes.  
     I kneaded it manually by hand. 

     Cut into 4 portions. Roll out on pasta machine. 
     You can use the thin or thick setting, or cut by hand.

C) The Minced Pork
  • 300g of minced pork
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp light soya sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soya sauce
  • Dash of salt
  • Dash of pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • ¼ cup water
  1. Marinate minced pork with all the sauce.
  2. On a pan, fry garlic in oil. Add in the minced pork and cook. Add salt and pepper.
  3. Add water or stock and let it cook till the sauce simmers down
D) The Soup
  • 1L water
  • 1 handful of anchovies
  • Salt & pepper
  • Manicai or baby spinach
  1. Boil water and anchovies in a pot. You can add in stock cubes if you want. Season.
  2. As for manicai (pucuk manis) or spinach, you can blanch it before serving.
E) Assembly
  • Poached Egg
  • Fried Anchovies
  • Coriander leaves
  1. Wash anchovies, dry it well, then fry it. This can be made in advance.
  2. Poach egg, scoop out and set aside.
  3. Cook noodles in the same pot of water till its springy and floats on top.
  4. So first, add noodles. Add 1 tbsp chili (or more), minced meat, fried anchovies, poached eggs and sprinkle some coriander leaves on top.

Happy trying!!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kuan Yoon, thank for sharing the recipe, look so mouth watering. You sure can cook and bake very well. :)