Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Handmade noodles (Mee Hoon Kuay/Ban Mian)

After I returned from my vacation in Singapore, I realised that I had eaten almost everything I planned to eat there except for one thing - Mee Hoon Kuay, which literally means Wheat Flour Cake, but then we all know that often enough, literal translations from a foreign language (especially Asian languages) to English usually spells disaster and confusion. The dish actually comprises hand-made flour noodles (similar to fresh pasta, but uses less eggs) served in a broth usually made from ikan bilis (dried anchovies) and topped with crispy ikan bilis, meat, leafy vegetables and a poached egg. It also comes with a chilli sauce that you can dip the meat into or spoon into the soup.

Okay, just writing about this is making me drool.

Mee Hoon Kuay is thin, soft and silky smooth. Slurp slurp!

This is not one of those hard-core lard-laden high-cholesterol street/hawker food that regularly appears in articles on Singapore's top die-die-must-try or if-don't-eat-you-regret foods. It's a simple and relatively healthy dish that I reckon appeals more to the female population (in Singapore), and not so much to the meat-loving masses. I recall eating this occasionally at the hawker centre after work, dressed in my suit, hovering over this steaming hot bowl of noodles, trying to enjoy it while wiping away beads of perspiration caused by the steam and the unforgiving tropical heat. I'd be tearing (my eyes perspiring) along, satisfied nonetheless but wishing I could have a blast of cool air-conditioning to end an almost perfect meal.
 
Ban Mian in broth with crispy ikan bilis, pork balls, cai xin, fried shallots and a poached egg
To recreate the dish that I haven't had in so many years, I made my own mee hoon kuay and ban mian. Making your own noodles can be fun! Most of the recipes that I gathered used pretty much the same ingredients, and it's quite easy to prepare. The only "strenuous" bit is in kneading the dough. I seldom bake bread, so I'm not an experienced kneader. It took me about 10 minutes to get the dough to the right consistency and texture before I let it rest for an hour. Funnily, the next morning, I woke up with a very sore and stiff neck and shoulder, as a result of an overzealous attempt to knead the dough with all my might. Perhaps next time, it would be a good idea for me to do some stretching exercises before I start doing any kneading.

 
 

9 comments:

~Vlafour~ said...

hi there... i've been reading your blog quite often recently when i was looking for recipes of singaporean/malaysian foods. i really love the posts and the recipes. i want to make some of them since they are my fave foods when i was living in singapore. i suppose to satisfy my craving over them :) thanks for sharing the recipes...

To Food With Love said...

Thanks Vlaflour! Happy to hear that you follow my blog. Love your webpage too and the photos look sensational!

kaye baring said...

Thanks to this recipe, i hope that you wont mind i paste a copy of the recipe and the photo...it's already a year i have'nt come to visit back to SG. And this is the one i missed soo much especially my 2girls....love evrything in this food...

Fern @ To Food With Love said...

@kaye: Try it out and let me know how it turns out :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, just made this it is SO good, tastes exactly as it does in Singapore! and easy to make...thanks for the recipe :)

Fern @ To Food With Love said...

That's awesome! So glad you liked it. Thanks for trying it out :)

Jolene said...

Thank you for writing this post... Recently, I have moved from home to abroad. I miss my meehoonkuay a lot.

Your recipe took me aback! It looks simple, can't wait to try it!

Thanks again for sharing :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, your link to the recipe is not there.
Can you relink it please.

THANKS!

Fern @ To Food With Love said...

Hi Anonymous,
Link has been fixed. Thanks!