Monday, July 23, 2012

Wonton Noodles (Wantan Mee)



I am pleased (and utterly thrilled!) to announce that I am doing a guest post for Rasa Malaysia today. Ever since I got that email from Bee a couple of weeks ago, I have been looking forward to this, plus I have also been feeding my family with loads of wonton noodles over the last two weekends. Thankfully (for all of us), my second attempt at perfecting the recipe was a success and I was really happy with how it turned out. I have to say my favourite part of the dish is the pickled green chillies because that's how I remember enjoying these noodles back in Malaysia. If you prefer to omit these chillies, try mixing the noodles through with Sriracha chilli sauce instead. Sriracha has a tangy zing and bite that lifts the flavours of the noodles and gives a subtle kick of heat to the dish. Do check out my Wonton Noodles guest post at Rasa Malaysia!

Wonton Noodles are known in Chinese dialect as "Wantan Mee", as the locals would call it. I'm guessing that most of you would be more familiar with the version you get at Hong Kong-style eateries where the noodles don't look as dark (in all fairness) as the one you see here. This version of " Wantan mee with black sauce" is typically found in KL and the northern part of West Malaysia. My favourite has to be the one from Pun Chun Noodle House in Bidor and there's just something about it (other than MSG) that makes it taste so insanely good. It's been years since I last had a meal there, and when I think of Wantan Mee, the Bidor version comes to mind immediately.




In Malaysia, the basic Wonton Noodles are usually egg noodles tossed in a sauce, topped with Char Siu (Bbq pork), wontons, choy sum and pickled green chillies. I should emphasize that the pickled green chillies are as essential to this dish as are the rest of the ingredients to achieve that authentic balance, and they are really easy to prepare too. In fact, if you just use store-bought Char Siu (or even wontons too), making this dish is really easy. Just make sure that you get good quality fresh egg noodles (not too thin) and your favourite brand of ready-made wonton skins.

Wonton Noodles (Wantan Mee)
(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

400g (14 oz) fresh wonton noodles (egg noodles)
1/2 bunch choy sum, washed and cut into 2 inch lengths
Vegetable oil

Toppings, to serve:
Approx 300g (10 oz) char siu pork, thinly sliced into bite-sized pieces
16-20 wontons (use pre-made frozen wontons, or see below for Wonton recipe)*
Pickled green chillies (see below for recipe)**
Ground white pepper
Sriracha chilli sauce, to serve (Recommended!)

A. Seasoning Sauce (per serving of noodles), mixed well:

1 tbsp thick dark soy sauce (Cheong Chan brand thick caramel)
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1/8 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp sugar
Dash of Golden Mountain sauce (optional)

B. Mushroom Sauce:

5-6 Chinese dried black mushrooms, stems removed
1 cup warm water
2 cloves garlic, lightly crushed with the back of a knife
1 1/2 cups water
1 tsp chicken stock powder
1 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp mushroom flavoured soy (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 tbsp water

C. Lard or Garlic oil:

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped (alternatively, use diced pork lard/fat)
3 tbsp vegetable oil

Method:

Prepare Mushroom Sauce (B):
Soak mushrooms in 1 cup warm water until softened. Squeeze out excess water from mushrooms, set aside, and reserve the soaking liquid for later. Slice the mushrooms if desired. Heat up 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil in a small saucepan. Fry the garlic and mushrooms for 1 minute. Then add the rest of the ingredients and reserved soaking liquid, except for the cornstarch solution. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add cornstarch solution and stir until the sauce boils and thickens slightly. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired. Turn off the heat, cover the saucepan and set aside.

Prepare Lard or Garlic oil (C):
Heat the oil in a pan and fry the lard or garlic (whichever you prefer) over low-medium heat until it starts to turn lightly golden in colour and crisp. Transfer immediately to a heat proof bowl and set aside.

When ready to serve, follow the steps below:

1. Cook vegetables:
Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add 1 tbsp vegetable oil and a pinch of salt and sugar. Blanch the choy sum stems first, followed by the leaves. Remove, drain and set aside.

2. Cook wontons:
Boil water in pot and cook the wontons in batches for about 1-2 minutes until cooked. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pot. Drain and set aside. Alternatively, add them to some prepared chicken broth and garnish with spring onions.

3. Prepare noodles:
In a shallow serving bowl, place 1 serve of the seasoning sauce (A) and lard/garlic oil (C).

With the same boiling water used for blanching the vegetables, bring it to a rolling boil, and cook 1 bundle (100g / 3oz) of noodles for about 30 seconds or until done to your liking. Use a large sieve to drain the noodles and run it under cold running tap water for 5 seconds, then dip the noodles in the boiling water again just to warm it up. Transfer the noodles into the serving bowl and toss them in the seasoning sauce. Add 6 tbsp of the mushroom sauce (B) and toss again. Add a dash of white pepper.

Garnish the noodles with choy sum, wontons and sliced char siu pork. Serve immediately wth pickled green chillies and a bowl of wonton soup. If you like it spicy, mix the noodles with some Sriracha chilli sauce. Enjoy!

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Pickled green chillies Recipe **

5-6 long green chillies, sliced thinly
Boiling water
2/3 cup Chinese white rice vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
2-3 tbsp sugar

Method:

Combine vinegar, salt and sugar in a bowl and mix well to dissolve. Taste and adjust salt/sugar if desired. Place sliced chillies in another bowl and pour boiling water over them. Let it stand for 30 seconds, and then drain off the water. Pour the vinegar solution over the chillies, ensuring the chillies are completely covered. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours until chillies turn into an olive-green colour.


Wonton Recipe*

1 packet square wonton wrappers (about 40 sheets)
150g (5 oz) pork mince
150g (5 oz) prawn meat
1 tbsp egg white
1 tsp grated ginger
2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp chicken stock powder
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp pepper

Method:

Combine all ingredients for pork mince (except wrappers) and mix well. Place a teaspoon of the mixture in the middle of each wonton wrapper, and then lightly moisten the edges of the wrapper with water. Seal the edges to form a triangle shape, then press the edges to thin out the dough. Bring the corners together and squeeze to form a "money bag". Repeat with the rest of the wrappers. Set aside on a plate until ready to cook.



20 comments:

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

Wow! your wanton mee look better than outside one, give me one plate right now, it look super tempting and yummy!

Yummy Bakes said...

Your wanton mee looks like those sold outside. Can I have a plate, more chillies, please. Love the char siew too - can't see any fats! :)

Mel said...

So beautiful and professional done your wanton noodle. So much to learn from you. I like to eat wanton noodles a little wet with sauce just like yours! Just perfect for me.

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Congrats Fern! I can feel your excitement even here. :D This is a perfect photo and it's making everyone hungry! So delicious!

Fern @ To Food With Love said...

@Sonia: Thanks, I'll send a plate over by DHL!
@Yummy Bakes: I like more chillies too! The charsiew in Sydney is usually quite lean, not like the ones in Malaysia :p
@Mel: Yes, saucy noodles :p
@Nami: Thanks. Haven't had such excitement in a while...haha :p

love2dine said...

that is a nice bowl of wanton noodles. yummy!

Shirley said...

This brings back such memories! My parents (who are from Malaysia and Singapore) used to order this often for me when I was a kid in New York's Chinatown. Looking forward to exploring the other recipes on your blog!

Jen @ Savory Simple said...

These look wonderful! I've never tried homemade wontons before.

ChichaJo said...

So glad to have found your blog through Rasa Malaysia! Such deliciousness! I will be back for more :)

Debs @ The Spanish Wok said...

This is on the menu for next week, can't wait & congrats on your guest posting.

Now following you and looking forward to all the delicious dishes.

Fern @ To Food With Love said...

@Debs: Thanks! Happy to have a new fan!

shirley@køkken said...

Perfect timing! I have always wanted to try to make Wanton Mee - old fashioned style. You've provided exactly the recipe I have been looking for! Thanks for sharing, Fern!

Fern @ To Food With Love said...

@Shirley: Hope you get to try it one day :)

Anonymous said...

In Aus can you recommend a brand of noodles to use for this ? Commercial aus or easily found at Asian grocery? cheers!!

Fern @ To Food With Love said...

I bought my noodles from the Asian supermarket in the refrigerator section. It comes in a 400g pack with 4 bundles of noodles, but I can't remember the brand. The noodles shouldn't be too skinny though. I haven't come across many brands, but if you have to choose, find one where the noodles are not too skinny :-)

mycookinghut said...

Very appetising looking wan tan mee!

Tash said...

Thank you so much for your detailed recipe! It's a little taste of home. My boyfriend keeps asking me to make it again - it's that good!

Bibs @ Tasteometer said...

OMG I so want to try this. Looks a lot of work but delicious no doubt. Just back from a shopping trip to UK and bought Sriracha for first time so must start using it.

Well done on your guest posting.

Zack said...

Fern, do you know how to make the orangey coloured sauce some hawkers used for their wonton noodles?

Fern @ To Food With Love said...

Hi Zack,
Don't know how they make it. But if you mix in some sriracha sauce to the noodles, it gives it a nice tangy and spicy flavour.