Mee siam, which means “Siamese noodle”, is a dish of thin rice noodles (vermicelli) in spicy, sweet and sour light gravy with various toppings such as shrimp, chicken, fried firm tofu, and shredded omelet. It is usually served with a piece of lime and sambal. It is one of the popular one-dish meals in Singapore and Malaysia. There is also a “dry” version, which is essentially stir frying the rice noodles with the same spices used in the “gravy” version.
The flavour of this dish are made through dried shrimp, preserved soy beans, tamarind paste and spices. Do note that the ingredients may vary from region to region; however, you can be assured that this dish is a mixture of sweet, savoury, spicy and sour-ish. I added kefir lime leaves at the end to add the lime hint to it.
If you were to make the paste from scratch, you may need dried shrimp, garlic, chilli, shrimp paste, tamarind and soy bean pastes, and shallots for the stock. However, for this recipe, I am using the Little Nonya Mee Siam paste. Simple, tastes authentic and with minimal preparation time.
According to the instructions on the package, it says add water to the paste and it is good enough to go. It is that simple. However, I want the flavour to be more authentic. First, I will fry the paste for 1-2 minutes on medium heat, then add the bee hoon (rice noodles) into the paste, fry for 1 minute on medium heat, gradually adding the prawn stock to soften the noodles.
If you want to try this dish, you can head over to the shop.
Also I will be sending you kaffir lime leaves with any mee siam paste you order.
Enjoy this dish if you are cooking it and let me know how you go. Share your finished product on our Facebook page.
OK, here are the additional ingredients that you need for this recipe:
2-3 Tbsp cooking oil
1/2 packet Little Nonya Mee Siam paste
1 cup of water – for steaming prawns – I am using the prawn stock to add to the flavour.
1.5 nest dried bee hoon (dried rice noodles) – soak in warm water for until soft
3 Kaffir lime leaves – julienned – to be mixed with noodles.
15 medium size uncooked prawns.
1 large bowl of bean sprouts
1 litre of water for blanching bean shoots
2 eggs – whisked with 1 tsp soy sauce to make egg crepe for garnishing
1-2 lime – cut into wedges
Spring onion – cut into 1-2 cm strips
1 chilli – sliced finely for garnishing
Hard tofu – cut into 1 cm wide and 3 cm in length strips, and pan fried until golden brown.
- Soak bee hoon in warm water for about 10 minutes or until quite soft (not soggy). Make sure the water covers the bee hoon.
- Boil 1 cup of water; once the water is boiled, steam the prawns for 5 minutes. Retain the water as we need the water for the noodles later. Remove the prawns, shelled and deveined, and put them aside.
- Boil 1 litre water; once boiled, blanch the bean shoots for 5-10 seconds (until slightly cooked but still retain the crunchiness). Put aside.
- Add 1 tsp cooking oil in the wok/pan; once the oil is heated, pour the whisked egg and spread evenly on the wok/pan until cooked. Remove from pan, allow to cool and sliced thinly.
- Heat the remaining oil on wok; once the oil is heated, fry the paste on medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Gradually add the rice noodles into the paste and stir fry.
- Gradually add the prawn stock to moisten the noodles while frying (and avoid noodles sticking onto the pan).
- Add bean sprouts and continue frying the noodles.
- When it is ready to serve, add finely chopped kaffir lime leaves and stir well. Note: I add kaffir lime leaves in because I feel that the lime leaves will bring up the flavour more; however, this is optional.
- Plate the noodle and garnish with prawns, bean shoots, fried tofu, lime, chilli and egg.
Number of people: 3
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
I prefer the noodles to have stronger “prawn” flavour, so while frying the bee hoon into the paste, add prawn stock rather than water.
Instructions for preparing the noodles:
Rice Noodles – Place the dried rice noodles in a heat proof container or pot, and boil 1 litre water. Once it is boiled, pour over the rice noodles and let them soak until they softens or until you are ready to cook it.
One person serving
When you are ready to eat – Boil 1 – 2 litre water. Once the water is boiled, add egg and rice noodles together with bean sprouts in the noodle ladle, and cook it in the boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Keep tossing until all ingredients are cooked evenly.
Pour the noodles and bean sprouts into a bowl, followed by pouring boiling hot stock onto the noodles. Use your ladle to hold onto noodles, and from the bowl pour back the stock to the pot. Repeat this process once or twice to make sure the noodles are ready. This is to make sure that your noodles are piping hot when serving. Garnish with bean curd puff, chicken and prawns.
Final note – home cooking is not hard, even if you are living far away from home or just wanting to learn about Malaysian dishes. You just need to take the first step, and start with something very simple and doable. Make everything you do in life fun and enjoyable, and make home cooking a norm in your life!
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