1/11/2010

Nonya Mee Siam (Dry mee siam)

I was in a hurry to take the photo and get down to eating as soon as possible so this photo kinda doesn't do the actual dish justice...




This is the rempah that you can prepare and keep in the fridge for later use.


This is one of my favourite dishes! I remember cooking this dish when I was pregnant with Alicia coz I had a super strong craving for it. Thank goodness I can cook! Again, just like some of the other dishes that I've blogged about so far, this was first introduced to me by my mother-in-law. It's really great that I've got a mummy and a mother-in-law who happen to be great cooks coz I get to eat nice food and I also get to know a repertoire of dishes, of which I have learnt to cook some - though not necessarily from them. I usually do some research about the dishes I cook and I will think through the dishes myself and work out my own methods, according to my own logic and knowledge about cooking. To me, that's what enjoying cooking is about - it starts from the moment I start visualising the process of cooking!


Anyway, this dish is a nonya dish and hence it's called nonya mee siam. Unlike the other type of mee siam which has gravy, this one is dry. Just in case you're wondering whether I'm Peranakan, well, yes, I am half-Peranakan coz my dad's side of the family is Peranakan. Unfortunately, my paternal grandma wasn't into cooking so none of the delish nonya cuisine recipes were ever passed down to my mum. It is ironic that the recipe of this dish was given to me by my mother-in-law who's Hokkien - and by the way, I'm Teochew. :D That makes me a Teochew Peranakan... or is it a Peranakan Teochew? Anyway, I always tell my hubby that I feel like a Little Nonya when I'm preparing and cooking this dish!
On to the more important stuff - the recipe. I modified my mil's recipe to suit my own tastebuds...
Nonya Mee Siam (yields 6 plates of mee siam)
Ingredients:
  • 1 packet of bee hoon
  • one bunch of Ku Chye (chives)
  • about 40-50cents of beansprouts (plucked)
  • 1/3 packet of assam mixed with a bowl of water
  • the juice of 20-22 small limes
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons blended tau jio (salted soy bean paste - I'm using Tiger brand)
  • tau pok or tau kwa (If using tau kwa, cut into small cubes and fry them first)
  • prawns - devein (optional)
  • eggs (optional)
Rempah (blend all of these):
  • 130g dried shrimps
  • 5 red chillies - deseeded
  • 30-40g (one handful) of dried chilli - deseeded
  • 1 bulb of garlic (about 7 cloves)
  • 20 shallots
Note: I remove the seeds from the chilli and dried chilli so that the chilli paste will be very smooth rather than full of seeds. I'm sure you don't want to be biting into chilli seeds all the time while eating the mee siam! For chillies, just cut them open and remove the seeds. For dried chilli, cut it into segments and scald in hot water. This is to clean the dried chilli and make it easier to blend. It also helps to remove some seeds. You will have to cut open the dried chilli to check if there are leftover seeds before blending - personally, removing the seeds of dried chilli is my most dreaded step for this dish! Wear gloves if you've got sensitive skin.
Method:
  1. Soak bee hoon in cold water for about half an hour. This will give the bee hoon a 'crunchier' texture. I find soaking bee hoon in hot water makes it too limp for my personal liking.
  2. If using tau kwa, cut it into small cubes and fry them till golden brown. Set aside.
  3. Blend all the ingredients of the rempah.
  4. Fry the blended dried shrimps first.
  5. Add in the rest of the ingredients of the rempah. Mix well. If not cooking the mee siam immediately, you can dish this out and let it cool before storing them in tupperwares in the fridge.
  6. If cooking the mee siam immediately, proceed to add in the tau jio.
  7. Pour in the assam water (remember to use a sieve).
  8. Pour in the lime juice and the sugar.
  9. Mix well, boil on high heat.
  10. Once it boils, add in the beansprouts, ku chye, tau pok (or cooked tau kwa) and prawns.
  11. Add in the bee hoon and mix all the ingredients well.
  12. Beat the eggs and make omelettes out of them. Slice the omelettes into strips.
  13. Garnish the nonya mee siam with the egg.

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