Seremban MFF: Hakka Mee

First recipe of the year! And what more appropriate (for the noodle monster in me) than a plate of sexy noodles simply tossed with some umami pork gravy, freshened up by spring onions and pickled green chili? That’s right, I’m talking about Hakka Mee. It’s Negeri Sembilan month for Malaysian Food Fest. If you would like to learn more about Negeri Sembilan and its delicious offerings, check out Hody’s very informative post.

Seremban is the capital of Negeri Sembilan, where Hakka Mee is said to have originated from. Even though I’ve never been there, I’ve had some pretty good Hakka Mee around KL. I’ve always preferred flat noodles to round so this is right up my alley. What’s the difference between the Teochew’s Bak Chor Mee (Mee Pok) and Hakka Mee, one might wonder. They both feature flat noodles and mince pork, but the main difference is in the seasoning: Hakka Mee is flavoured with fish sauce (clear) and garlic oil while Bak Chor Mee with black vinegar and soy sauce (dark) and pork lard (oil). Although in places out of Seremban, the sellers might stray slightly from the original recipe. Like Toast & Roast.

Hakka Mee from Toast and Roast, see that brown bits? Crispy Pork Lard!
Hakka Mee from Toast & Roast, see those brown bits? Crispy Pork Lard!

According to Baby Sumo, authentic Hakka Mee in Seremban goes without Pork Lard. In her recipe (and a few others) the oil was simply flavoured with garlic and mixed in a bit of sesame oil for that extra fragrance. Since I still have plenty of Mee Pok left, I decided to use them since they are almost the same except Mee Pok is slightly broader and perhaps just a little smoother in texture. I added some mushrooms too. Of course, this is MSG-free.

Homemade Hakka Mee, healthier option.
Homemade Hakka Mee: the healthier option.

For Pickled Green Chili Recipe, click here.

Recipe Adapted from Baby Sumo
2 pieces Flat noodles (You could use the Cintan brand, available in most local supermarkets)
2-3 pieces of Shitake Mushrooms, rehydrated and chopped
100g Minced pork
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp chicken stock seasoning
Enough water for the mince pork gravy (about 150ml)
A few drops of Sesame oil
Pickled Green Chillies
1-2 spring onion, finely chopped

1. Bring a pot of water to the boil, add a few drops of sesame oil, and cook the noodles for 3 minutes,or until al dente. Drain and divide into two bowls.

2. In a large wok, heat the oil (both types) over medium high heat. Add garlic to fry for a minute or so until aromatic. Add the minced pork and mushrooms to fry for 2 minutes, then add water, fish sauce, chicken stock seasoning and light soy sauce and allow to simmer over low heat for 8-10 minutes. Add a little more water if it’s starting to dry up.

3. To serve, top the noodles with the minced pork with gravy, and some spring onions. Serve immediately with pickled green chillies.

Just look at those glossy noodle strands, coated with pork gravy..... heavenly!
Just look at those glossy noodle strands, coated with pork gravy….. heavenly!

It’s amazing how such a simple noodles dish can taste so good. And contrary to what you might believe, it’s totally not bland at all. I generally like a lot of dark sauce on my noodles but this was equally as satisfying. Lighter, perhaps, considering the lack of Pork lard, but definitely no compromise on taste! To ‘upgrade’ this dish, you can also add some Char Siew and Bean Sprouts. Mmm. I want to eat this for the rest of the week.

I am submitting this post to Malaysia Food Fest, Negeri Sembilan month hosted by Hody of Cook 4 you & me.

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35 thoughts on “Seremban MFF: Hakka Mee

  1. If kampua, it’s the lard that gives it the fragrance. That is why the Malay stalls can never make good kampua. Probably the same in this case – must use lard. Tried Hakka mee in Seremban (above the market) – did not turn me on…but I had that at one place right here in Sibu and I liked it a lot. To each his own, I guess…

    1. Yeap, I’ve made Kampua with lard, and the Mee (Bak Chor Mee) as well with lard. It’s a different kind of aroma in Hakka Mee, and it’s not at all inferior I feel, just different. The one that I tried in PJ use lard though that’s why it reminded me a lot of Kampua.

    1. Really? I thought it was pork lard because of the taste, and the shape…. Didn’t taste like fish hmmm…. Ought to go back and try again. Anyway thanks for the recipe!

  2. Hi Kelly,

    Silly me that I can’t differentiate any differences in bar chor mee and Hakka mee. Now after reading your post, I prefer your healthier homemade version of Hakka mee. Yum!

    Zoe

  3. yum!! I like the Seremban hakka mee too cos the flavors are very comforting and simple… allowing the ingredients to shine. Never thought to add mushrooms.. I ll keep that in mind.

    I make my mother-in-law version of Hakka mee with salted fish in the minced meat filling and also dressed them in simple garlic oil and spring onions. See this post makes me wanna go make some soon… havent had it in a while… πŸ™‚

  4. Though a few years late I still would like to reply. before i go on i would like to remind you that Makan, I am a very choosy type and not every food is to my flavour.
    I Like Ipoh Hakka mee cause it very Tasty and actually they are two very good store in Ipoh and one is more famous than the other one. The Famous one is the one locate in Hugh Low Street (Google for malay name. I dunno the malay name, they rename it) It at the main street near new town police station (The Main Street after Old Wang Famous Chinese chicken.)
    The mee they made their own is very good but that all, The Fish ball, Pork ball there just buy from retailer so nothing special but the second one just at same street as Mun Choong, Jalan Pasir Puteh is special cos the Add Ons They made themselves esp. Tofu is so tasty. (The fastest to sold out) To really enjoy the mee, try this. The minced meat with fish sauce they put on top of your mee, set it aside. Use a spoon and put the garlic (soaked with vinegar) and and a bit of the set aside meat to eat together with the mee. delicious. although you can eat it mixed with the mee, I find it do not taste as good as the way I eat. Yes, Their secret is the way they fried the meat with the fish sauce and the Garlic soaked with vinegar. (Oh! I mean add the garlic with the meat and not the vinegar when you eat) I nearly eat it every working day and not off day (Sat & Sun) cos it will be full of people. The other things is for those who are from out station. go early around 8-9 morning cos after that time, most of the good stuff will be sold out esp. tofu. And they open morning only and off on Wednesday.
    Don’t simply see Ipoh Hakka mee and then eat a lot are not up to standard. And for Ipoh Taugeh chicken The diagonally opposite to Old wang Taugeh chicken (Onn Kee) is better. Most Ipoh guy makan there and not Old Wang.
    Happy makan…..
    PS: I never like minced meat with mushroom cos for me it don’t the flavour seem to mix. but if you fried or roast the minced meat until it smell aromatic than it should be very tasty. haha… My 2 cents worth.

  5. Dear Ms Kelly,

    thank you for this lovely recipe.
    I substitute the pork meet with mutton mince and the taste is superb. For me Chinese cuisine is wonderful and rich of purity.

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