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.
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.
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.
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.