The final leg of Malaysian Food Fest see us at the most densely populated Klang Valley and not surprisingly, offers one of the largest range of cuisines. Having lived here for 3 years, I can honestly say that you can get pretty much anything here in KL/Selangor (even the latest craze Cronut… named KLonut here). Though when it comes to dishes specific to Klang Valley, I can think of a few main ones: KL Hokkien Mee, Klang Bak Kut Teh, Fish head noodles, and of course, something that was born right in Kuala Lumpur as a variation of the Hokkien Mee Hoon Kueh: Dry Chilli Pan Mee. I have blogged about my love for it here. Ironically, I don’t have a blog post for Kin Kin Pan Chili Mee but what I have is a photo of it, taken in 2010 while I was on vacation in KL.
The history of Chilli Pan Mee can be debatable but there is no doubt that Kin Kin Chilli Pan Mee claims the title for best chili paste. Well caramelised and definitely explosive, it’s no wonder the shop is always full of customers despite the attitude from the owners (very famous for bad service). Ever since I had my first taste as a tourist several years ago, I’ve been in love. The problem is I don’t react very well to MSG and the chili paste is FULL of it (as expected) so I limit myself to only a few times a year.
I’ve come across a recipe by FoodMadeSimple couple of years ago and have promised myself to make my own version at home. Only thing is….. well, it’s rather laborious! Once again, MFF has proved to be motivational and provided a much-needed kick to the butt for me to finally attempt it.
As I mentioned, the key to a good chilli pan mee is the chili paste and this was where I spent the most time. The recipe is easy enough, but the trick is to cook it out until it’s well and truly darkened and dry. The recipe is adapted from Foodmadesimple as mentioned above.
Dry Chilli Paste
2 handful of Dried Chillies, soaked
2 Fresh red chillies
2 Fresh Chilli Padies (or more if you want even more kick)
1 small packet of Dried Shrimp
5 Shallots or 2 Medium Onions
4 tablespoons of Oil
Blend the ingredients, you might need to add a little bit of oil to help the process (I added the whole 4 tablespoons). Then in a pan on low heat, fry slowly (at least 30 mins) until dry and golden brown. Make sure you watch it and stir it quite often so it doesn’t burn. Set aside to cool.
Noodles (for 2, double or triple the recipe as you need):
1 cup Flour (I used Bread flour, but you can also use All-purpose)
1/2 cup water
Add the water to flour and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Cover in cling wrap and rest for 30 minutes. Flour the dough generously, roll the dough out with a pasta machine (you know the drill, just go from the widest setting to the smallest). Then either handcut it or use the spaghetti setting to cut the dough. To cook the noodles, simply boil in water for 2 minutes then drain and add to individual bowls. They cook pretty fast so you want to be careful not to overcook.
Minced Meat Sauce
100g Minced Pork, marinate with light soy sauce, salt and white pepper
1 Shallot, chopped finely
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1/4 cup water
In the pan, heat oil, and fry shallots until aromatic. Add pork and cook until no longer pink, then add the seasonings and water. Cook until the sauce is reduced.
Fried Anchovies and Soup with Pucuk Manis
1 packet of dry anchovies
Handful of Pucuk Manis (Manicai) wash thoroughly and squeeze out the juices
Chicken or Pork stock (either homemade stock or stock cubes, make sure they are MSG-free)
In a wok or deep pan fry anchovies in a bit of oil until golden brown, remove from pan leaving a few to flavour the soup. Pour in the stock and add vegetables. Continue to simmer for about 10 minutes.
One final component is the Poached egg and I did mine with the same pot as the noodles, though cooking them separately. If you are intimidated by egg poaching, you can also just use soft boiled egg.
Arrange the meat sauce, poached egg, some fried anchovies and spoonfuls of chili paste on top of the noodles (you can always add more chili paste as needed), serving with the soup on the side. You can also sprinkle some spring onions on top of the noodles (but I happened to use up all of it the day before).
The crucial step to enjoy this dish is to let the egg yolk run free.
The proceed to mix everything up well and good, and slurp away! There is plenty of umaniness from the anchovies and the dry shrimp in the chili paste, and to me this tastes just as delicious. The chili paste is powerful, although not quite as strong as the one at Kin Kin. The noodles are smooth with a good bite, although I think I will just cut it with the spaghetti setting on my pasta maker for neatness. Will I spend nearly 2 hours for the same dish again? Yes, if my craving strikes. Next time I will just make a huge batch of the chili paste with extra chili padi. Yum.
So tell me, what is your favourite food in the Klang Valley?