Wednesday, August 11, 2010
If you like fried bee hoon (rice vermicelli), you would probably like this Mee Siam dish. It's spicy and packed with flavour, and is a nice change from the regular-style fried bee hoon.
I never knew there was this dry Mee Siam until I saw it at Rasa Malaysia. Since I had all the ingredients, I didn't hesitate to try it out. What I like about this dish is that you can make it vegetarian if you leave out the chicken and the shrimp. And it will in no way affect the overall taste, because it is the spice paste that gives the bee hoon its robust flavour.
(largely adapted from Rasa Malaysia)
- 12 oz (340g) vermicelli (I used 200g)
- 12 oz (340g) bean sprouts (I used about 2 handfuls ... don't think it amounted to 340g)
- 12 shrimps, shelled and deveined (and marinated in a dash of soya sauce)
- 3 pieces fried bean curd/firm tofu (I used 1/2 slab of tau kwa, cut into strips and fried till slightly golden)
- 3 stalks Chinese chives, chopped into 1-inch length
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Salt to taste (I didn't need any)
- Soy sauce or fish sauce to taste (I didn't need any)
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 4 red chillies (remove seeds if you don't want it too spicy)
- 5 shallots
- 5 garlic
- 2 tablespoons taucheo, aka fermented yellow bean sauce (I used Sin Sin brand "Crushed Salted Soya Beans")
The spice paste after blending in a food processor.
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten and fried into an omelette
- 2 stalks scallions, chopped into 1/2-inch length (I omitted)
- 2 limes (cut into wedges)
- 1 red chili (thinly sliced)
1. Soak the vermicelli in water for about 15 minutes or until they turn soft. Drain and set aside. Using a food processor, grind the spice paste and set aside. Heat up a wok with some oil and make the beaten eggs into an omelette. Fold and slice the omelette thinly. Set aside.
2. Heat up the wok and add 3 tablespoons of oil. Once the oil is heated, fry the spice paste until aromatic and the oil separates. This ensures that the chillies are cooked through and you will not get that "grassy" taste of raw chillies. Add shrimps and chicken (if using), stir-frying until half done, then add the fried tofu pieces.
3. Add the vermicelli and keep stirring until the the spice paste has spread evenly. Add sugar and salt to taste, if required, followed by bean sprouts and chives. Continue to stir-fry until the vegetables are cooked. Taste and adjust the seasoning by adding more salt or sugar to taste. If the noodles taste bland, add a little soy sauce / fish sauce to taste.
4. Transfer the Mee Siam onto a big serving bowl and garnish with the omelette strips, chopped scallions, chilli and lime wedges. Serve immediately.
Mmmmm ... every strand of bee hoon was coated in spicy crimson goodness. :) It would go perfectly with coconut water or lime juice, no?
How does it compare with the wet version? Well, it's like comparing apples with oranges. They are so different! The Singaporean version - which is served with the bee hoon swimming in a sweet, spicy, tangy, soupy gravy - is closer to my heart. Well, I grew up eating it, after all. :) But as and when I want a spicy, kick-ass fried bee hoon, I will definitely be making this dry version again. Very soon. Like maybe, tomorrow.
I am submitting this post to Muhibbah Malaysian Monday, hosted by 3 Hungry Tummies and Test with Skewer.