This Singaporean braised noodles or known as Lor Mee is one of my most favorite noodle dishes EVER!! I can never say no to it. Seriously !!! I often eat too much of it too! Singaporean style lor mee is a noodle dish with braised pork, thickened dark gravy served with black vinegar and minced garlic. I like it with extra generous amount of black vinegar and garlic. I was craving for it so badly after I first moved here almost 7 years ago. My first encounter with this dish was when I just moved to Singapore many years ago. I didn’t like it as much initially, but I have to admit that it slowly grew on me. I found the combination of black vinegar and minced garlic are highly addicting!!!
My favorite one was at Bukit Purmei in Singapore. My brother was the one who first introduced this to me and my mom. We pretty much got hooked ever since. The queue was always long, but it was worthy of waiting. On our last visit to Singapore in 2012, my brother brought us to Bukit Purmei to have some lor mee again. Man..oh man! What a treat!!!!!! My brother told me though that the owner of the lor mee stall had passed away because or serious illness 🙁 The stall was run by someone else now. It’s kinda sad when I heard that news 🙁 The owner probably spent most of his life working so hard at his business and didn’t even have time to enjoy the fruit of his hard work. He is at a better place now.
One advice to thee, don’t even bother eating this lor mee without black vinegar and minced garlic, trust me on this one !Lor mee is often served with crispy deep-fried fritters, hard-boiled eggs, and slices of fish cakes. They are not mandatory. I didn’t have them at the time I made them and it’s still so good with just pork belly. As long as you got the gravy right and load it up with black vinegar and garlic, you are seriously good to go! This is my favorite brand for Chinese Black Vinegar, Great Wall Chinese Black Vinegar. I’ve tried other brands, and they just didn’t come even close to this. They aren’t easy to find though I have to say. Lots of Asian grocery stores carry other brands, but hardly this brand. So, when I found it, I usually stock up on it.
I’ve never tried the Gold Plum Chinkiang black vinegar, but seems to have a good review as well. These are Amazon affiliate links.
- 1 lbs of dried spaghetti noodles (or you can mix in rice noodle sticks, make sure you soak the rice noodle sticks for 15-20 minutes before blanching)
- 2 cups of beansprouts
- 2 lb of pork belly (leave it whole)
- 2 tbsp of cooking oil
- 3 shallots (finely chopped)
- 3 cloves of garlic (flattened)
- 2 slices of ¼-inch thick and about 3-inch long peeled ginger
- 1 tsp five-spice powder
- 1½ tbsp sugar
- 8 cups of boiling water
- 1 Tbsp Better Than Bouillon- no MSG (or similar)
- 6 Tbsp of dark soy sauce
- 4 Tbsp of soy sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 150 gr tapioca starch mix with 100 ml of water
- Hard-boiled eggs- cut in half (optional)
- Fried fish cake slices
- Fresh cilantro leaves (finely chopped)
- Chinese ChinKiang Black Vinegar
- Finely Chopped garlic (use food processor or garlic press for best result)
- Fresh red chilis (finely chopped)
- Blanch the beansprouts in boiling water and cook the noodles according to instructions on package and portion them into individual serving bowl
- Heat oil in a large pot. Add in ginger, pepper, star anise, five-spice powder, sugar, garlic and shallots. Saute until fragrant. Add in pork belly and cook until it turns color, 5 minutes
- Add in about 8 cups of boiling water, bouillon, soy sauce, and dark soy sauce. Lower the heat to low-medium setting and let it simmer until the pork belly is tender (but not falling apart), about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Have a taste and add a pinch of salt and adjust seasoning as needed. It should be savory and slightly sweet. Remove the pork belly from the pot. Let it cool and then slice into bite size. Also remove the rest of the ingredients out from the stock and discard. Strain the stock
- Portion the noodles, bean sprouts, and pork belly slices into individual serving bowl.
- Turn up the heat to high and let the stock boil again. Give the tapioca starch slurry a good stiry and slowly add into the stock while other hand is stirring vigorously until it's thickened and keep on stirring. Next, slowly add in the beaten egg and one hand continue to stir (it's like making and egg-drop soup). The soup will be very thick, glossy and "stretchy" at this point
- Laddle soup generously over the noodle in individual serving bowl. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro leaves, black vinegar, finely minced garlic, and red chilis. Serve immediately
I honestly felt kinda sad that I almost finished that bowl!