Can’t you tell that this week is “noodle week” ? lol.
Mee siam or often called Siamese noodles are very popular noodle dish in Singapore and Malaysia. In Indonesia, this is simply known as stir-fry bee hoon. I got to know Mee Siam only after I lived in Singapore few years ago. The noodles are usually thin and stir-fried with sweet, sour and salty gravy concoction. There are “dry” and “wet” mee siam. Dry, means the noodles are stir-fried and wet means the noodles are served with thick gravy. If you asked me which one I like better, I will choose the wet version of mee siam, which is more commonly seen in Singapore.
The main bulk of the work is mainly on preparing the gravy. The gravy is commonly made of onions, garlic, ginger, peanuts, fermented beans (tau cheo), chili, tamarind and lemon grass. All these are grounded up and stir-fried until fragrant. If you don’t have a good gravy, you don’t end up with good wet mee siam.
I used thick vermicelli noodles in this recipe because I don’t like thin vermicelli noodles like the one usually used in mee siam. My mom didn’t like wet mee siam before until I prepared it the other day. I asked her why. She said because the one she got came with such a “watered-down” gravy. When she ate this mee siam, she really liked it. The gravy is GOOD!!! It is thick and spicy. Sweet, salty and sour at the same time!!!!
- 1 lb dried vermicelli / bee hoon (soak in cold water for 20 minutes and drain)
- 5 oz (150 g) bean sprouts
- 1 medium size onions (peeled)
- 4 cloves garlic (peeled)
- 3 Tbsp of chili powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 medium size onion (peeled)
- 5 cloves garlic (peeled)
- 3.5 oz (100 g) chopped peanuts
- 1 cup of ground fermented beans/ tau cheo
- 2 cups of water
- 1 stalk of lemon grass
- 7 oz (200 g) dried red chili (soaked in water until soft and ground to paste with a bit of water)
- About 4 Tbsp of tamarind (mix with ½ cup of warm water to extract the juice)
- 10-15 stalks of chives (cut into 2-inch strips)
- 15-20 cooked shrimp (sliced in half)
- 3 hard-boiled eggs ( sliced)
- Kalamansi (if you can't find it, you can use fresh lime)
- 4 jalapeno peppers (sliced into rings) - optional
- Grind all the above ingredients (except for the vermicelli and bean sprouts)
- Saute the blended ingredients until brown and add 3 cups of water
- Add the vermicelli into the mixture and stir until it is well mixed and noodles are soft and cooked through. Add in the bean sprouts and chives. Turn off the heat. Stir to mix well
- Place the gravy ingredients like onions, garlic, ginger, grated peanut and lemon grass into a foo processor. Blend until it becomes a paste
- Saute chili paste and mixture in a wok over medium heat until reddish brown, add in water
- Bring to boil and add tamarind water, sugar and salt to taste. Let it simmer slowly over low fire
- The flavor should be light, somewhat sweet and sour
- Place the sauteed vermicelli noodles on a serving plate, pour enough piping hot gravy over the noodles and garnish with shrimps, eggs slices,kalamansi and jalapeno peppers