Saturday, 18 August 2012

Recipe - Singapore Bak Chor Mee (Mince Pork Noodles)

Just as pasta is a dish Italians cannot do without,  bak chor mee (mince pork noodles), is a Singaporean staple. It is typically served "dry" with a bowl of soup.  Springy "mee kia" (small round wheat noodles) or "mee pok" (flat wheat noodles) are served with fishballs, meat balls, fishcakes, mushrooms and sometimes, pig liver, bound together by a potent, tangy dressing made with black vinegar and chilli paste.

So where can you find the best bak chor mee?

For popular stalls, the wait can be one hour or more. Here are 2 popular stalls.

Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodles
Blk 466, Crawford Lane, #01-12, Tai Hwa Eating House, Singapore
Closed on 1st and 3rd Mondays.

Sun Kee dried mermaid fish
Chia Keng Kway Teow Mee
Blk 453, Ang Mo Kio Ave 10
#01-11 Chong Boon Food Centre
Closed on Mondays and Fridays.

I will now highlight what is so distinctive about this dish that make it so popular. The ingredients must be fresh but it is the seasoning or sauce that distinguish one stall from another.

Crispy lard
This is pork fat fried till crispy. The oil makes the noodles very smooth and the crispy lard adds crunch and flavour. Skip this if you are health conscious.

crispy shallots
Crispy shallots (click to see how to make crispy shallots)
Crispy shallots and oil add another layer of flavour.

Chilli paste (click to see my chilli paste)
Sometimes it is the chilli paste that distinguish one bak chor mee stall from another. My chilli paste is multi purpose. The chilli paste does not have dried shrimps or shrimp paste. The dried shrimp paste or dried shrimps do add taste and flavour.

Stewed mushrooms
Not every stall will give stewed mushrooms in oyster sauce but Chia Keng does. The stewed mushrooms and oyster sauce do add taste.

Crispy fish (click to read about crispy fish)
chinese lettuce or pang chye
This is made from dried mermaid fish or sole fish. It is mildly saltish but it does add crunch and  flavour. Just pan fry the dried fish for a minute or so to get the dried fish crispy. Not many stalls serve this.

Now to make my own bak chor mee:

Ingredients for the seasoning or sauce (for 1 serving):
1 teaspoon of crispy lard and oil (I skip)
1 teaspoon of crispy shallot and oil
2 tablespoons of chilli paste ( or less if you do not like chilli)
1 tablespoon of black vinegar (it is slightly sweet and sour)
1 teaspoon of fish sauce (or light soy), fish sauce has stronger flavour

Other ingredients(1 serving)
100 grams of mee pok (flat wheat noodles)
2 tbs of mince pork (about 30 grams)
A few pieces of lean pork
A few slices of fishcake
2 stewed shitake mushrooms (if you have), sliced
Fresh fishballs ( say 3 for each person)

1 leaf of Chinese lettuce (I did not have, I use xiao bai chye instead)
3 pieces of crispy mermaid fish

Step 1.. in a serving bowl, put all the seasoning sauce and mix them well

Step 2 .. boil a pot of water
Blanch the mince pork, lean pork, fishcake and fishball
Place them in the serving bowl

Step 3...
blanch the mee pok for about 2 minutes and place them in the serving bowl.
Mix well and  garnish with Chinese lettuce and crispy fish.

Voila, you have the best bak chor mee.


Get some tips from this 3 minute video on how to make your own bak chor mee

Enjoy this 5 minute video. Ah Guan Mee Pok Tah has scallops and crayfish.

A nice video on how to make bak chor mee for the whole village.

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