Thursday, 22 May 2014

Recipe: Wantan Mee

Wantan mee is one of my top 5 hawker favourites. The springy egg noodles tossed in a mixture of soya sauce and other secret ingredients topped with tiny wantons, paper thin slices of char siew (hawkers are mostly not very generous) and a few pieces of choy sum is one noodle dish that I could have anytime of the day; be it breakfast, lunch, tea or dinner. Plus, it was the typical hawker food that adults would order for most children. So, I’ve been nomming wantan mee probably even since I was a toddler.

The wantan mee I grew up with is what many know as ‘kon lou mee’ and living in London, it is difficult to find one similar to home because the Penang wantan mee is in some way different. (note how I would persist on spelling it as wantan mee like the hawker signs in Penang) 

Most wanton noodles here are egg noodles served in clear broth; not the one I eat growing up. When the cravings drive me crazy, I solve the problem by creating them in my own kitchen. Well, at least trying to recreate the closest possible alternative.

Wantan Mee 2
Satisfying my intense craving for wantan mee!

Here’s my extremely simple wantan mee recipe:

Wantan Mee (serves 1)

1 portion egg noodles
2-3 dumplings (sui kow)
1 stalk pak choy/choy sum

1 tbsp           sesame oil
1 tbsp           light soya sauce
1 1/2 tbsp    kecap manis
1/2 tbsp       oyster sauce
Dash of pepper


1. Bring a pot of water to boil. Cook the sui kow until it is floating on the surface of the boiling water. Blanched the choy sum and noodles.
TIP: Once the noodles is removed from the hot water, run it through cold (room temperature) water. The cold water stops the heat in the noodle from continuing to cook the noodle and retains the springy texture of the noodles.

Wantan Mee 1
I use this dried egg noodles instead of the fresh ones because this particular noodle is much more springy compared to other noodles I've tried previously.
Available in See Woo in London Chinatown

2. In a plate, place the seasoning and tossed the noodles. Top with sui kow, choy sum and some char siew (optional).

This is an extremely basic recipe which allows me to satisfy my wantan mee cravings temporarily until I get to meet the wantan mee hawkers in Penang. So, warning: it may not taste as delicious as the ones in Malaysia.

For the dumplings, check out the recipe here and for char siew, get the recipe here. If making your own dumpling is too troublesome, you can always resort to the frozen wanton or sui kow sold in Chinatown. Char siew is optional but it helps to make my wantan mee feel much closer to those at home.

Wantan Mee
If char siew is too much of a hassle, have it plain and simple just like this :)


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