Popular in Singapore and Malaysia, mee siam (Siamese noodles in Malay) is one dish I can’t get enough of. I’ve always had fond memories of eating plates of vermicelli soaked in a tangy, hot and spicy broth made by mom. Even if I had to go through packets of tissue paper, it was worth it. At one point of our lives, she was running a food stall in a canteen selling mee siam and laksa. Perhaps, my love for both of these iconic local food is highly influenced from there.
Dry Fried Mee Siam is more commonly found in Malaysia, although the ingredients used are very similar to our Singapore version. If you have not tried mee siam, the flavor profile is nearly equal parts of sweet, tangy, salty and spicy. In today’s version, I kept the ingredients minimal. To make your mee siam more substantial, feel free to add in fish cakes, tofu puffs, firm tofu or even prawns.
½ packet (approx. 170 g) dry rice vermicelli – soak in hot water for 5 – 10 mins, drained
5 stalks Chinese chives
3 – 4 shallots
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp preserved soy beans (tau cheo)
2 tbsp sambal chilli (or more if you like it hot)
2 tbsp dried shrimp – soak in water for 15 mins, until softened
1 tsp belacan
¾ cup (200 ml) low sodium chicken stock / water
1 tsp chicken powder
3 tbsp tamarind paste
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
Few dashes fish sauce
Serves 3 – 4
Blend the ingredients for the spice paste together. Alternatively, you could use a mortar & pestle and pound all the ingredients to fine bits.
In a wok or deep pan, heat up 3 tbsp oil and add in spice paste.
Cook for 1 – 2 mins over medium low heat until fragrant. Do not burn the paste.
Add in the ingredients for the sauce and bring to boil. Taste and adjust with more seasoning if necessary.
Add in rice vermicelli and toss well until soften.
Lastly, add in chives and beansprouts and cook for another 10 seconds.
Turn off heat and serve with lime and top with fried shallots.