Chili Pan Mee
Author & Photographer: Shyn Ru Looi
With winter in full swing, I must admit that I am becoming lazier and lazier. I find myself searching for quick, easy recipes online for dinner or lunch, and sometimes, my lazy soul will settle for a quick salad that my inner carb goddess actively protests. These past couple of months had me craving Malaysian food, and I thought what else would be better than a big bowl of noodles. Spicy, hearty and delicious, Chilli Pan Mee is a bowl of broad noodles served with a few simple garnishes. Unlike most noodles that are broth-based or served with sauce, this dish stands alone without any form of broth or sauce. Instead, it relies on juicy, marinated meat for flavor and the liquid yolk of a poached egg for creaminess. This dish can be whipped up in no more than 30 minutes. Hey, I know, it does take longer than a bowl of salad, but trust me, it will satiate your hunger and you’ll be off to your tasks, happy as a clam. Without further ado, here you go folks!
1 lb minced pork/ chicken
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp of cornstarch
pepper, to taste
1 tsp sugar
4 garlic cloves
Either hand made (look up recipes online) or use a prepackaged dry noodles like I did!
3 cups of dried anchovies
Spicy Mixed Dried Shrimp and Chilli (bought from Asian market) *can make from scratch but a lot of work involved
*optional, bok choy
Marinate the meat in all of the listed ingredients for at least 2-3 hours, allowing it to soak in all the flavors.
2. Rinse the anchovies and pat dry. Heat a pot of oil and when small bubbles start to form on the surface, put the anchovies into the pot and fry for 3-5 minutes. Be careful not to burn them as they cook pretty quickly. Leave them aside to cool and crisp up.
3. Mince 2 cloves of garlic and 2 shallots.
4. Heat up oil in a pan and lightly brown the minced garlic and shallots before adding in the marinated meat.
5. Cook the meat thoroughly, making sure to break up big chunks. Add water if necessary (you’re aiming for moist, juicy chunks of meat).
6. Bring water to a boil in a separate pot and cook the noodles till al dente.
7. At the same time in a different pot, add a few tablespoons of white vinegar into the boiling water. Create a whirlpool in the pot by stirring vigorously.
8. Crack an egg into the pot. Poach both eggs one by one by letting the egg simmer in the boiling water till the egg whites are set and the yolk remains “liquidy.” Use a slotted spoon to scoop the egg out gently. If the egg begins to sink to the bottom of the pan, try to keep the whirlpool spinning by stirring the water a few more times. Leave the eggs aside to cool.
9. If you choose to add vegetables, blanch the bok choy and set aside.
10. To assemble, place the noodles in a bowl. Top it off with a little bit of the fried anchovies, cooked meat, a generous spoonful of the dried chilli and shrimp mix and a poached egg.
And there you go. Break the yolk, toss it up and dinner is served. Thank me later ;)