Mee Pok Tah (Teo Chew for 面薄干) is a Singaporean local favourite dish, using Chinese methods and South East Asian ingredients. Fishballs and fishcakes are historically Teochew (SE China where fish is in abundance), while the Chilli Oil Sauce uses SE Asian spices. The result is a perfect blend of traditional Chinese cuisine with delicious spices.
The Chilli Oil Sauce, and the Mee Pok Noodles need to be prepared separately. The secret to a good bowl of Mee Pok Tah is in the Chili sauce!
Ingredients for the Chili Sauce:
150g dried chilli
3 cloves garlic
2 cm ginger
75 g ground dried shrimp
200 ml cooking oil
1 tbsp salt
1 stalk lemongrass (optional)
- Chop up and mix or blend all your ingredients together except the oil and dried shrimp.
- Heat your oil in a wok and then pour in your spices. Stir constantly on low heat to prevent burning.
- When the fragrant aroma of the spices reaches your nose, it is time to add in the ground dried shrimp.
- Stir for a while till you get a thick, reddish chilli paste. After that, leave aside to cool completely before storing in a glass jar.
You will only need a few tablespoonfuls for each bowl of noodles. It’s a good idea to make extra for future use!
Ingredients for Mee Pok Noodles:
Serving: 2 persons
5-10 tbs of Chili Oil Sauce (see above)
1 litre of water
2-3 balls fresh flat egg noodles known as “mee pok” (面薄)
6-10 fresh fishballs
6-10 slices of fried fish cake
6-10 fresh fish dumplings
150g minced (or slices) lean pork
2-3 tbs of “dongcai” (冬菜) aka Tianjin preserved vegetables
Handful of beansprouts
1-2 tbs of Thai fish sauce
1-2 tbs of light soy sauce
1-2 tbs black vinegar (optional)
Chopped spring onions
Some fresh lettuce
You need a small pot and a wok for preparing this dish. You also need to do this fairly quickly, and it does take skill to master the timing well.
- Boil some water in the small pot, enough to immerse your fishballs, fishcake slices, fish dumplings and dongcai. (500 ml to 1 litre should be enough) This will be your soup stock later.
- Fill up your wok with water and bring to boil. Cook your fresh egg noodles in it for 1 minute for “al dante”. Thereafter take your noodles out and place it in a basin of cool tap water. This change in temperature will create a firm and springy texture for your noodles.
- After 30 seconds, drain the noodles from the basin and reheat in the wok. (10-15 seconds will be sufficient to reheat)
(this hot-cold-hot trick will not work on dried noodles – you should follow instructions on the packet if using dried noodles)
- Take a bowl in which you want to serve your noodles. Add in your chili oil sauce, fish sauce, light soy sauce, vinegar.
- Using a big strainer, drain your noodles by lifting it into the strainer from the wok and place it in the bowl.
- With your soup stock still boiling, throw in your minced pork and bean sprouts until cooked (less than 1 min).
- Now take your minced pork, bean sprouts, fishballs, fish cake slices and add to top of the noodles. A strainer might be useful here.
- Your fish dumplings can be served with your soup stock in a soup bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish your noodles with some fresh lettuce chopped spring onions, deep-fried shallots and a dash of pepper. Ready to Serve!
Shitake Mushrooms Garnishing for Mee Pok
Mee Pok goes really well with Shitake or Chinese mushrooms as well if you can get some.
10-15 caps of Shitake mushrooms
1-2 cm of Ginger
2 tsps of Oyster Sauce
2 tsps of dark soy sauce
2 tsps of cooking oil
- Soak your dried mushrooms in hot water for 15 mins. Use just sufficient water to cover the mushrooms.
- Once soft, take out and cut into thin slices. Keep the water. (Depending on your source of mushrooms, you may want to rinse first or throw the water away)
- Heat your cooking oil in a frying pan, add the ginger slices and fry till tender.
- Add the mushrooms and fry till fragrant.
- Add the oyster sauce and a few tablespoons of water (from the mushrooms)
- Simmer under low-medium heat for 30 mins. Add the rest of water gradually.
- At the end you will have a fragrant stew with tender mushrooms bursting with flavour to add to your Mee Pok.
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