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Singapore mee siam

Singapore mee siam is one of Alia’s greatest loves, so much so that this is her preferred birthday meal every year. Fried meehoon doused in a spicy, deeply savoury gravy, lifted at the end by a generous squeeze of lime, it’s a truly celebratory treat. This recipe comes via her late mother, with alterations over the years inspired by countless internet searches. Don’t even think of making a small batch of this—it’s one of those dishes that is so good, you’ll want to share it with everyone.

Singapore mee siam

by Alia Ali
Alia Ali

Singapore mee siam is one of Alia’s greatest loves, so much so that this is her preferred birthday meal every year. Fried meehoon doused in a spicy, deeply savoury gravy, lifted at the end by a generous squeeze of lime, it’s a truly celebratory treat. This recipe comes via her late mother, with alterations over the years inspired by countless internet searches. Don’t even think of making a small batch of this—it’s one of those dishes that is so good, you’ll want to share it with everyone.

Servings: 4

Servings: 4

TUMIS PASTE:

2 large yellow onions, peeled

12 shallots, peeled

8 cloves garlic, peeled

5 tbsp dried shrimp, soaked in hot water and strained

1 tbsp belacan

 

MEEHOON:

½ cup vegetable oil

2 tbsp cili boh, or according to taste

2 tbsp ketchup

2 tbsp taucu (preferably whole bean)

300g prawns, peeled and cleaned (reserve shells and heads)

2 bunches garlic chives (kucai), cleaned and trimmed into 2″ strips

Salt to taste

400g dried meehoon, soaked

 

GRAVY:

1 tbsp taucu

4 candlenuts, pounded

½ cup tamarind juice, extracted from a 1″ knob of tamarind paste

2 stalks lemongrass, bruised

2″ knob galangal, bruised

Salt to taste

Sugar to taste

PREPARE INGREDIENTS

  1. Boil the reserved prawn shells and heads with 2 litres of water for about 10 minutes. Strain the stock and set aside.
  2. Soak the meehoon in water (see our meehoon soaking tips here).
  3. Prepare the tumis ingredients by either pounding them in a mortar and pestle, or grinding them to a paste in a food processor or blender.

 

FRY THE MEEHOON

  1. Heat a large wok over a medium-low flame. Pour in about ½ cup of vegetable oil into the wok. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add in the tumis paste along with the cili boh, and stir to combine. Fry for about 10-15 minutes until the paste has darkened in colour and the oil begins to separate from the tumis (pecah minyak). Remove half of this cooked paste and set aside.
  2. Add taucu, ketchup, and prawns to the remaining tumis in the wok, and mix well. Fry for about 2-3 minutes until the prawns turn pink (about 2-3 minutes longer if you are using large prawns).
  3. Season the mixture now with about 1 tsp of salt and stir well. Add the kuchai and fry until it begins to wilt, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Turn the flame up to high. Add the drained, soaked meehoon into the wok and mix everything as well as possible. Work fast—the heat needs to be high to give the meehoon the best possible texture, but distractions may cause the meehoon to burn.
  5. Once well mixed and dry, turn off the flame.

 

COOK THE GRAVY

  1. Place the reserved half of the cooked tumis paste into a separate pot, along with the taucu, pounded candlenuts, lemongrass, galangal, and tamarind juice. Turn the heat on to medium-low and stir everything well to combine.
  2. Pour in the prawn stock made earlier, and stir again. Add salt and sugar to taste—about 1 tsp salt and 2 tsp sugar to start, and adjust from there.
  3. Once the gravy comes to a boil, turn off the flame.

 

PUT IT ALL TOGETHER

  1. Place a generous helping of fried meehoon into a shallow bowl or deep plate. Pour 1-2 ladles of warm gravy over the meehoon. Serve with halved calamansi limes.

Tips

  • If you’d like to win points with future Chinese in-laws, do your absolute best to not break the strands of meehoon when stirring. It’s a bit of a pain, but absolutely worth it for the oohs and aahs of admiration at the dinner table.
  • For added texture, deep fry cubed firm tofu to mix into both the meehoon and the gravy, as pictured.

Ingredients

TUMIS PASTE:

2 large yellow onions, peeled

12 shallots, peeled

8 cloves garlic, peeled

5 tbsp dried shrimp, soaked in hot water and strained

1 tbsp belacan

 

MEEHOON:

½ cup vegetable oil

2 tbsp cili boh, or according to taste

2 tbsp ketchup

2 tbsp taucu (preferably whole bean)

300g prawns, peeled and cleaned (reserve shells and heads)

2 bunches garlic chives (kucai), cleaned and trimmed into 2″ strips

Salt to taste

400g dried meehoon, soaked

 

GRAVY:

1 tbsp taucu

4 candlenuts, pounded

½ cup tamarind juice, extracted from a 1″ knob of tamarind paste

2 stalks lemongrass, bruised

2″ knob galangal, bruised

Salt to taste

Sugar to taste

Directions

PREPARE INGREDIENTS

  1. Boil the reserved prawn shells and heads with 2 litres of water for about 10 minutes. Strain the stock and set aside.
  2. Soak the meehoon in water (see our meehoon soaking tips here).
  3. Prepare the tumis ingredients by either pounding them in a mortar and pestle, or grinding them to a paste in a food processor or blender.

 

FRY THE MEEHOON

  1. Heat a large wok over a medium-low flame. Pour in about ½ cup of vegetable oil into the wok. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add in the tumis paste along with the cili boh, and stir to combine. Fry for about 10-15 minutes until the paste has darkened in colour and the oil begins to separate from the tumis (pecah minyak). Remove half of this cooked paste and set aside.
  2. Add taucu, ketchup, and prawns to the remaining tumis in the wok, and mix well. Fry for about 2-3 minutes until the prawns turn pink (about 2-3 minutes longer if you are using large prawns).
  3. Season the mixture now with about 1 tsp of salt and stir well. Add the kuchai and fry until it begins to wilt, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Turn the flame up to high. Add the drained, soaked meehoon into the wok and mix everything as well as possible. Work fast—the heat needs to be high to give the meehoon the best possible texture, but distractions may cause the meehoon to burn.
  5. Once well mixed and dry, turn off the flame.

 

COOK THE GRAVY

  1. Place the reserved half of the cooked tumis paste into a separate pot, along with the taucu, pounded candlenuts, lemongrass, galangal, and tamarind juice. Turn the heat on to medium-low and stir everything well to combine.
  2. Pour in the prawn stock made earlier, and stir again. Add salt and sugar to taste—about 1 tsp salt and 2 tsp sugar to start, and adjust from there.
  3. Once the gravy comes to a boil, turn off the flame.

 

PUT IT ALL TOGETHER

  1. Place a generous helping of fried meehoon into a shallow bowl or deep plate. Pour 1-2 ladles of warm gravy over the meehoon. Serve with halved calamansi limes.

Tips

  • If you’d like to win points with future Chinese in-laws, do your absolute best to not break the strands of meehoon when stirring. It’s a bit of a pain, but absolutely worth it for the oohs and aahs of admiration at the dinner table.
  • For added texture, deep fry cubed firm tofu to mix into both the meehoon and the gravy, as pictured.

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© Copyright Periuk 2021

© Copyright Periuk 2021