I loved the way my mom used to cook the mee siam for us. When Benny and I first got married, my mom was still in her prime of health. She used to cook all these favourites. She has stopped cooking these some 10 years ago. Even though this was just a one dish meal, it is very labourous to slave over the kitchen stove and tools for hours on end just to make 1 dish.
Since then, she has taught me how to do this properly. This version of Mee siam is different from the normal fare we get in food courts. This version had Coconut milk in it. Its sweet and sour and spicy too.
This year, our First day of Chinese New Year will be spent with my mom at her home. Due to age and health, she will not be cooking for all of us. Instead, we are cooking a dish and bringing it there to celebrate Chinese New Year with her. All her siblings(my aunts, uncles) will each prepare a dish and we will dine with her.
In all the love you can have for your family, this is one we can do for each other that day.
This is what I will be cooking for 50 people on Day 1 Chinese New Year 14th February 2010. Which also happens to be Valentine's Day.
Here's the elaborate recipe to try at home. Have Fun!
Mee Siam paste:
10 cloves garlic
120g dried chillies (soaked to soften)
50g belacan/dried prawn paste (toasted and pounded)
120g dried shrimps (soak in water, soften)
500ml corn oil
All into the wok to be fried...
All done..after 30 mins of stirring!
Method for Paste
1. Put all the ingredients except the oil into a blender and blend into a fine paste.
2. Heat up the wok and add oil. Add the blended paste to fry over low heat till it is fragrant. Leave it aside till its cooled.
3. The paste should look very oily.
4. Note that though there is a lot of oil remaining, do not throw away this oil. As it is fragrant and to be used for frying the mee siam noodles.
Indonesian Mee Siam
Recipe by Gina Choong
400g mee siam paste
50g chives, chopped
100g soya beans
4 hard boiled eggs
4 pcs of small tau pok/dried bean curd, diced
150ml tamarind juice (2 tbsp tamarind pulp mixed with 100ml water)
7 tbsp sugar (more or less according to your taste)
100g bean sprouts
4 small limes
350ml coconut milk(or Evaporated Milk)
1 packet of rice vermicelli(bee hoon), soaked to soften
Method for the rest
1. In the wok, add 200g of oily mee siam paste to heat. Add softened rice vermicelli(bee hoon) and stir fry till its dry and cooked.
2. Add bean sprouts to fry. Remove and set aside.
3. In a large pot, put water, remaining portion of mee siam paste to boil.
4. Once it starts boiling, add coconut milk, tamarind juice, soya beans and sugar. Turn heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes.
5. To serve, add hot gravy on fried rice vermicelli and garnish with egg, fried bean curd, chives and freshly squeezed lime juice.
Notes about the Paste
1. If you want the paste to be less spicy, use half of Dried Chilli and half of fresh red chilli. Remember to de-seed it before blending. Its the seeds that makes the paste extremely spicy.
2. Best to make this paste ahead of time. And you can store this in the fridge(after its cooked) for 4 weeks if you keep it in the coldest part of the fridge.
3. If you want to store it longer, put it in the freezer.
4. My best way was always to make lots of paste, divide it into half. One half for frying the noodles, one half for making the stock.