Hi all, sorry for the belated post. We had a great time away, but I woke up yesterday with a sore head and hacking cough, so spent the rest of the day sleeping it off. The most industrious thing I did was to prepare this dish for lunch. It was perfect for what I needed - something warm and comforting but easy enough to throw together with minimal pantry staples (if you keep an asian pantry that is).
We ate Mee Hoon Kueh quite often when I was growing up, usually for brunch, at the hawker stall round the corner from home. It was fascinating to watch the Mee Hoon Kueh “aunty” dexterously stretch and pull pieces of dough to toss into the pot of boiling stock. Unfortunately, my fingers aren’t as nimble and I made quite straggly looking shapes, but it was close enough to the real thing.
The “noodle” dough is pretty similar to pasta dough and is made of plain flour and eggs, plus a little oil and water. To assemble the dish, the “noodles” are cooked in an ikan bilis (dried anchovies) stock. Slices of pork or chicken meat are also added to the dish, as well as rehydrated shitake mushrooms, green leafy vegetables, and crispy ikan bilis. Sometimes, fried onions and the onion oil are drizzled over the top of the dish too. Sliced chillies and soy sauce are served on the side.
I couldn’t really taste my lunch, thanks to a blocked nose, but the Mini Critics polished their serves off. MC Junior declared it “the best lunch in the world!” I think she was just being kind because she could see how sick I was ☺
This was the extent of my cooking for the day though. Dinner was jam sandwiches for the mini-critics and Mr. Kitchen Hand found a serve of lasagne in the freezer. Luckily, I feel much better today and things should return to normal in the Skewer kitchen. I’ll hopefully be able to post some camping pics tomorrow too, time permitting.
Have a great week!
Mee Hoon Kueh
(I made this up as I went along based on some emailed instructions from Mum)
Plain flour – about 3 cups (it makes a rather large quantity of dough, probably enough for 4 adult serves, so I’d probably halve it next time)
about 8 tablespoons vegetable oil (mild flavoured)
just over ¼ cup water
pinch of salt
Ikan bilis stock (I actually didn’t have any raw ikan bilis in the pantry but found some chicken stock in the freezer so used that instead.)
Small handful of crispy deep fried ikan bilis per person (I had some left over from a different dish)
A few leafy green vegetables per person (I used English spinach)
2 dried shitake mushrooms (rehydrated and sliced thinly)
Add some sliced chicken or pork (usually coated with tapioca flour) if desired. (I didn’t have any on hand and couldn’t drag myself to the shops for love or money.)
Place the flour and salt into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the eggs and oil into the well and beat with a fork, drawing the flour in from the sides. Add water a little at a time and start to knead the dough by hand. Use enough water to get a soft dough. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.
The dough can be prepared in advance and stored wrapped in plastic wrap. The oil will seep out of it, but can be kneaded back in.
Bring some of the stock to a rolling boil, then take a small piece of dough and stretch it until it is quite fine and translucent. Pull off pieces and drop it into the boiling stock. Don’t make too many at a time. The “noodles” will float. Depending on the thickness of the pieces, let it boil for half a minute or so, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl. I actually like to make quite thick and chewy pieces. Don’t let the noodles boil for too long otherwise they’ll get too “soggy”. It’s best to cook an individual serve at a time to prevent the stock from becoming too “starchy”.
Once the desired quantity of noodles have been cooked, put the mushrooms and meat (if using) into the stock. When ready, pop the vegetables in very briefly to wilt. Ladle the stock, along with meat and vegetables over the noodles. Serve with the crispy ikan bilis on top.
Add lashings of cracked pepper to unblock stuffy noses ☺
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