Bak chor mee or minced meat noodles is one of the hub’s favorite eats. It’s something he misses from home, and I thought I would try and recreate it here. There are a few challenges when recreating this dish, one being the lack of good fish cake here. I haven’t found a good one and am not willing to make it for the sake of a bowl of noodles. Maybe one day I might be crazy enough to do it, but not now. I did find something similar at my local Asian grocer – it was even from Malaysia. But alas, the fish cake (though it looks like the stuff you get at home), was too starchy and lacked the bouncy texture of the fish cake we get back home. So if you are in South-East Asia, be thankful you can get good (or at least decent) fish cake almost anywhere. Another challenge is the chilli sauce. If you are South-East Asian, you will know that we have different chilli sauces for almost every other type of dish. The hubs and I scoured the aisles of our Asian grocer, bought a bottle of what we thought might be the closest thing and nope, it wasn’t it. I did try a mixture of sambal and chilli oil and it was so-so.
That being said, the rest of the ingredients aren’t too hard to procure. You would probably have to render your own lard and make your own lard bits in the process. Simmering the mushrooms is also relatively easy, it just takes time.
Bak Chor Mee (Minced Pork Noodles)
(taken and adapted from here)
- 2 bundles of fresh flat egg noodles, also known as mee pok
- 100g minced pork
- 70g thinly sliced fresh pork liver (optional)
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce (optional)
- 1 teaspoon white pepper (optional)
- 1 cup Asian pork stock, seasoned with salt and white pepper, to taste (optional, this is if you want a small bowl of soup to accompany your noodles)
For the sauce:
- 2 tablespoons good, traditionally brewed soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sambal tumis (I couldn’t find this so I used normal sambal)
- 1 tbsp fried shallot oil (to make this, thinly slice about 2-3 shallots, just cover with vegetable/canola oil and heat on low till shallots turn a nice golden brown; you can use the shallots for garnish as well)
- 2 teaspoons lard (to render lard, you can follow these instructions)
- Chopped spring onions
- Fried shallots
- Crackling from rendered lard
- Slice of lettuce
- Blanched bean sprouts (about a handful for each serving)
- A few slices of fish cake (if you can get it)
- Sliced braised mushrooms
- 6 dried shiitake mushrooms (soaked overnight in water, reserve 1 cup of mushroom soaking liquid)
- 1 tbsp good light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp good oyster sauce
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tsp unrefined sugar
- The day before: Mix the pork with the fish sauce and white pepper. Let marinate at least an hour, overnight preferred.
- Soak mushrooms overnight in water.
- The next day: Slice mushrooms into fat slithers. Bring mushrooms to boil in 1 cup of mushroom soaking liquid and all the other seasonings. Simmer for about 2-3 hours, at least, on low heat, or until mushrooms are plump and juicy.
- Combine the ingredients for the sauce and divide into bowls.
- Blanch the noodles in boiling water until cooked or according to directions.
- Toss cooked noodles in sauce.
- The pork stock, if using, should be at a rolling boil. Blanch the minced pork in the stock for a minute, or until cooked. Use a fine sieve to remove the pork, then add over the noodles. Repeat with the liver if using. You can also do this in plain boiling water.
- To finish, top the noodles with the braised mushrooms, lard crackling, lettuce, bean sprouts, fish cake, and fried shallots. Ladle the hot pork broth into smaller bowls and finish with an added dash of white pepper and spring onions, then serve with the bowls of noodles.