Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bak Chor Mee

bak chor mee
In an attempt to satisfy YH's mee pok craving, I tried to make Bak Chor Mee (the meat and mushroom version of mee pok). I couldn't find many recipes online, and since the last time I'd tasted this dish was many years ago, I had nothing much to go on except a vague memory and Wikipedia's description of mee pok and what ingredients were included. 

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Here's my version of Bak Chor Mee:

Mee pok noodles (or if you can't find them, you could use linguine)
Garlic (chopped finely)
Shallots (chopped)
Minced Pork
Shitake or Chinese Mushrooms, sliced (I couldn't find Shitake, so I used fresh Chinese Mushrooms)
Light Soya Sauce
Dark Soya Sauce (I used a thick dark soya sauce (Kecap Manis) for colour and flavour. I'm not sure if a Singaporean mee pok version would use this though - this is prob more of a Malaysian style)
Chinese Black Vinegar
Chilli Oil (or red pepper flakes)
Sambal Belachan Chilli
cooking oil (I use Light Olive Oil)

chopped red chilli and soy sauce (for dipping)

On low heat, lightly fry the garlic in a medium-sized saucepan with around 2 Tbsp oil until fragrant. (Don't let the garlic darken in colour or it will burn). Remove most of the garlic and oil onto a separate dish. Using the remainder garlic oil in the pot, turn up the heat to medium and add the chopped shallots. Fry, then add the minced pork. Continue to fry and mash the minced pork up so it doesn't clump together. Just before the meat is cooked through, add the mushrooms. Add some light soya sauce to stop the mixture from drying out. The mushrooms will also sweat out their liquids as they cook. Add a bit of chilli oil or red pepper flakes, and around 1 heaped tsp or more of Sambal Belachan Chilli (add more or less according to how spicy you want your noodles). Add the vinegar and some dark soya sauce (or Kecap Manis to taste). Turn off heat and set aside.

Boil a pot of water, add the mee pok, and stir. They will not take long to cook - you will see the noodles change colour slightly. Do a taste test to check if they are done - they should be springy, not mushy. Remove and drain, and rinse with water. If you are using linguine, cook in salted water according to the packet's instructions.

Mix the noodles with the set aside garlic and oil - I find this stops the noodles from drying out and makes it easier to mix it with the rest of the meat topping later.

Option 1: 
Heat up the meat mixture, divide the noodles on plates, and pour the heated meat mixture over the noodles. Serve with chopped red chilli and soya sauce, and some fishballs in clear soup.

I vaguely recall that this is how it is served at hawker stalls - you mix your topping into the noodles when it is served. However, I actually feel the second option is better, as it gives you a better control on the taste of the final dish.

Option 2:
Heat up the meat mixture, add the noodles, and mix together. Add more soya sauce, vinegar and chilli to taste. Serve with chopped red chili and soya sauce. 


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