Sunday, November 16, 2008

Char Siew & Kon Loh Meen Bento

charsiew bento
Today's bento is a Malaysian-style bento, containing Char Siew (Chinese barbecued pork) and Kon Loh Meen (soya sauce noodles), with haricot beans stir-fried in sambal belachan chilli. I've packed this bento in a microwavable container, as this dish tastes better warm.

Kon Loh Meen (lit. dry, mixed noodles) is a popular noodle dish in Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. There are many variations, usually with some combination of garlic, oil, and soya sauce mixed together with cooked noodles. This is my mother's version, that she makes to accompany her homemade Char Siew (Chinese barbecued pork). Kon Loh Meen is usually made with thin egg noodles, but when I was young, we didn't have access to a large variety of Chinese noodles, hence my mother used instant noodles instead. Now, although I can easily buy thin egg noodles, I still like using instant noodles to make this dish - old habits die hard!

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Kon Loh Meen (Dry Soya Sauce noodles)
(serves 1)
1 packet instant noodles or thin egg noodles
3/4 Tbsp light soya sauce
3/4 Tbsp thick dark soya sauce
1 Tbsp garlic oil
dash of oyster sauce
dash of pepper
  1. Mix the soya sauces, garlic oil, oyster and pepper on a medium-sized plate.
  2. Boil some water in a saucepan, and add the noodles to the boiling water. Stir to loosen the noodles.
  3. When the noodles are cooked, drain, then immediately pour them onto the plate with the sauce. 
  4. Stir well to combine the noodles with the sauce. (You have to mix them immediately when the noodles are warm, or the sauce won't coat the noodles evenly.)
  5. Taste, and add more seasoning (soya sauce/oyster sauce/garlic oil) if required.
To make garlic oil:
Over low heat, fry some finely chopped garlic in light olive oil until the garlic is fragrant and golden (but not brown or burnt).

(It's handy to make extra garlic oil and keep it on hand to use for noodles or pasta)

Note: The thick, dark soya sauce is known as kicap pekat in Malaysia. It is a dark soya sauce, slightly thicker than the normal Chinese dark soya sauce, and a little sweet.

Serve these noodles with Char Siew (Chinese Barbecued Pork).


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