Friday, February 27, 2009

Kuching Kolo Mee

This is another very long overdue post, which I prepared a while ago, but completely forgotten about it until I checked the drafts. And CI, this is the other recipe that I did not manage to give you before you leave for the States. And I have simplified it into a simpler and healthier version.

KoLo Mee (Mee Kolok, Kon Lou Mien) is a very popular Kuching hawker fare. It is basically noodle (curly type in Kuching), stir with garlic and/or shallot oil, not unlike the Italian Aglio Olio. In Cantonese, it is called Kon Lou Mien and the Foochows also have a version called Kam Pua Mien. All of them mean the same thing - dry noodles.

The toppings are individually added, ranging from the humble spring-onion-only, which is essentially called Mee Kosong meaning Empty Noodle (Dad always says his kam pua kosong cost only 10 cents when he was a poor lad); to roast meat topping like char siew or roast chicken; to small & super seafood like jumbo prawns and fish fillets with one type of vegetable like choy sum or curly vegies.

Good kolo mee needs good fresh base oil. Good shallot oil is a must for Kolo Mee. Traditionally lard is used. Take pork fat cubes and place them in wok & heat up with a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Turn to low and slowly let the fat release the oil till the fat shrinks and turn golden brown. You get your crispy pork leftovers (chu yu cha) this way. Crispy pork is really yummy with stir fried vegies and is very popular in Penang Char Kueh Tiaw. Try this if your arteries are still young and vibrant.

Base Shallot oil:
8 shallots
1 cup of vegetable oil

1) Slice the shallots up thinly and chop them up slightly. Wet it with some water. Turn on the fire and heat up oil only very slightly before quickly placing the wetted shallots in. This way shallots will not be burnt before they could release their fragrance. Let the shallots simmer in warm oil till fragrance are released. Turn up heat right before you dish out to cook the shallot golden brown.

Shallots will continue cooking even after taking them off the fire, so dont brown it too much. You can separate oil with shallots for storage or if you are using it soon, they can be kept together in one container. Set aside for later use. Should keep up to one month out of refridgerator.

To make one bowl of Kolo Mee as a main meal:

2 tbsp of shallot oil, with or without shallots
1 tbsp of fish sauce, instead of msg
1 tbsp of light soya sauce
1tbsp of dark vineger (latest trend in Kuching, optional)
1/2 to 1 tbsp of dark soya sauce (optional for colour)
1 tbsp of chilli sauce (optional if you like it slightly spicy)
Sprinkle of pepper
150gm of curly noodles/Kampua noodles (about 4 portions for 500gm of curly noodles)
Water, one pot boiling another one room temperature
pickled chillis

Toppings suggestions:
char siew ~ pork or chicken
soya sauce minced pork
Stew meat and sauce
fish, pork or prawn balls, placed in boiling water
Large prawns, cleaned and sliced halves and pan fry with salt and pepper or just boiled with water.
Fish Fillets like mackerel (scrapped off) or white pompret (sliced), pan fried with salt and pepper
vegies like curly vegies or choy sum, cooked in boiling water

1) Prepare the bowl with shallot oil, fish sauce and light soya.

2) Prepare toppings and side aside.

3) Heat a bowl of boiling water and place noodle in water, stirring all the time with a pair of chopsticks to loosen the noodles till cooked about 1 min or so. Dish out and quickly dunk into the pot of room temperature water. Dip it back into the boiling water for a few seconds. Strain to dry. And toss noodles in the bowl of sauce.

4) Place toppings on and sprinkle slightly with pepper and top with spring onion or crispy shallots. Serve with pickled chillis and a bowl of vegie soup.

My dear hubby will get his bowl for Saturday or Sunday lunches. And he gets jumbo prawns, fresh mackerel meat straight from the bones to the pot, veg and fish balls. He gets his homemade char siew version too. But he has the cheek to complain that my char siew is not RED. I am very sorely tempted to take up Jo's suggestion to paint the meat red with his poster colour. But that means that there is nothing that he can complain about the noodles. But do adjust the seasoning according to your taste. Whether your bowl will taste authentic really depends on the base oil.


ET女子 said...

u ate tis kolo mee at kuching?
but tis is not the look as the ori kolo mee.(ori kolo mee dun hv prawn, friedegg or either pork).

Dav DiDi said...

I thought you buy the kolo mee in kuching.. so surprise to see such big portion of kolo mee sold...

then just realize it's home cook kolo mee.. hehehe

NEE said...

hahahaa et gal...that is kolo mee at home, Greg's lunch. the main post on kuching kolo mee is how you cook the oil to tossing the noodles. topping is very individual. kuching typical toppingis tiny seafood or charsiew + porkmince with veg. please refer to my topping suggestion.

yeap davdidi, this is homecook. where got outside portion so big. if got will prob cost you RM 25 bucks at least. my prawns are huge.

NEE said...

by the way that is not fried egg. it is pan fried mackarel fish pate scrap straight off a fish into the pan.

terri@adailyobsession said...

this is a simple version?? it looks absolutely 6-star version!

tt greg, so pampered n blessed.

btw, one of my friends make the crispiest shallot in her microwave. try it if u have a microwave.

NEE said...

shallots in microwave. cool. can try.

yeah and he still complains on red char siew.

marlene said...


cannot like that one leh.. can see but cannot eat :p

NEE said... come you can access blogging already. in malaysia ka?

ahlost said...

Wahh.. I'm craving for kolomee now T__T

Baby Sam said...

Kolok mee I LOVE!!!

Melanie said...

Kolo Mee 's tossing oil - the original version uses lard. And never claim it's original without the lard in it ;p

NEE said...

Ah lost and baby sam, had your kolok mee yet?! had not done this for a while...

yes melanie. very true but we never claim this version of tossing oil is original. please read the post carefully where i wrote 1) "Traditionally lard is used..." and i also wrote 2) the method of how to make lard oil and also 3) "this is a simpler and healthier version". thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hi Née and Greg, what a surprise to find your blog in google search when I typed "to make kolo mee"! I have been craving kolo mee since I was pregnant with my fourth child and now we are expecting baby no 5, I got to do something about it! And to my surprise, I found this site from you guys! Yippee!! Of course it'll be better if I can get hold of chey mee (raw noodles). My mom promised to bring some in at the end of the year. So meantime, I'll try making this with wonton mee instead. Or can I use instant noodles? Regards, Geraldine & Daniel Chan

Anonymous said...

if you think your prawn is huge wait till you come to australia and you will be amaze at the size of the prawn, twice the size of ur hubbii prawn ;]

Anonymous said...

hey nee..what about posting recipe for kampua mee? serious craving here

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