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:
1 cup of vegetable oil
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
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.
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.