I remember…

…the time when I was staying with a nice elderly lady in Kuching in the 70′s. I was renting a room at her house and what I paid was inclusive of breakfast…and sometimes, if I was at home, she would just cook a bit more and ask me to join her to eat as well, be it lunch or dinner. The bonus was that she was a great cook and she would always come out with very nice dishes that I really enjoyed a lot.

I remember the time when she cooked mee sua with fish! All my life, I had been eating mee sua with chicken soup cooked with traditional Foochow red wine…and there she was serving it with ikan lumek , not exactly soupy nor dry – it had just a bit of soup or gravy. I was kind of surprised to find that it was actually very nice and I loved it a lot though I would not eat the fish. They say it has no bones but there are so many minute ones that are impossible to remove…and despite their telling me that I could just eat the flesh together those bones, no problem at all, I just cannot get used to it so to this day, you would not see me buying that fish at the market…ever.

Anyway, the other morning, I decided to cook some mee sua…and instead of the usual chicken like what I’ve done here or here, I decided to use the fish cakes…

FCMS2

…that were in the freezer instead. I sliced them thinly like this…

FCS

…and I also sliced a bit of ginger, the crucial ingredient in soups with traditional Foochow red wine for mee sua

GS

Feel free to add more if you’re like my missus and would want your soup to have stronger taste of ginger. She would probably pound it or cut it into thin strips but though I love the taste and fragrance of the root, I hate biting into it when eating so I did not do that. These chunky slices could easily be removed after cooking and thrown away.

I cooked the soup first…starting with heating up a tablespoon of sesame oil in the wok and frying the ginger in it till brown before putting in the fish cake slices and adding water and traditional Foochow red wine. When the soup had started boiling, I let it simmer for a while before adding half a cube of chicken stock which may be substituted with salt and msg, according to taste, if one so prefers. In the meantime, I cooked some mee sua and putting the cooked noodles along with the sliced fish cake into a bowl, I poured the soup over it…

FCMS1

I also fried an egg to go with it though it was a failed attempt to  come out with what they call a golden nui pao (egg purse)…*face palm*.

In the event of their being no traditional Foochow red wine available, I would not advise using any of the other red wines, Chinese or otherwise, as a substitute. Personally, I feel it would be better to just cook the soup without it and prior to eating, add a spoonful of brandy to it. This would definitely bring the taste to a whole new level, of that I am pretty sure.

Well, all things considered, I must say that it tasted great and a welcome change from the usual chicken. I certainly would want to cook it like this again sometime and perhaps the next time around, I would use fish fillet instead – I bet it will taste just as nice or maybe, even better.

FOOTNOTE:
Well, just for the fun of it and to show a bit of support, I am submitting this post to the event, Little Thumbs up organised by Doreen from my little favourite DIY and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids that my Singapore blogger-friend, Chef and Sommelier is hosting for this month and ginger is the theme for July.

37 thoughts on “I remember…

  1. Hi Arthur! Thanks for showing your support to LTU! It’s definitely more than just a bit… :D

    You should add your link here :
    http://chefandsommelier.blogspot.sg/2013/07/little-thumbs-up-ginger.html
    (Click the “Add your link” button)

    Ok, done. This was a scheduled post for around midnight by which time I would be on a slow boat to China already…zzzzzzzz! I had intended to do it when I got up and I’ve done just that. Hmmmmm….the thumbnail did not look too bad alongside the others. Hehehehehe!!!! Most welcome, anything for a friend. ;)

  2. Can see from the picture it tastes great to me!!! =]

    It tasted good. You can also do it with mushrooms too – here, we use the farmed ones sold at the market/supermarket, I think they’re called oyster mushrooms, cut into shreds/thin strips. Same recipe/procedure but you have to add an egg, beaten, to the boiling soup. Very nice as well.

  3. nice event, the little thumbs up. :).. fish cakes instead of the fish eh?, hehe, not planning to do one mee sua with the lumek fish yourself? :)

    I’ve always liked mee sua, the way it sort of slithers into your mouth and melts easily.. ahh. Nom Nom

    Ya, I like mee sua too. Can eat it every day! Eyewwwwww!!!! Not ikan lumek, that’s for sure – I love fish and actually, I find lumek very sweet and nice but those tiny bones put me off…no, thank you!!!

  4. Hi Arthur,

    I like cooking food that reminds me of nice memories too. Your mee sua with fish cakes sounds very homely to eat.

    Zoe

    Very typically Foochow cuisine – the beauty is in its simplicity and the best part is the fact that it tastes great too. I’ve had mee sua in KL but I did not like their version of it even though obviously they used ginger, chicken and their own traditional wine (and theirs did not come cheap either – last I heard, they’ve something like that in Penang going over well over RM10. Ouch!!!). Maybe my taste buds are more accustomed to our own, I wouldn’t know.

    P.S.:
    Thanks for dropping by. Welcome…and do come again. Will link you in my blogroll.

  5. Hmmm..mee sua with fish or fish cake? I should try that too because I always have it with chicken or with duck leg once. Definitely a new one for me :)

    Never tried duck as my missus does not eat. If it’s duck here, they usually will cook it in pek ting eyok (eight medicinal herbs), a Foochow favourite…served with rice or mee sua. Not my favourite owing to the tangy lime/orange peel taste. Ya, usually we would have mee sua with chicken…and I’ve had it with mushroom ginger soup too – the wild kulat ta’un or what the local Chinese call kay-bak kor (chicken mushroom – looks like the farmed oyster mushroom, tastes much better) as the soup tastes like chicken soup…but it’s extinct now – have not seen it for a long long time. :(

  6. I love to eat Mee Sua cooked in anyway – soupy or fried! It tastes better than instant noodles. I think eating with fish cakes might be too plain for me, I would prefer to put ham and eggs instead! Nice!

    You have submitted this post to support, what a good friend you are. What would they reward you?

    Nothing, just friendship…and what can be better than that?

    Not too sure if I had cooked ham and egg soup for mee sua before…but I guess it can go with anything as long as the soup is nice. When I was growing up, my mum used to serve it with Bovril soup – I blogged about that not too long ago.

  7. You know, looking at all your posts about Mee Sua (blog and FB) always tempt me to cook mee sua! (I’ve always cooked my soup noodles with Vit’s noodles) I guess mee sua is somewhat healthier? I have made up my mind to buy a big pack this weekend and cook them in chicken stock soup (since I don’t have foochow wine). I can’t wait to start SLURPING! :)

    Got brandy? Add a spoonful to it just before you start eating. Nice!!! Mee sua’s great with any soup – dunno if those imported ones are salty or not (some of our local-made ones are) – if they are, then don’t add any salt to your soup…or just a bit, if you prefer it that way.

  8. Though not cooked in the usual way, this mee sua looks good too. As long as one gets the taste of the broth correct, even without drumstick it still taste superb. Nom!!!…Nom!!…

    No rule that says there must be chicken…but I think Chinese people consider that to be more beneficial health-wise, and it is a special honour if you are given a drumstick. I’ve had mee sua in clear prawn ginger soup even – a friend cooked once (she was like me – just used whatever she could find the freezer)…and it was very nice too.

  9. Mee sua is something my Grandma always makes for me, though in the clear broth one.

    The soup is slightly red or a light shade of orange because of the red wine. Otherwise, it would be absolutely clear…

  10. Oooh yummy! You were probably doing the lady just as much as a favour as she was to you. She was giving you lunch and you giving her some company. :-)

    I helped her clean the house regularly too…and babysit the grandkids (Those monsters!!!) whenever the parents dumped them on her. What goes around comes around – it’s a two-way street.

  11. oh, how kind the landlady was!! rental inclusive of breakfast, and occasionally lunch and dinner!! that is surely a great thing for singles who rented her house huh?? oh, i would love to see how delicious her fish mee sua was~~ :)

    Wonderful old lady, very caring and matronly. Sadly, she’s gone now (That was in the mid-70′s…and she was retired already by then!!!)…so no more of her fish mee sua and all the nice things she used to cook.

    • you should try to cook what she used to cook for you, go by the taste you have in mind.. :)

      I do. What she cooked was very similar to my family’s – something with a bit of a nyonya or peranakan influence probably from all the years living in Kuching and the influence of her friends…who were friends of my mum and her family too…but she cooked western too. Anyone from St Michael’s, Ipoh would know her brother – the late Brother Michael Jacques.

  12. See I told you STP the master chef can cook better misua! Hehe~

    You’re submitting this for the event? Wow!

    Blush! Blush! So shy – mine’s so simple, all the rest like pro one…and the photos not so nice, taken early morning…in fluorescent light…using cheap digicam. Never mind, face skin thick a bit…for the sake of my friend and just for the fun of it! ;)

  13. interesting that u could have variations of what meat to use for this recipe. so ok, chicken is good, fish cakes and fish fillet are good, hmmm, how about duck? or beef? or pork bacon!!! :D

    My friend used prawns once…and it was good. Duck, like I said in reply to the earlier comments – we do not cook it this way…either with the herbal mix or with salted veg and salted veg soup would go better with mihun or tung hoon.

    As for beef soup, usually we match it with yellow noodles. Would probably be nice with ham or spam…but that would ruin the taste of the meat – all bland as all the taste would have gone into the soup. Like my corned beef soup – everyone hated it as the beef becomes quite tasteless. I actually like the soup but since nobody likes it, I don’t bother to cook it anymore.

  14. That’s not a golden nui pao (egg purse) but a golden nui phiak haha. Better than Bananaz who knows only to eat haha

    I did not use any oil in frying the egg, not used to that yet…but have to learn. These days, must cut down on everything – reduce intake, a bit would be ok.

  15. uiks….joining the wagon of Master Chef ya :p

    I would pound the ginger so that the taste will be stronger.

    My missus loves that!

  16. I like my mee sua with pepper pork stomach soup… and a soft boil egg… mum also puts ginger and sesame oil in the mee sua too…hehehe. Hope to find a good foochow red wine to try and cook it yr style!

    I think I had that – the peppery pork stomach and intestine soup in KL…but it was served with rice.
    http://suituapui.wordpress.com/2010/02/16/uptown-girl/
    Ya…I think that would be great with mee sua in it. Dunno when I will go over again – perhaps I can bring a few bottles of the wine for friends.

  17. Hmmm…first time seeing you submitting a guest post. Do it more next time!

    No lah. It so happened that I had this post scheduled for one of the next few days and ginger was used in the cooking…so I just reshuffled the line-up and got this out first. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have bothered.

  18. I’ve never eaten mee sua with fish either although I’ll hate to have those tiny bones.

    It totally spoils the eating experience…but with a boneless fish (or relatively boneless) I can see the potential! :D

    Ya, that’s why I’m thinking of using fresh fish fillet – deboned. Hope to try it one of these days. I don’t like cooking fish in soup as it disintegrates very easily and you will find the bones all over the place. That would put me off eating…

  19. I think I had something similar before.
    It was rice wine, ginger, egg and bihun something.
    But red wine is posher. He he..
    I’ll probably get mabuk first.

    I had mee sua in KL…but it was the rice wine that was different – I have a preference for our own tradition red wine, more fragrant…and you wouldn’t get drunk on this. The one I had in KL, the wine was so strong that I felt tipsy as I was leaving the shop… Didn’t really like it and it was not cheap – RM12 at the time. You can see a couple of photographs of it here:
    http://suituapui.wordpress.com/2010/02/16/uptown-girl/
    Definitely nothing like what we have here.

  20. I really miss eating mee sua… I only eat it once a year during first day of CNY XD

    Can always cook your own anytime… Very simple and very nice! ;)

  21. well mee sua, i think we also have such dish here, and it was called with the same name but different spelling haha,
    anyway, the mee sua itself looks yummy but the topping makes it even more appetizing

    I wonder if mee sua is the same as your pancit bihon. Bihon sounds like our mihun/bee hoon which is something different, not mee sua or perhaps, it is glass noodles which we call tung hoon…and pancit sounds like piansip – our version of wantons…or the Malay word for “punctured”. :P

  22. It has been a long time since I last went to Sitiawan to taste their mee sua with red wine… wait till I am better, one of these days I might make a trip there to have a nice bowl!
    So sporting of you to submit…. I am sure many will drool over your bowl of misua here!

    No lah, mine’s so miserable compared to all the rest – so very simple…but this is in my line-up of scheduled posts so I decided just to use it instead of coming out with something new – just for fun and to support a friend.

  23. Always nice to have the grandmotherly types around, they’ll pamper you if you let them. Besides her real grandmom, my daughter has a few older folks that dote on her. I’m the same way.

    Those fish cakes are fascinating. They appear to have a different consistency than what I’m used to seeing. How are they made? An egg purse, hmm something else I’ll have to search. I’ve never heard that term before.

    Yes, she was living alone – the children, two daughters, had all got married and were staying elsewhere in their own homes though they would drop by to see her sometimes.

    Egg purse is a Chinese term – “nui pao”. I think purse signifies wealth or money…so the egg is fried, letting the white spread so that it could be folded over to wrap the yolk inside = gold/money…and then the outside, both sides must be fried till golden yellow/brown, and gold, of course, signifies wealth too. These days, most restaurants will just lightly fry a hardboiled egg till there is a thin golden layer outside = wealth to be served with the mee sua noodles, signifying longevity.

    The fish cake I used was the frozen commercially-made type. Fish cake here is actually the same as fish balls except that they are in pieces/slabs and fried till golden brown on the outside. Fish balls are rolled into little marble-size balls and boiled – you will need to fry them yourself if you want them this way.

  24. How nice that you know how to cook. Love looking at those food pictures.

    Thanks for the compliments. I’ve seen people putting out nice tablecloth, flowers or some nice decor by the side, special crockery and all…and their photos look so nice. I just snap, not bothered to do all that, thank you very much.

  25. Singapore has fish mee sua too, not bad.

    It has? Is it clear soup or the milky type they have for fish head? I don’t like that – the milky soup.

    • It is not fish head, it is fish pieces or rather fish fillet, clear soup not the milky type, quite nice.

      Ahhhh!!! I would love that. Here, we have clear soup but with salted veg and they serve with mihun, no mee sua. Not my favourite.

  26. I think I should give this a try too using Sitiawan mee sua and Homemade ang jiu. Thanks for sharing

    Sitiawan’s probably the same – they’re all Foochows there and Yong Peng too…like us, in Sibu! ;)

    Btw, thanks for dropping by, do come again. Will link you in my blogroll.

  27. Nice!! this post makes me miss fish cakes. I wish I can buy some of it from here in belgium. sob sob

    No Asian shops there, frozen foods?

  28. I love mee suah. Have some in the kitchen. Think I will whipout something like you did instead of my usual of cooking them with cabbage, fish paste, egg and ginger.

    Never had veg in mee sua…but yes, ginger! That’s the most crucial ingredient in soups for mee sua, as I have mentiuoned in the post…and also, for us…Foochow red wine too.

  29. I love mee suah. Given me another idea of home cooked food.

    I love it too…and my daughter as well. She prefers it to rice – easy to eat she says, just slurp it all up, no need to chew so much. LOL!!! :D

    Your first time here, I see. Welcome and thanks for commenting. Will link you in my blogroll. Do come again, eh? :)

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