Roll it…

Long before there were instant noodles, we had what we called mee kua in Hokkien, “mee” meaning noodles…but I do not know what “kua” means. Maybe it means hard as in “tau kua” which is what we call the firm bean curd cake but one thing’s for sure, I’m pretty certain it has nothing to do with “ah kua” (pondan/transvestite)! ROTFL!!!

The Malay name is clear enough – mee sanggul, sanggul being the name for the end result when ladies tie their long hair and roll it up into a bun like these…

Mee sanggul - uncooked

My mother used to cook a whole basin of that for us when we were young. She would boil the noodles and toss it in lard, soy sauce and Ve Tsin (msg/monosodium glutamate – back in those days, Aji-no-moto was unheard of as well) and my brother and I would feast on it to our hearts’ delight.

They’re not exactly instant and may take a longer time to cook, like spaghetti…and a lot of water is needed as the water may get too starchy and if you’re cooking the noodles in a saucepan or a small cooking pot, it may boil over and you end up making a mess.

These days, we do not use lard anymore, so I just use a tablespoon of cooking oil, a tablespoon of soy sauce and half a teaspoon of msg. To make it taste even nicer, I would also add a spoonful of Bovril…

Mee sanggul - ingredients

Actually, it is up to you to modify that according to your whims and fancies. My missus would fry some sliced shallots in the oil for that additional flavour and fragrance…and add chopped spring onions as well.

Once the noodles have softened, drain away the water and toss in the ingredients prepared and there you have it…

Mee sanggul 1

Mee kua or mee sanggul with a little bit of homemade pounded chilli…

Mee sanggul 2

These days, they have dried kampua mee and dried kolo mee – the latter is supposed to be curly…and even dried mee pok. Mee pok is flat like mee kua but in comparison, the colour is very pale. Mee kua comes in  a darker shade of yellow and has a distinct taste of its own.

I remember mee kua used to cost 50 cents a kati…but when I bought a bag of it the other day, probably a kg, it cost me RM4.80. Sigh!!! The sign of the times!