As good as it gets…

After the not-very-satisfactory one that I had here, I had been wanting to cook my own Singapore mee siam from scratch but somehow or other, I never got round to doing it. The main reason, of course, was the fact that I was too lazy and furthermore, I took the trouble to browse through some of the video clips on Youtube to watch some people cooking it and I was horrified by the amount of ingredients that one would have to prepare and some did not seem like the real thing even, for instance, they did not use tau cheo (fermented bean paste) and things like that.

Well, the other day, I finally did! I cooked my own Singapore nyonya-style mee siam

Singapore mee siam 1

You see, when Melissa was home for the holidays sometime back, we spent a lot of time together and among the things that we did, we went window-shopping and roamed around the shopping complexes and supermarkets and imagine my delight when I saw this at one near my house

Mee siam mix 1

– the ready-to-cook sauce for mee siam, “an authentic Singaporean dish that will tempt you with its fragrant aroma” – that was what it said on the box.

I noted that it was made in Singapore…

Made in Singapore

…so I decided to buy it and give it a try but unfortunately, it did not come cheap – one box cost over RM13.00 and there was supposed to be enough for 2-3 servings. That means that one serving would be around RM4-6.00…but never mind!  I simply had to have it, period.

There were four sachets inside – the paste for the gravy and the one for frying the mihun (rice vermicelli) plus the sambal (chili paste) and the last one, the lime juice…

Mee siam mix 2

I boiled the prawns, shell removed…and used the stock for cooking the gravy. That was easy enough – all I had to do was to empty the contents of the sachet and bring it to boil…

Mee siam gravy

The peeling of the prawns and the de-veining was the tedious part and took quite a while. Besides, I also had to lightly fry the tau kua (bean curd/tofu cake) and the omelette and then slice them into small thin pieces/strips plus some spring onions for the garnishing. They usually have chives in mee siam but I am not a fan so I decided to omit that. I also decided not to have any hardboiled eggs either as there was the omelette already and I reckoned that would suffice.

When I had got everything ready, I started to fry the mihun. All I had to do was to heat up the wok and empty into it the second sachet – the one with the paste for frying…and then, I added the mihun, pre-soaked to soften, and mixed everything together thoroughly. Once done, I scooped it all out into a casserole dish and garnished it with everything that I had got ready earlier…

Mee siam mihun & garnishings

Lastly, I emptied the sambal into a bowl and added the lime juice to it…

Mee siam sambal & line juice

This would be the chili dip to accompany the main dish and I must say that it  was quite spicy and very very nice.

Finally, the moment of truth! I helped myself to some of the mihun and the condiments and poured a bit of the gravy over everything…

Singapore mee siam 2

Ooooo…it was good!!! Exactly like how I remembered the Singapore mee siam to be – the one that I had way back in 1973.

In case anyone is thinking that there wasn’t much gravy in the serving that I had, the truth is that I was scrimping on it – trying to stretch it a bit so that I could have extra servings and instead of 450 ml of water for the gravy according to the instructions on the box, I added a bit more – 500 ml…and in the end, there was enough for 5 servings instead of just 2-3.

For one thing, I thought that was a lot of work…and I just cannot imagine me preparing the ingredients and everything right from the start and cooking it all by myself, no way! Now that there is this available at the supermarket here and the end result is as good as it gets, should I be craving for mee siam again, I will just hop over to the place a stone’s throw away from my house and grab another box… Easy! Hehehehehehe!!!