First come, first served…

My Trengganu friends gave me a bottle of tom yam sauce when they came to town that day – nicer than Nona, the brand I usually use, they say. I thought of trying it the other day but I changed my mind – it is good till 2016 so I guess it can wait. I remember I still have the nyonya sauce that Merryn sent me sometime ago…

Nyonya sauce from Merryn
*Archive photo*

My missus used it to steam fish once – it  was very nice, something like the just-as-yummy Thai-style sour and spicy fish sauce that I’ve blogged about before. I also used that to try and replicate the Singapore nyonya mee siam and though it was very nice, it entailed a lot of work and I would not be all that keen to do it all over again. Well, what was left of the bottle of the nyonya sauce had been sitting in the fridge all this while so the other morning, I thought I might as well use that to cook something for breakfast…and instead of frying, like how I cooked my tom yam bihun, I decided to try something different – bihun in nyonya sauce/gravy.

I fried some finely-chopped garlic in a bit of oil, threw in some bihun and added fish sauce and an egg and dished that out into a bowl…

Bihun, fried

Then, I poured a bit of water into the wok and added the nyonya sauce…

Add nyonya sauce

– enough to get the colour that I wanted, three scoops altogether and after that, in went the sliced Bombay onion, curry leaves and the skinny stalk of serai (lemon grass) from my garden, bruised…

Add onion, curry leaves & serai

No, I did not fry everything in oil first – I guess everyone would agree that we sure can do with a little less oil in our cooking, right?

I let that simmer to bring out the fragrances in those ingredients and next, I put in the sotong (squid) and the sliced fish cake plus a tomato cut into wedges…

Add sotong, fish cake & tomato

…and allowed it to continue simmering for the taste and sweetness of the seafood added especially.

Once done, I poured the sauce over the aforementioned fried bihun

Pour sauce

…and garnished with chopped spring onions…


…and served.

I tossed everything together to mix the sauce with the bihun well…


…before dishing out the amount that I wanted…

1st helping

…and diving in.

Yes, it was very nice and you can bet that I had more than just that one helping…and yes, I would want to cook it this way again.

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

19 thoughts on “First come, first served…”

  1. I like the diagonal cuts on the squids! Makes the whole thing more presentable! Next time cook one plate for me can ar? prease ra….

    All my missus’ work – she buys, cleans…and makes the cuts and puts in little packs before storing in the freezer. Can take out what we need to cook each time instead of defrosting all and re-freezing what’s not needed. You come over to Sibu – can cook for you, no problem at all.

  2. Fried bihun looks good and best part is hassle free. Nowadays, can easily get ready made sauce on the shelves. Tom Yum soup base is always very appetising.

    Yes, I usually use Nona. Yet to try the one my friends gave me.

  3. Oohh I have tomyum paste at home too.. No brand, some Thai language brand, haha, that I randomly got from the supermarket last year. Yep I use it to steam fish and fry bihun too, but the dry version, not the soupy version.. Like you, I fry everything in the wok, add in some paste and mix together.. Next time I can try your version, then I get both tomyum soup and tomyum-slightly-wet bihun, nice…

    The dry version is good too. I thought I’d have it this way for a change – with sauce.

  4. I can imagine how it tasted like! Great recipe, Arthur! Another creative invention. :p

    I can serve that for my Chinese New Year open house next year, it’s that good. Can add prawns too. Too bad you will not be around then… 😉

  5. I’ve never thought to make it myself. I suppose it’s helpful with the aid of a jar base.

    May be better to work from scratch but considering all the hassle involved, I’m all for resorting to shortcuts. They do have very good ones these days, just as good as doing it all yourself…or almost, at least.

  6. Your fried bihun, i can eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner….

    I did not cook a lot – sacred not nice but luckily, it turned out very good. There was a bit left so I had it for lunch – not so nice as the sauce already soaked the bihun. Best keep separate, pour on bihun and serve and eat right away.

  7. Nice and comforting ones…
    i used to made the tom yum paste from scratch, i guess this quicky instant version is what i actually craving now…

    There are some good ones these days but will have to know which to buy. Same with other things like curry powder, for instance – there are good ones and there are others not worth buying and using at all.

  8. Wow! I love your step by step recipe! I’m really curious how the dish tastes like because I’ve never tried anything like this! I’m living in Europe so it’s something completely new for me! Great pictures!
    Have a nice day,

    This is one of the ways they serve noodles here – fry the noodles first, make the sauce and pour over it…something like what people do when cooking spaghetti bolognese. One popular sauce is the egg gravy – I have that here:
    Best to eat as soon as the sauce has been poured or the noodles would soak it all up.

    Hope you had a great weekend. Do have a wonderful week ahead.

  9. What an appetising dish! I super like! The sotong certainly caught my eye.

    I’m searching for a good brand for ready mix Tom yum paste..any brand you would recommend?

    I always used NONA but my Trengganu friends gave me something else, said nicer – Tae-Pee Brand, haven’t tried.

  10. Wow! A lot went into that dish! Great photos – as always!

    Ummm…not really. I was just testing the water so to speak, afraid it would not turn out nice and I would have to throw everything away, so I just cooked a bit.

  11. Oh! This is a masterpiece ! I love it ! I can’t wait to try it myself! Great job!

    Go ahead. It was very nice. Sweet and sour and spicy…like THAI tom yam.

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at

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