Beg to differ…

I came across belacan bihun at one place in Kuching a long time ago, a circular building in the Padungan area, around Jubilee Ground or something. My friends took me there but I had just had lunch at the time so I did not want to order that to try.

For one thing,  the belacan (dried prawn paste) smell was very strong – once you reach the place, you will be able to smell nothing but that! Some people may not like it like how some tourists from abroad are put off by the smell of durians. However, I must say it was very popular and everyone there was eating that. I did cast a glance at it and it looked like bihun (rice vermicelli) served with toppings of cuttle fish and strip of cucumber and taugeh (bean sprouts) drowned in the belacan broth. You can see a photograph of it in this blog…but that looked like a different place. The one I went to was this one, also featured in the same blog.

Well, I don’t think I will want to cook the same soup version so I beg to differ and cook mine differently. It so happened that the other day, I fried some  leftover rice with belacan added and it turned out very nice and I guessed I could do the same with bihun. These were the ingredients that I used…

Belacan bihun ingredients

– one shallot, peeled and sliced, two cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped finely, two fresh chilies, seeds removed and thinly sliced, some belacan, minced/chopped, a handful of ikan bilis (dried anchovies) and bihun, soaked to soften…plus some spring onions from my garden, chopped finely to use as garnishing.

Firstly, I fried the ikan bilis in a bit of oil till a little brown and then I pushed that aside to fry the shallot and garlic…


…and then, in went the belacan and the chilies, saving a bit of the latter for garnishing as well. I was caught up with trying to take clear photographs in the midst of the hot steam coming out from the wok so the ingredients got a little burnt…so I gave up trying to multi-task – cook and take snapshots at the same time. As the proverb goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Tsk! Tsk!

I quickly put in the bihun and mixed it well and lastly, I broke an egg into the wok and fried it with everything else in it and then I pushed it all aside and broke another egg, breaking the yolk and spreading everything all over. When it was a little bit cooked, I moved the bihun over right on top of that second egg and once it was done, I dished everything out and served…

STP's fried belacan bihun 1

…garnished with the aforementioned spring onions and sliced chilies.

If you’re wondering what on earth I was doing with the egg, actually, I was trying to replicate what they do with the very popular Ah Tor kway teow here and I would say that it was QUITE successful. For one thing, there was not enough egg to “wrap” all the bihun…

STP's fried belcan bihun 2

…so the egg covered only a section of the bihun.

It would have been just right if it had been one egg to one plate or one serving of bihun

STP's fried belacan bihun 3

…and besides, I think I should beat the egg first before pouring it into the wok so it would be all yellow and there would not be those huge patches of egg white.

Ah well! You learn new things everyday so I know what to do next time.