They say…

Pasta originated from China, they say – Marco Polo brought it back when he returned from his travels. Well, whether that is true of not, to me, they are all different kinds of noodles. Even here alone, there are so many varieties – our kampua noodles, the kolo mee in Kuching and wantan mee are all different in texture and taste and of course, the different ways of preparation and serving make that even more so.

This version of dried noodles, the mee kua

Mee kua

…that is widely available here sure looks similar to linguine, doesn’t it? Of course I would not go so far as to say that they are the same – obviously, by virtue of the ingredients used in the making and probably the process as well, they are not but I had some in the house and I decided to cook it differently from the usual to see how it turned out.

Like pasta, this mee kua takes a longer time to boil unlike the rest here and after I had done that, I rinsed it in cold water to remove whatever excess starch there was and to stop any further cooking from the residual heat. I still had this packet of spices…

Burrito spice mix

…so I added two teaspoons of that and some chopped sweet basil from my ailing plant plus a pinch of salt and some pepper…

Ready to toss

…and tossed everything together.

I fried some chopped garlic in two tablespoons of cooking oil in my ceramic pan (Yes, I’ve used it already and I love it!!!) till golden brown and then I added some chopped pepperoni…

Garlic & pepperoni

…for some added taste. Once I could detect the fragrance from these two ingredients, I added the pre-tossed noodles into the pan and mixed everything together and served…

Breakfast is served

…with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese on top.

Well, it was nice but I would much sooner have it my old school way – tossed with shallot oil, chopped spring onions, dark soy sauce and a pinch of msg and of course, with Bovril, that would bring the taste to a whole new level…just that I cannot afford it now. Believe it or not, you see bottles of that (and Marmite too) at the shops and supermarkets kept under lock and key, right next to the cans of New Moon abalone!!! Sigh!!! The way the prices are going, there are many things we will just have to learn to live without like, for instance, at RM110.00 a kilo, it sure looks like I am not going to have any bak kua (barbecued meat) this year… Sobssss!!!!

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Author: suituapui

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

21 thoughts on “They say…”

  1. Thank you for the Marco Polo info.

    Wiki says it’s a legend, stories people told so I guess there is no way of telling if there is any truth in it at all.

  2. I agree that Bovril or even Marmite is so expensive these days. When I was younger, my mom would let us eat porridge with Bovril or even spread on bread. On rainy days, she’ll make Bovril soup for us. Everything was Bovril back then. Today, it is like liquid gold. My kids don’t get to eat this often.

    Yes, it came so easy in those days that I sort of dreaded it! With porridge, I preferred Marmite…but at the current prices, I can’t eat to eat either. So it will just have to be plain porridge or at best, with soy sauce. Sobssssss!!!!! πŸ˜₯

  3. I do believe that the Chinese invented noodles and pasta. It was brought over to Italy during trade, Italy has a rich history of cultures from other places e.g. Sicily has a lot of Arabs due to proximity to North Africa and other Middle Eastern countries. They would totally hate it if it were said to them though coz it’s not something Italians like to hear, but a lot of their surnames have Arab lineage e.g. “the Saracen”.

    Yeah, Bovril/Marmite/Vegemite is so expensive nowadays coz it’s imported. I see prices of imported goods from Australia, US and UK increasing (in that order). Things that used to be RM 3.80 is now RM 4.50 or more.

    Haha! I know which supermarket you mean, they even put the pepper under lock and key (the unground pepper balls).

    LOL!!! You’ve seen them too, eh? There’s a shop near our houses too – in the cabinet beside/behind the cashier’s counter.

    1. Haha! Yeah, I wonder why they do that, it’s not super expensive unlike the cans of abalone they put inside (which is understandable as some can cost up to RM 400+ per can).

      Probably to occupy the space in the cabinets? There are other things equally or even more expensive, all the imported stuff there.

  4. I know they say too many carbs are bad for you, but I do have a real love for pasta and noodles.

    It takes a bit of getting used to. I cut out noodles completely once and my waistline went down four inches…but after say, a month, I started putting back on WITHOUT THE NOODLES. I guess it would need some working out and regular exercise to maintain the weight but unfortunately, the spirit was willing but the flesh was weak. Hehehehehe!!!! Having said that, yes, it is good to cut down on carbs, rice included, because of the hidden sugars, if nothing else.

  5. I used to cook those mee kua. I like it simple, just tossed with fried shallot oil, dark soya sauce & oyster sauce, chopped spring onions & some minced meat & it is simply out of this world…No, thanks to Marmite or Borvil.

    Is this a woman’s thing or what? My missus doesn’t like them either and whenever we have porridge, she would take out her bottle of tau joo (fermented bean curd) even though doctors advised against eating that with all the preservatives and what not in it.

  6. I believe the Chinese invented the noodle first before others followed and re-invented.

    Everything so expensive this year. We bought less this year but much more expensive than what we had last year. This year, we downsizing but we get what we wanted only. Not too much. Bak kua also few boxes. Other gives to my parents.

    They have in smaller packs now – I just saw 300 gm for over RM40! That’s outrageous! 900 gm, not even 1 kg, already RM120. I guess that is good for buying for people, no need to buy 1 kg…but some may feel it is a loss of face – every year one kg, this year suddenly 300 gms only. πŸ˜€

  7. Wow! Is the bak kua so expensive now? I haven’t checked out the price yet. Mee kua looks like mee poh. I like to eat bovril and marmite but haven’t eaten them for a long time.

    Yes, it is, outrageously expensive. At one of those upscale cafes, crispy pork belly is going for RM8.50 per 100 gm, RM85 a kg only – can pre-order for Chinese New Year. I would much sooner go for that! Not so sweet, much tastier plus eating those burnt bits is equivalent to smoking a few cigarettes actually!

  8. Ahhh creative! I can imagine the taste and fragrance already!

    You would probably enjoy that, young people these days…plus it’s lard free. πŸ˜‰

  9. CNY, they mark up the price, yet at Chinatown, one of the bak kwa stall, every year, there’s still long Q…

    Never mind! They can eat it themselves – I am not buying and that is final! Not that I am going to drop dead or anything from not eating…or I will be unlucky for seven years. Tsk! Tsk!

  10. Ohh.. That’s an interesting fact !! Pasta introduced by Marco Polo to China ! And noodles in China comes from all sorts of shapes too!

    You would know, you’ve been there…and back.

  11. yay for pasta and noodles … if i had to eat either rice or noodles for the rest of my life, i’d pick noodles, heh πŸ™‚ hmmm, mee kua with a burrito spice mix … that’s quite fusion! πŸ˜€

    Indeed, not into fusion – I just thought I would give it a try and true enough, I would very much prefer it my old school way – the way I have been eating these noodles from young. Old habits die hard, difficult to teach an old dog new tricks.

  12. Hey, make your own bak kwa! Lots of recipes on the web and not difficult at all. I’ve been making my own for at least 3 to 4 years now.

    Yes, I see a lot of people doing that. I guess I don’t like it enough to want to do that but really, how much is a kg of pork to merit that price – RM110 a kg? Daylight robbery!!!

  13. Can your noodles be considered fusion? Chinese noodles with Mexican seasoning and Italian cheese πŸ™‚

    I guess so. CONfusion, just trying something different to see if it is any good.

  14. Bovril kept under lock and key? So serious? I thought only abalones… anyway, I cannot imagine how the noodles taste like with added Bovril or Marmite, my kids only like their flavour, maybe I didn’t grow up eating those. By the way, eat whatever we can enjoy eating now, Arthur… I think we can afford to eat what we like at our age now, once awhile not everyday affair.. Maybe I am more into food… I would love to eat what I want and I can still pay now rather than closing my eyes and regretting not eating them at all… That shows how “wai sik” or “greedy for food” I am!

    Yes, the big bottles – over RM30 now…but the beef flavour is not available. I saw at another supermarket, medium bottle, beef – over RM20! No lah…cannot enjoy all the time, what we can do without, no need lah. Dunno how long we will be around, must have enough money to get by. My pension is very small, cannot depend on that alone. Of course, once in a while, we can pamper ourselves a bit – no need to suffer too much but cannot indulge all the time either. πŸ˜€

  15. So kesian… so no Sanbanto bak kua for u this year ya…. tsk.. tsk…

    Ummmm…dijamin sampai hari esok!!! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

  16. I remember Bovril used to be made from beef stock or something when i was a small kid. That was yum! Mom mixed it with porridge and that was the only food they didnt have to shove down my throat (back then anything green or not fried chicken was poison to me. Lol). But now it’s made from yeast extract, not so nice. But the one made from chicken stock is quite good though not as good as the beef ones.

    Oh? I saw the chicken ones but then it would not be bovine, would it? Not cheap either, more or less the same as the beef ones. Yes, the yeast extract one is definitely not as nice but at least, it is cheaper though not quite that affordable so I am doing without those as well. 😦

    1. Where to get the bovine ones?

      Ta Kiong used to have, did not see anymore. I saw that day at Delta Mall supermarket, real beef.

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