This is my absolutely favourite food in the whole wide world. Readily available in Singapore, this dish is hard to replicate due to the lack of the fresh ingredients you would otherwise find in all food markets on the island.
Many think this is more or less Chinese food, but they are much mistaken because the ingredients are quintessentially Southeast Asian. Fishballs, fish dumplings, fish cakes are southeastern Chinese by origin, Teochew to be specific. But these are made to perfection in Singapore, with the use of local tropical fish. Furthermore, the use of chili oil sauce with local spices to go with the flat yellow egg noodles is certainly not Chinese.
I will now divide the recipe into two: one for the chili oil sauce, the other for the meepok itself.
You first have to make the chili oil sauce in abundance, which you can store in the fridge for a long time.
Ingredients for the chili sauce:
- 150g dried chili
- 3 cloves garlic
- 5cm ginger
- 5 shallots
- 100g shredded dried shrimp
- 3 candlenuts (buah keras)
- 300ml oil
- 1tbs salt
- Use a food processor to mix all your ingredients together except the oil and shrimp.
- Heat up a wok on low fire, add in your oil and then your spices. Stir the contents constantly to prevent it from burning. Once you smell the fragrance of the spices, add in your shredded shrimp. Stir fry for a while until you get a thick, reddish chili paste full of oil.
- Leave aside to cool completely before you store it in a glass jar. You only need a few tablespoonful for your noodles each time.
Here are the ingredients you need for your meepok:
Serving: 1 person
- 5-10 tbs of chili oil sauce (see above)
- 500ml of water
- 2 balls fresh flat egg noodles known as “mee pok” (面薄)
- 6-10 fresh fishballs
- 6-10 slices of fried fish cake
- 3-5 fresh fish dumplings
- 100g minced lean pork
- 1 tbs of Tianjin preserved vegetables known as “dongcai” (冬菜)
- Handful of beansprouts
- 4 stalks of kangkong
- 1 tbs of Thai fish sauce
- 1 tbs of light soy sauce
- 1 tbs black vinegar (optional)
- 1 tbs of deep-fried pork lard with oil
- White pepper powder
- Chopped spring onions
- Deep-fried shallots
You need a small pot and a wok for preparing this dish. You also need to do this fairly quickly, and it does take skill to master the timing well.
- Heat up your wok filled with water. Bring to boil and cook your fresh egg noodles in it for 1 minute. Take your noodles out and place it in a basin of cool tap water. This sudden drop in temperature will cause the noodles to be nice and springy in taste (this trick will not work on dried noodles). Leave it there for one minute.
- Meanwhile, bring to boil 500ml of water in a small pot. Add in your fishballs, fishcake slices, fish dumplings and dongcai.
- Bring to boil the water in the wok, drain the noodles from the basin and place it back into the wok to be reheated. Do not let it turn soggy.
- Take a bowl in which you want to serve your noodles. Add in your chili oil sauce, fish sauce, light soy sauce, vinegar and pork lard with oil.
- Using a big strainer, drain your noodles by lifting it into the strainer from the wok and place it in the bowl. With boiling water still in the wok, throw in your kangkong and beansprout.
- Take out another bowl in which you will be serving the soup. Place your minced pork in it, quickly season with salt and pepper using a ladle. Now, with the fishball soup boiling away, use the ladle to scoop up small soup and add it to the pork in the bowl. Use the ladle to cut up the pork to allow the soup to cook the pork. Pour the liquid back into the soup pot (this will add taste to the soup). Do this repeatedly until the pork is JUST cooked. Taste the soup and add salt if necessary.
- Lay the cooked minced pork on the noodles. Drain the vegetables out of the wok and lay them on the noodles as well.
- Turn off the fire of the soup. Take some fishballs, fish cake slices and fish dumplings and place on the noodles, and serve the rest in the soup bowl.
- Garnish the noodles with chopped spring onions, deep-fried shallots and a dash of pepper. Serve.
Do you like this recipe? Why not try out some of my other Singaporean recipes? 😉