As London enters deeper into the winter months and temperatures start to dip, I find myself turning to the chilli-based recipes of home for warmth. If there’s one website I regard as the holy grail of South East Asian recipes, it would have to be Rasa Malaysia. Even if you’re not planning on doing any cooking, the mouth-watering photography alone is enough to satisfy any cravings for home-cooked Malaysian and Nyonya favourites.
I was excited when I stumbled upon this great Mee Siam recipe, a dish I have fond memories of eating while growing up at many a dinner party hosted by my mom. I’ve adapted Rasa Malaysia’s recipe slightly based on what I had available in the fridge and store-cupboard at the time (it’s one of those easy-come, easy-go recipes that would work just as well with chicken as it would with any kind of seafood you fancy). Don’t mess about with the spice paste though… it’s the key to this dish. Spicy, tangy and with a great depth of savoury flavour from the taucheo (fermented soy bean paste) based spice paste, it’s a rockstar of winter warmer that’s dead-easy to make and sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Ingredients: Serves 4
- 600g of vermicelli (i used fresh, but if you are using dried noodles, pre-soak according to the pack instructions)
- 16 fresh king prawns
- 12 crab sticks
- 1 pack of the mixed stir-fry vegetables (beansprouts, spring greens, peppers etc.)
- 3 – 4 table-spoons of cooking oil
- Salt and Soya sauce to taste
For the spice paste:
- 5 red chillies
- 6 shallots
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 3 table-spoons of fermented soy bean paste (taucheo)
- 1 table-spoon of sugar (i used palm sugar, but normal will do)
- 1 table-spoon of fish sauce (or soya sauce as a substitute)
- Juice of half a lime
- 2 eggs (seasoned with a pinch of salt and white pepper and beaten into an omelette)
- 2 limes (cut into wedges)
- 1 red chilli (finely sliced)
- Small bunch of Spring onion and Coriander (roughly chopped)
- Add all the spice paste ingredients into a food processor and blend to a fine paste.
- Add about a tablespoon of oil to a large, flat frying pan and make a thin omelette for the garnish. Once cooked, fold, set-aside and slice into thin strips.
- Heat a couple of table-spoons of oil in the pan, and saute the spice paste mix on a high heat for 7-8 minutes to bring all the flavours out, constantly stirring to prevent it from burning (add a bit more oil if the paste starts to get too dry)
- Add the prawns and fry briefly for half a minute on each side. Before it’s fully cooked, throw in the vegetables and crabsticks and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
- Add the vermicelli noodles to the pan, cooking for a further 2-3 minutes and mixing the rice noodles thoroughly with the seafood and vegetables. Season with salt and soya sauce to taste.
- Garnish with the sliced omelette, lime wedges, red chilli and chopped coriander / spring onions.