Monday, July 27, 2009

Dry Wonton Mee

If you've ever read the earlier posts in this blog, you will know about my obsession with Malaysian style dry wonton mee. It's a dish you can really only find in Malaysia, and even in Malaysia there's only certain places that do it well. Very different to the Hong Kong style of wonton noodles, these are served in a thick, dark, pork fat laden sauce with lots of pickled green chillies. It's one of those things I get the worst cravings for and make me extremely homesick for Malaysia, even if I do call Sydney my home. I have yet to find a place in Sydney that sells an authentic version.

My mum used to pick me up this dish from a nearby hawker stall for lunch all the time, and it would come packed up in plastic freezer bags, held together with pink plastic string. It doesn't feel the same without the plastic, or the pork fat, but this version that we try and make at home is about as close as I've managed to get to the real thing. Anyway, it's just a really tasty dinner.

Wonton Mee
(Recipe adapted from Lee Sook Chings 'Cook Malaysian')

Water Chestnuts
For the wontons and soup:
1 tbsp water chestnuts or yam bean, finely diced
1 knob ginger (approx 1 cm)
100g minced pork
2 tsp chopped spring onion
1 tsp tapioca flour
1 tsp salt
3 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 egg white, beaten
White pepper
Wonton skins (1 pack, 25-30 pieces)
2 tbsp oil (vegetable or olive)
3 shallots, sliced
6 cups stock (I used chicken stock)
1 pack wonton egg noodles (I recommend the Double Merino brand shown below)
Optional: Chinese vegetables (e.g. choy sum or bak choy), char siew (bbq pork) to serve

For the serving sauce:
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp kecap manis
3 cloves garlic, finely diced
white pepper, to taste

Cut off two thin slices of ginger and pound the rest to extract the ginger juice (I squeezed the pounded ginger through a fine sieve). Mix minced pork with water chestnuts or yam bean, ginger juice, sping onion, tapioca flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp light soy, 1/2 tsp sesame oil, egg white and a good shake of pepper.

Knead well to mix the ingredients thoroughly. Get your hands right in there!

Spread out a wonton skin and moisten the edges with some water on your finger tip. Spread out a wonton skin and place a spoonful of this filling in the centre. Press wonton skin together to enclose filling completely.

I know, there are a million pretty and better ways to fold a wonton together but when I'm in a rush I just twist the top together, it's quick and it stays together, which is good enough for me!

These dumplings can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until they are ready to be boiled and served with the noodles. Heat 1 tbsp cooking oil and brown the shallot and ginger slices. Add the stock with the remaining salt and light soy with a good shake of white pepper. Keep the stock hot.

Prepare your serving sauce ahread of time: heat the vegetable oil in a small frying pan until hot and then add the diced garlic. Remove from the heat and stir fry the garlic until it is brown. Remove from the pan before the garlic starts to burn and place in a small bowl. Add all other ingredients, feel free to adjust the ratios of all the sauces to your taste.

The sauce should be thick and black, salty and sweet with a strong hit of garlic. The original recipe only uses regular soy instead of kecap manis and no garlic, but I love the extra flavour you get from these two ingredients.

In a saucepan, boil water and add the wontons and cook for 4 minutes or until they float. Lifed the cooked wontons from the water and plunge them into a basin of cold water. Drain well and keep aside.

Allow water to come to the boil again in the saucepan. Loosen the stands of your pack of wonton noodles and drop it into the boiling water. Stir with chopsticks and cook for 1 minute. Use a large slotted spoon or a sieve to lift the noodles from the boiling water and plunge them in a basin of cold water (I just run it under a cold running tap).

Remove, shake out excess water and plunge into the boiling water again (I usually skip this step due to laziness). Lift out at once, drain well and place in a large bowl or pot. Pour serving sauce over the noodles and mix through well using chopsticks until all the noodles are coated in the sauce.

Boil chinese vegetables in the stock prepared earlier, when cooked serve vegetables, sliced char siew & noodles with some pickled green chillies. Wontons can either be served in a bowl of the stock or mixed into the noodles.

The type of noodles that you use for this dish will make a big difference. At the chinese supermarket they usually sell egg noodles and wonton noodles. Make sure you get the wonton noodles, they should be firmer. Try and get the brand I mentioned if you can find it, I see it at most chinese supermarkets and it's the best brand I've tried so far.
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  1. That looks so good! I haven't tried that dish (I think) but Ilike the idea of serving soup on the side so the noodles don't get soggy so I think I'd love it! :)

  2. This noodle dish was THE ultimate dish for me, growing up. I think I ate nothing but wonton mee every time we went out for a family Sunday lunch. I haven't had it since, and kinda miss it. Thanks for sharing! :)

  3. You'll be super pleased to hear that I ate at least three serves of this on my recent trip back :) And oh! The plastic with the pink string tied around it still reigns supreme.

  4. Ohmygosh these look so good Steph mmmm!!

  5. I should not have clicked on the link before breakfast!!! Now I want a bowl of the mee!! I find that the dark soy sauce (kicap manis) plays an important part of this dish. I have trouble finding a good Malaysian brand? The Hong Kong and Indonesian ones are just ain't right :(

  6. Those wontons look incredible! And thanks for the recommendation for the egg noodles, I've been trying to find a good brand.

  7. Your wontons look so good! Impressed! And yeah, it just aint the same when it doesnt come in a plastic bag from a street hawker!

  8. you're both a fantastic baker and cook. these wontons look fantastic!

  9. Lorraine - It's the best way to have this type of noodles in my opinion! I find the clear soup noodle version very boring in comparison

    Y - Yay same here! It's always the dish I am thinking about on the plane trip back. You're welcome!

    shez - :D Woot! I'm so jealous! Was it as good as always?

    Trisha - :D Thanks!

    Ellie - Haha this would be the best breakfast to have, but so naughty! I agree, the Malaysian kecap manis is very different, but I've used ABC brand for so long now that I'm okay with it now

    Belle - Aw thanks! Yep that's my fav brand, though the wonton noodles are much better in texture than their egg noodles and they almost look exactly the same in packaging so be careful!

    Betty - :) Thanks Betty! I thought they were pretty rough looking actually haha! Oh yes, it's the whole experience isn't it?

    panda - Hehe thanks so much! I still don't think I'm much of a cook, esp compared to my Mum and brother, but I try!

    Justin - Thanks! They're pretty easy to do :)

  10. Hi Steph - bit late to this post, but I love this dish. Barbeque King @ Australia Square (Sydney) will make it to order for you, if you ask.
    Cheers, Ali

  11. Oh okay, that's a surprise! Are you sure it's the malaysian version with the thick black sauce though? I would have expected them to serve the light soy version!


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