Thursday, April 25, 2024

Malay Style Prawn Noodles/Mee Udang

Let's chat about food and how it fits into our busy lives. Nowadays, it's pretty common to eat out because, let's face it, everyone's hustling, especially women who are not just holding down jobs but climbing the career ladder too. Kudos to them! But here's the snag: there's hardly any time left for cooking at home. Some folks have helpers or live-in moms taking care of the kitchen duties, but for others, it's all about ordering in, which can get pricey. Even kiddos, as young as 10, are pros at hitting up food delivery apps. Weekends often mean dining out, and this lack of home-cooked meals might explain why health issues, like obesity, are creeping up among the young ones who just can't resist good grub.

I get it - it's tough juggling work stress and the nightmare of traffic jams, but hey, when you find a spare moment, why not prep and freeze some meals? And let's not forget, cooking isn't just for the ladies - hubs can get their hands dirty too!

Now, onto something delicious: Malay Style Prawn Noodles/Mee Udang.

Malay Style Prawn Noodles/Mee Udang features prawn and anchovy broth-based noodles, setting it apart from Chinese-style dishes like Penang Prawn Mee or Hae Mee. The inspiration for my version of this dish? It's a mystery to me! One day, while surfing the web, the idea just popped into my head. 

Now, let's be real - the cooking process can get a bit involved, and the ingredient list might seem lengthy. But fear not, everything you need can be found at your local grocery store. And trust me, the effort is totally worth it once you taste the explosion of flavors in every mouthful.

I've even included a recipe for a spicy sambal dip to accompany the dish, adding an extra layer of deliciousness. As a Malaysian, I believe a sambal dip is a must-have, don't you agree? I mean, what's a Malaysian noodle dish without that spicy kick? We Malaysians sure do love our chilies!

Why not whip up this dish for a cozy family meal on Sundays or when you have guests over? It's sure to be a hit, especially on those rainy days when you're craving some comfort food.

Alright, enough chit-chat. Let's get cooking!

For Sambal/Chilli Dip 
10 dried red chillies (soaked to soften) 
1/2 inch roasted belacan/shrimp paste 
1/4 cup oil 
Salt to taste

Prepare Sambal/Chilli Dip 
Blend chillies with belacan for a thick paste. 
Heat oil and fry the paste with salt, until aromatic and oil floats. 
Remove and set aside.

For Prawn Broth 
1 1/2 cups prawn shells/heads 
4 cups water 
3 tbsp oil

Prepare Prawn Broth 
Heat oil and fry prawn shells/heads until crispy. 
Pour water and simmer over low heat to reduce to 1/3. 
Cool down, blend, strain, and pour back into the pot. Set aside.

For Anchovy Broth 
One handful of anchovies/ikan bilis 
1/2-inch smashed ginger 
1 or 2 smashed lemongrass/serai 
2 cups water 
Salt to taste

Prepare Anchovy Broth 
Simmer anchovies, ginger, lemongrass and water over low heat to extract broth.
Strain and combine with prawn broth.
Set aside.

Put a little of the chilli dip in a pot (keep the balance for pairing)  
Pour broth into sambal in the pot. 
Season with salt. 
Keep broth simmering over low heat (or heat up before serving) 
(Note: For more broth, add water)

(Blanching prawns in broth)

Other Ingredients/For Assembling (As Needed) 
Fresh prawns - deveined and leave the shell on (blanch in the broth) 
Yellow noodles - blanch to soften 
Fried shallots 
Sliced red chillies 
Boiled eggs 
Bean sprouts - blanch to soften 
Boiled potatoes 
Sliced spring onion 
Sliced coriander leaves 
Calamansi lime/limau kasturi

Place noodles in a bowl and pour broth over. 
Garnish with garnished with fried shallots, sliced red chillies, boiled eggs, bean sprouts, boiled potatoes, spring onion, and coriander leaves.

Serve with sambal/chilli dip and calamansi lime. 

Feel free to pair the broth with rice. Go ahead and enjoy! 

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