Curry Mee: Cooking Notes

I have been wanting to work on the Curry Mee recipe and am glad that I finally got down to it.

So, what is the difference between Curry Mee and Laksa?  In my opinion, both terms describe the same thing: noodles in curry. We know that laksa is not laksa if it is not noodles and if the broth has no curry in it.

Just that this version which we normally call “Curry Mee” in Malaysia  has a lighter broth. In my version, I omitted coconut milk.

In a nutshell, Curry Mee broth is a combination of meat broth (or stock) and sambal. In this version, I used some prawns and added the shells go into the broth. I also added some tamarind slices for the sour flavour. I also used oil from chicken fats and skins to make the sambal.

There are actually many times of Curry Mee. You can also use pork bones for the stock. Add some coconut milk if you like. Omit using daun keeping if you prefer a sweeter broth. Just get the general idea of how to make curry mee or laksa and you can improvise as you please.

This is not something you will want to make for your daily dinner. But if you are expecting many relatives or friends in a gathering, this great for such occasions.

Making the Broth

2 kg of chicken bones and parts
1 tsp of salt
1 kg of medium size prawns

Peel the prawns. Reserve the meat for garnishing. Fry the shells and heads till they are golden. Heat up about 6 laters of water and simmer the chicken bones and prawn heads/shells for 2 hours. If you are using pressure cooker, an hour will do.

Making the Sambal

Making the Sambal

To blend
10 pieces of garlic
20 pieces of shallots
10 buah keras (candlenut)
1 inch of turmeric or 2 tsp of turmeric powder
1 inch of blue ginger
2 tbsp of belachan

2 tsp table salt
3 tsp sugar
4 tbsp of chilli paste
2 tbsp of light or chicken curry powder
4 stalks of lemon grass (smashed)
2  tamarind slices (daun keping)
1 bowl of chicken or vegetable oil

Blend the ingredients. In a wok, heat up the oil and add the paste. Add salt, sugar, chilli paste, curry powder and the lemon grass. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Boiling the prawn shells and chicken bones

Preparing the Bowl of Curry Mee

Yellow Mee
Rice vermicelli (bi hun)
Bean sprouts

For garnishing
Mint leaves
Strips of Chicken meat
Tau pok (fried bean curd puffs)
Lime (kalamansi)

Strain the broth. Add the sambal paste and stir the broth. Leave some of the sambal paste for dipping. The broth is done. Add the fried bean curd.

In the boiling broth, blanch the chicken meat til it is cooked. When cooled, tear into strips.  Likewise, blanch the prawn meat.

Next, soak the rice vermicelli (bi hun)  in warm water for 15 minutes. Blanch the mee, bi hun and bean sprouts. Add the curry soup. Garnish with chicken strips, prawn, tau pok and mint leaves. Serve with some sambal and lime on the side. If you like, add some slices roast pork as a garnish. It goes very well with the sambal.

The finished broth

Originally posted at Food Canon

My Mum’s delicious Ginger Sauce

Dipping sauces often plays the second fiddle, accompanying the main dish and eaten on the side.

If you take a food photo, the small plate of sauce is likely to be blurred or “bokeh-ed” out in the background as the meat dish takes center stage.

But there are times when the dipping sauce is so good that it becomes the reason why you keep dipping something with it.

My mums favourite ginger sauce always accompany her Steamed Chicken during CNY reunion dinners and on other occasions. And the sauce always ran out way before the chicken was eaten up.

She has never left behind a recipe but from palate memories and some experiment, I have settled on this recipe.

One key ingredient to this sauce is galangal. I have come to appreciate the versatility of this ingredient through Thai cooking and Chao Shan Cuisine. I was very inspired by how Chao Shan cuisine uses galangal through Netflix’s Flavorful Origins series on this cuisine.

If you are cooking a small amount, using a mortar and pestle is the way to go for the smashed texture.  (read my inserting satire on the “Rock of Ages”). However, most times, I prepare a large amount of this sauce. It is more practical to grind it coarsely in a grinder and the finish off in the mortar. Old galangal can be as hard as a rock but a good grinder (I use the Sumeet Mixer Grinder – this is the best for Asian cooking, Panasonic also makes mixer grinders) will make short work of it. If you want to grind everything in the electric grinder, that is an acceptable compromise.

It is important to squeeze the ginger juice out before you fry it so that the ginger will caramelise faster. You ned a lot of oil for this sauce to work. And it is also important to add enough salt.

Apart from Galangal, I add normal ginger, coriander roots, stems and leaves. Adding the ginger juice and chicken stock (handy if you are boiling soup at the same time) towards the end of the cooking will help to make the sauce more viscous.

Here is the recipe. Trust me. You won’t regret learning this sauce.


500g galangal (fresh if possible, not dried out)
200g old ginger
100 gm garlic
2 stalks of coriander leaves
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
a bowl of oil (or chicken oil, if any)
1 tbsp of sesame oil
2 tbsp Chinese wine
half a bowl of chicken stock or water

Galangal and cekur
Pounding the coriander roots
The Summit grinder workhorse

Pound or grind the peeled galangal, ginger, cekur and coriander roots. Diced the garlic separately.

In a wok or pot, heat up the oil in a small flame. Add the diced garlic and fry until lightly browned. Then add the ginger paste, salt, sugar and fish sauce. Simmer and stir occasionally for 15 minutes. Towards the end, add some cut coriander stems, leaves and dashes of Chinese wine. Then add some chicken stock and some of the ginger juice back in. Have a taste. Adjust with some salt or sugar if necessary. Simmer for 2 minutes or so and dish out.

When it is cooled, bottle it up. It keeps well in the fridge for a few weeks.

It is great as a dipping sauce for Steamed Chicken, pork or fish. Depending on the the size of the chicken, a 25-to 30 minutes of steaming will be sufficient.

This sauce can be used for the Steamed Chicken in Ginger Sauce. 

My brother holding the late of Steamed Chicken which he has just chopped. 

Originally posted at Food Canon