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A bowl of Peranakan wet mee siam noodles with gravy, garnishes with prawns and egg

Singapore wet mee siam recipe

A tangy, sweet and spicy Singaporean noodle recipe, which is delicious both with a tamarind gravy or as a dry stir-fried noodle
5 from 8 votes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese, peranakan, singaporean, Southeast Asian
Servings 5 people

Equipment

  • mortar and pestle OR blender
  • Wok (or pot)

Ingredients
  

A.For the wet mee siam rempah (spice paste)

  • 40 Dried chillies If you prefer less spice, remove as many of the seeds as you can
  • 200 g Shallots Substitute with onions, preferably red, if out of shallots
  • 20 g Shrimp paste (belacan)
  • 30 g candlenuts (kemiri) Substitute with macademia if you live outside of Asia and can't find this (I did manage to find it in Chinatown in London so you never know!)
  • 1-5 fresh large red chillies (The number of chillies I use depends on the fertility of my chilli plant!)

A. Pound separately

  • 3 Tbsp dried prawns Pound by itself
  • 1 tsp sugar or to taste
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste

B. Noodles

  • 3-4 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 400 ml water
  • 300 g beansprouts
  • 300 g fine rice vermicelli (bee hoon) soaked in hot water till soft
  • 4-5 Tbsp rempah from above (Section A)

C. Gravy

  • 1-2 Tbsp Oil
  • 3 Tbsp rempah from above (Section A)
  • 1.5 litres water If you have chicken stock, so much the better! (But it's already pretty tasty with just water)
  • 1 Tbsp tamarind (assam jawa)
  • 0.225 ml water Mix with the tamarind above, then squeeze through cheesecloth and strain. Keep the water!
  • 2 Tbsp taucheo (preserved soya beans), mashed coarsely with a fork Substitute with miso or doenjang if that's what you can get
  • 2 tsp sugar or to taste
  • salt to taste

D. Ingredients and garnishing

  • 5-10 hard boiled eggs, peeled and sliced into 4 5 if you want 1 egg per person or 10 for 2 eggs per person
  • 400 g prawns
  • 2 pieces tau kwa, deep fried and cut into 1 cm cubes
  • 100 g Chinese chives (koo chye) Use spring onions if you can't get koo chye. Wash and cut them into 1/2 cm bits
  • 5 limes, sliced in half preferably calamansi limes
  • 2 Tbsp dried prawns Cut into small pieces then stir fried with a little oil

Instructions
 

A. Rempah

  • Boil the dried chillies till they are soft. (Remove some or all of the seeds, if not, it'll be super spicy!) Drain then pound the chillies with the rest of the rempah ingredients (from Section A but not including the dried prawns, salt and sugar) till they've become a fine paste. (The water from boiling the chillies can be discarded.)
  • Add oil to the wok and heat till shimmering then add the pounded dried prawns for 1-2 minutes, till the smell is released. Add the rempah spice paste from above and continue stir frying till fragrant and the oil has been released. (This may take a while)
  • Add salt and sugar to taste, then place the rempah in a bowl, leaving 4-5 tablespoons in the wok.

B. Noodles

  • Add the 400ml of water to the wok. Once simmering, add the bean sprouts and stir for about 1 minute. Add in the noodles then fry over high heat and stir till all the sauce has been absorbed.
  • Lower the heat, stirring continuously till the noodles are dry and fluffy. Plate.

C. Gravy

  • Add oil to the wok and once shimmering, add 3 tablespoons of the rempah, the taucheo and a little tamarind water (to prevent burning). Mix everything well.
  • Add the rest of the tamarind water then bring to a boil. Add the sugar and salt, and season to your taste.

D. Assembling the noodles, gravy, ingredients and garnishing

  • Boil the eggs, peel then cut into quarters.
  • Boil the prawns till cooked, shell, de-vein and, if feeling hardworking (or short on ingredients but want to bulk up the plate) halve the prawns. (The water used to boil the prawns can be kept as a base for soup stock.)
  • Assemble your bowls: place some bee hoon in each bowl, then pour the gravy soup over the noodles. Add a few prawns, 4-8 egg quarters and 1 calamansi (ie 2 pieces since it's sliced in half) to each bowl. Sprinkle the koo chye, tau kwa and fried dried shrimps over each bowl.

Notes

Note: there will be some rempah leftover- this can be added to the bowls of people who prefer a more intense flavour or can be used to make dry mee siam. (You stir fry the rempah, add the softened bee hoon and some of the gravy then fry till the wok is dry.)
Keyword noodles, singaporean, tamarind