Noodles stirred together with oil and a savoury sauce are tremendously common throughout Asia, but dishes like mazemen, mee pok, Hakka mee and bak chor mee haven’t reached the popularity abroad that stir-fried noodles or soup noodles have achieved. Mores the pity because they are incredibly easy to make.
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) canola oil
- 8 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 300 g fatty pork mince
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
- 2 tsp sugar
- 3 bird’s eye chillies, finely sliced
- 60 ml (¼ cup) black vinegar
- 600 g fresh, flat and wide alkaline noodles (mee pok) or flat fresh egg noodles
- 230 g (2 cups) bean sprouts
- ½ head iceberg lettuce, leaves separated
- 2 tbsp finely chopped spring onions
- 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 2 tsp sugar
- handful of coriander sprigs, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
- Heat a frying pan over medium heat and add the oil and garlic. Fry until just fragrant, then add the pork mince and stir for a few minutes or until lightly browned. Add the fish sauce, Shaoxing wine and sugar and fry for another 10 minutes or until the pork and oil separate. Turn off the heat and set aside.
- Combine the chilli and black vinegar in a small bowl and set aside.
- For the noodle sauce, place all the ingredients in a bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar.
- To assemble the noodles, bring a large pot of water to the boil. For each serve, add 150 g noodles to a noodle boiler. Boil for 30 seconds, then add a handful of bean sprouts and a couple of leaves of lettuce and boil for a further minute. Drain well.
- Place 1 tablespoon of the noodle sauce in a bowl with about 1 tablespoon of the pork oil from the pan. Add the noodles, bean sprouts and lettuce on top and toss to combine well. Place in a serving bowl and top with a generous spoonful of the mince. Repeat to make the remaining serves. Scatter with spring onion and coriander and serve with the chilli in black vinegar.
Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.
Photography by Danielle Abou Karam.