Mee Kolok a.k.a Mee Sapi

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So, this blog has taken quite a bit of rest while we were sorting out the internet, the arrival of our stuff from Saudi Arabia, which took about 5 months *gasp* – but praise be to Allah swt that things are now sorted and we are finally settling down.

So the entry today is about Mee Kolok or the Malay version which is called Mee Sapi. I have never had or even heard of this noodles before coming to Kuching this time. The last time I was here, which was in 1988, no one mentioned Mee Sapi, and perhaps, being a stubborn and rather close-minded, judgmental teenager, I would have refused to eat anything unfamiliar anyway, (see, I am beginning to understand why I used to drive my mum up the wall!)

So, my first introduction to Mee Sapi this time around was … actually, I can’t recall where I had it, but it was terrible. The noodles were wet, soft and insipid. The broth that came with it was watery and very, very, very salty. Inedible, in fact. Ever since, any mention of mee kolok or mee sapi would result in a wrinkled nose and a quick, no thank you.

Then, my next door neighbour came and somehow the conversation went to Mee Kolok and she suggested that I tried Haji Salleh’s in Satok. Within the next few weeks, a few people mentioned this place. I was still not convinced, so I decided to try making it at home first. My first try was based on the the recipe from Dayang Jack. The result was ok, but it also intrigued me to try Haji Salleh’s.

So, one Saturday, we moseyed on to Satok at about 11 am. Found Sepinang Sari Cafe, across the street from Hartz’s Chicken Buffet and right next to Satok Flyover Cafe. By the time we got there, the tables were full and the only type available was Mee Kolok Biasa. So, that’s what we ordered and waited about half an hour for. When it finally came, the smell of fried shallots came wafting up from the bowl. I was HUNGRY. One bite of the noodles revealed its springy texture that was firm to the bite. Each noodle was coated with shalloty, garlicky fragrance and rich with umami flavours that danced merrily around the mouth and the tongue. The soup was hot, flavourful with a little black peppery kick that was pleasant and satisfying. I. Was. Hooked.  The next day, we made a beeline to Sepinang Sari again, this time at 8.30 am. It was full again, but we managed to get a table and ordered Mee Sapi Special. It came quite quickly this time around and …. it was good!

In the evening, we were at the Spring and decided to have dinner at the food court. I wanted to eat something different, but the home-made Kolok Mee stall was calling and calling and I surrendered. A plate of seafood Mee Kolok became my dinner and again, it was very nice. Again, what made it special was the texture of the noodles and its flavouring. For the next few outings, my meal would consist of mee kolok, much to hubby’s amusement. But see, I was re-search-ing!

So, I decided to read up some blogs on the Chinese style mee kolok. Most wrote about the addition of chicken stock granules and msg – I knew I would not be including these two items for my home made noodles and we would have to settle for less umami flavour. But, that’s fine. None of the Chinese style mee kolok recipe added sweet soy sauce. Some used shallot oil, others use garlic oil. I wondered if putting both would make up for the loss of flavour from excluding chicken granules and msg.

Last night, we shopped for the ingredients and I stayed up late to boil the beef and bones till the meat was tender – whoever invented the pressure cooker has my everlasting gratitude! By midnight, the stock and beef were cooling, the shallot oil and garlic oil were prepared, the chilli sauce was done, the bean sprouts were tailed and cleaned, swimming in a bowl of cold water in the fridge. This morning, I worked on its assembly and ta-dah – Kolok Mee a.k.a Mee Sapi for breakfast and Ashraf takes it to school for his lunch break – whoever invented the the thermos lunch box has my total admiration.

The following is my version of Mee Kolok and broth

Beef Broth:

250 gms lean beef

1 kg beef bones – leg would be good, but ribs are fine.

2 packs sup bunjut and 1 beef buillon cube (optional) and t tablespoon fresh black pepper, ground.

1.5 liter water and some salt

– Boil till meat is tender and falling off the bones – separate the meat from broth and let both cool. In the morning, skim off the accumulated fat and scum floating on top of the broth, leaving a clear and oil free soup. Taste soup, if too salty and concentrated, add a bit of water – just don’t add too much that you lose the rich meaty taste.

Noodles:

A handful of Kolo Mee per serving – blanch in boiling water for about 30 seconds, take it out, throw into a big bowl of room temperature water. Put back into the hot water for a few seconds – drain really well.

In the meantime prepare in a bowl – 1 teaspoon garlic oil and garlic, 1 teaspoon shallot oil, a teaspoon of light soy sauce, a dash of fish sauce, a dash of sesame oil, a dash of vinegar, a pinch of minced pickled radish, a pinch of sliced scallions, some white pepper. Mix well, put into this mixture the well drained noodles and toss.

Assembling:

Once well mixed put sliced beef on top of the noodles, along with blanched mustard greens, beansprouts, sliced shiitake mushrooms and crispy shallots. Serve with chilli sauce.

Chilli Sauce:

1 fresh red chilli. 5 red birds eye chillies, 1 garlic, 3 tablespoons vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar, salt to taste, 1/4 cup beef broth. Blend all till smooth.

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About mumstech
Retired at 40 after working in various industries including banking and financial services, oil and gas as well as higher education.Now a stay-at-home mum, cheerleader for husband and son, cleaner, nutritionist, cook, laundry lady, driver, clerk cum administration assistant, public relations, personal assistant... I never knew that squeaky clean floors can give me such satisfaction!

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