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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Dry Mee Siam

Mee Siam comes in wet and dry versions. So far, I have only eaten the dry version before.

I do not know if it comes from Thailand or Siam, back in those days, but Mee Siam is the name of this spicy tangy fried noodle. I did not cook this the 'traditional' way because I made a prawn broth with the prawn shells to flavour the noodles. Fried prawn shells , especially the heads, have a wonderful flavour, that I believe should not be wasted in cooking this noodle.

My recipe isn't spicy, I didn't feel that it's spicy even though I used 10 dried chillies, so feel free to use more, and make it look even redder.

My method sounds tedious, but I just like to maximise flavour extraction. One can of course, fry everything together, but I won't.

Dry Mee Siam

by WendyinKK
Serves 8-10

400gm dried rice vermicelli
400gm prawns, to be peeled, tail intact and reserve the prawn shells
10 stalks Chinese chives, cut into 1.5inches long
3 cups beansprouts (as much as you prefer)
2 Tbsp dried shrimp (30gm), soak, drain well and grind to resemble crumbs

Spice Paste
10 dried chillies (It's mild with 10, add more if you like), soaked, seeds removed
4 shallots
1 onion
3 garlic cloves
10gm belacan (pinkie sized)

1 tsp salt or to taste
1 tsp sugar
1/2 Tbsp dark caramel sauce, as preferred
30gm tamarind pulp with seeds, soaked in 1/2 cup water and strained.
40gm fermented bean paste
3 Tbsp lime juice

3 eggs, to be made into omelette strips
4 shallots, sliced and to be fried until crispy
Sliced coriander or Chinese celery
Sliced red chilli

1. Soak rice vermicelli in cold water until softened. Drain. Marinate the prawns with 1/4 tsp salt and a bit of pepper.
2. Prepare prawn shell broth. Heat wok and put in 2 Tbsp of oil. Fry prawn shells until fragrant then out in 2.5 cups of water to simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and keep the broth. Make sure you have around 2 cups of broth.
3. Prepare spice paste. Grind everything to a paste.
4. Prepare omelette strips. Crack eggs, beat with a bit of salt. Then fry thin omelettes. Cut into strips when cooled.
5. Prepare fried shallots. Heat wok and put in 4 Tbsp of oil (1/4 cup) and gently fry the shallots until crispy. Dish up only the crispy shallots, retain the oil in wok.
6. Heat wok until hot. Put in prawns and fry them until they are cooked and their tails turning slightly golden. Remove from the wok. Lower the heat and put in ground dried shrimp and fry until fragrant and golden. Dish up and set aside.
7. With balance of oil in wok, cook the spice paste until it turns glossy. Add more oil if needed, too little oil and the spice paste won't be nicely cooked. Add in bean paste and saute until fragrant. Then pour in tamarind juice, and prawn broth. Season with salt, sugar and dark caramel sauce. Put in dried shrimp. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Add in lime juice, and prawns. Taste it, it should be slightly oversalted, tangy and slightly sweet. Adjust the taste if needed.
8. Add in chinese chives and rice vermicelli. Toss the vermicelli around with to make sure the rice vermicelli is well coated with the gravy. Let the vermicelli cook until the gravy is almost all absorbed. Put in bean sprouts, mix it around. Let it cook for a minute then turn off the heat. Let the rice vermicelli rest for 10-15 minutes as it absorbs all the excess gravy, and turn dry.
9. Dish up and garnish with crisp shallots, omelette strips and chopped coriander and red chilli.

*Soak the noodles first. As it softens, cook prawn broth. Prepare spice paste as the prawn broth simmers. And drain noodles when you are ready to start frying the omelette.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Thanks for sharing. I love mee siam

  3. hi, dear wendy,
    finally able to get on to your blog as its blocked in caramel sauce can omit lah, how?

  4. busy mummy,
    surprisingly there's no dark caramel sauce in China, it's that dark dark thick soy sauce that isn't salty. If not, you use more light soy sauce instead of salt for seasoning, if you don't want the noodles to look pale.

  5. Hi Wendy,
    When I click at the "printer friendly" icon all the ads and everything else on the right and bottom goes into the print page as well. Normally it doesn't and only the recipe and maybe the pic will be printed. Please help.

  6. Wanda,
    thank you for highlighting the issue to me.
    I have no idea why it changed that way as I didn't do anything to change it.
    Maybe Blogger nowadays have restricted editing.

  7. Wanda,
    I got it rectified by reinstalling the button. Thank you!
    Try it.

  8. Hi Wendy, this is Farah. I just suddenly unable to fry bihun anymore. I used to soak them in hot water and drain it quickly, because I did not add water to my bihun. Now I see your pumpkin mihun video, I was so intrigued! I never thought I could make pumpkin mihun. Thank you for sharing! love your knife skills.


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