Mee Siam

Mee Siam is a noodle dish that is well known in Malaysia and Singapore. It is a dish that is a fusion of flavours: sweet, spicy, salty and tart. It is prepared with rice vermicelli noodles, boiled egg slices, shrimp, fried bean curd, beansprouts and chives floating on top of a spicy tamarind sauce. Although it looks like a soup base, the sauce is actually a “gravy” that goes with the dish. However, mee siam can also be prepared as a dry noodle dish but where’s the fun in that?

The place we went to plated it beautifully, but it initially gave off this weird, pungent smell. I feared that I would actually dislike the dish, but taking a bite of it rendered a complete change of heart. The more I ate, the more it grew on me and the more I enjoyed it. It had an interesting smokey flavour to it with a tinge of acidity from what may have been lemongrass. It was also salty, but sweet which is probably because of the mix of fermented soybean and tamarind which can be found in many mee siam recipes.

Although it was a bit foreign to me at first, mee siam ended up being very delicious. It may have been the smell of the boiled eggs or chives that originally gave off that stinky smell, but nothing a bite of noodles with veggies and tangy mee siam sauce can’t fix.

Fun fact of the day: vermicelli apparently means “small worms”.

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