Thursday, October 05, 2006


Kampua Mee is synonymous to Foochows, as Kolo Mee (Hakka, but then again the Teochew will dispute this) to Kuchingnites or Wonton Mee to Cantonese. I think all "Kań Mein" is the same everywhere, no matter what name you stick on it. It's the make of the noodle that differentiates them from one to the other; its firmness/softness, texture and size. Think about it... in the old days, there weren't any commercial cooking oil, and home-made lard is the word. To this day, the Foochows are sticklers to its original recipe: lard, MSG, spring onion and fried shallots (no matter its cost). The "Kampua n' Tau-U" (above) is a recent concoction, about the 80's; probably influenced by the K.L. "O" mee.

When buying the raw noodle in Kuching, specify "kampua" to the noodle vendor. There are a few more varieties beside the normal kolo mee and mee pok. Commercially packed fried shallots can be purchased from the grocers nowadays. Try the Vietnamese section at oriental supermarkets overseas


1 tbsp. Pork Lard

2 tbsp. Dark Soy Sauce

1/8 tsp. MSG.

1 Ball Noodle

Chopped Spring Onion

Fried Chopped Shallots

Sliced Faux Char Sui


  1. In a bowl, put in the lard, dark soy sauce (not mushroom sauce), and MSG.
  2. Boil sufficient water in a pot to boil the noodle. Have a big container (bucket) filled with tap water (for dipping in the noodle later)
  3. Loosen the ball of noodle. When water comes to a boil (high flame), drop in the noodle. Use chopstick to loosen and stir the noodle for about a minute.
  4. Scoop out the noodle and drop it into the bucket of water to wash away any flour residue. Use chopstick to jiggle the noodle.
  5. Return the noodle to the boiling water to warm it up for a few seconds. Scoop out and shake off excess water.
  6. Put the noodle into the bowl of mixed sauce and toss well.
  7. Transfer the tossed noodle onto a plate, top with faux char-sui, and garnish with spring onion and fried shallots.


This is Kampua at its most basic, san the meat. It's cheap and filling to the tummy. It's served with plain pork soup and chilli sauce. In the old days, there's only one brand: Yeo's. So if you can get that, you can't go wrong.

Cooking procedure is the same as above. After tossing the noodle with lard, salt, MSG. and soy sauce, garnish with spring onion and fried shallots.

Those of you who want to do away with MSG, use a couple of tablespoon of pork broth as substitute; then again some people will object to the "wetness". Or you can do a combo by reducing the amount of MSG and broth.


1 tbsp. Pork Lard

1 tbsp. Light Soy Sauce

1/8 tsp. MSG

1/8 tsp. Salt

1 Ball Noodle

Chopped Spring Onion

Fried Chopped Shallots


Of late quite a few Kampua stalls are offering pork liver soup to accompany the Kampua Mee beside the normal cheng th'ng (clear soup).

Remember, Don't over-cook your liver. Thin slices cooks faster and evenly. The moment the pinkish color turns grey, you can remove from the hob and serve immediately.

  1. Blanch the bones in boiling water to get rid of the scum. Wash and put into a soup pot.
  2. In the commercial process, they just boil the bones to get the broth. I've added dates and berries to give it some sweetness. If these are used, MSG. can be omitted.
  3. Add 2.5 liter of water, or just enough to cover the bones. Simmer for a couple of hours.
  4. In a pot, add 1¼ cup pork broth; bring to boil over high heat. Meanwhile, in a bowl, put in all the ingredients except the liver.
  5. Add the liver in the boiling broth. Use chopsticks to quickly loosen the liver. Cover and turn off heat after few more seconds. Let it sit in the hot broth for a minute or so before pouring it into the bowl. Stir and serve.
  6. Alternatively, you can put all the ingredients including the raw liver into a warm bowl, and pour the hot boiling broth into the bowl.


2 Large Pork Bones

6 Dried Red Dates

6 Wolfberries

1 tbsp. Pork Lard

2 tbsp. Light Soy Sauce

1/8 tsp. MSG (optional)

150 gm Thinly Sliced Liver

2 tbsp. Red Chinese Rice Wine

Chopped Spring Onions


It's faux because there's no "sui" (roast) in the char-sui. Mostly it's just boiled pork fillet with slap-on artificial coloring.

I've gone one better by grilling it. In a small toaster/oven, just turn it to full volume. It takes about 10 minutes to slightly char it on one side.

  1. Boil enough water, with 2 tsp. salt added, in a pot. When it boils, submerge the pork and pork for 5 minutes covered. Then turn off the heat, and let it sit in the water for another 20 minutes.
  2. In another pot, cook the maltose and dark soy sauce into syrup. Add a bit of water if you have to. Then marinate the cooked pork in the syrup for an hour or so. Turn a few times during that period.
  3. In an oven, grill until slightly charred on one side, then turn to the other side. Bask it with the marinade to moisten.
  4. When cooled, cut against the grain before serving.


1 Strip Fillet Pork

2 tsp. Salt


1 tbsp. Maltose

6 tbsp. Dark Soy Sauce


This is the all important ingredient that makes the difference. The lard can be kept for quite a while.

Just wash, pat dry and cut into small cubes of equal size, so that they fry evenly. Add a little (or no) oil in the wok, and fry the fat over low fire to extract the oil.

The crunchy fat remnant tastes great with warm rice. Or fry with Sambal Hay Bee (Dried Shrimps Sambal)


Daniel Yiek said...

Keep up the good work.

Black kam pua has been around in S'kei since the late 60-early 70's in Sarikei. My fav confort food

Kong-Kay said...

recipe accurate or not? any idea on the origin of kampua n'-tau-u?

Anonymous said...

black kampua and pien nuk from Sarikei is the best wanton noodle EVER!!!!!!

Kong-Kay said...

every one? i think not... gotta get outta oyster shell sometime.


As the name implies, it's all about nothing! Kongkaying is like grasping in the air - more like hot air with occasional fartulence. Hopefully, something aromatic will come out of it! If not...

May the Farce be With You!


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