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
Fried Chopped Shallots
- In a bowl, put in the lard, dark soy sauce (not mushroom sauce), and MSG.
- 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)
- 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.
- Scoop out the noodle and drop it into the bucket of water to wash away any flour residue. Use chopstick to jiggle the noodle.
- Return the noodle to the boiling water to warm it up for a few seconds. Scoop out and shake off excess water.
- Put the noodle into the bowl of mixed sauce and toss well.
- 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 Ball Noodle
PORK LIVER SOUP
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.
2 Large Pork Bones
2 tbsp. Light Soy Sauce
1/8 tsp. MSG (optional)
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 Strip Fillet Pork
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)