Mee Siam is a Malaysian favorite often served during public functions. This spicy and flavorful dish comes with a variety of colorful toppings.
Mee Siam, like Siamese Laksa has a name attributing it to a neighboring country. It is in fact, a Malaysian dish probably inspired by Thai flavors. Mee Siam is very popular with all Malaysians and is often served during public functions. I remember looking forward to enjoying it each year during the year-end school party. It never lasted long on the table as it was everyone’s favorite dish.
Bright Colorful Toppings and Zesty Flavor
The Mee Siam I grew up with came with a variety of colorful toppings. Halved limau kasturi, a kind of lime often accompanied the dish. A fresh squirt from these limes is a must. It gives the noodles a bright and zesty flavor that whets the appetite.
Making Mee Siam is Easier Than You Think
While the dish looks complicated, it is actually quite easy to prepare. More than half the toppings are simply finely chopped cilantro, green onions, red chilies, and lime wedges while the other half consists of julienned egg omelet and fried shallots. The noodles are fried with small shrimps, chili paste, and bean sprouts. The deep fried tofu strips can either be stirred into the noodles or kept as a topping. Since tofu absorbs flavors from sauces, I like to stir them with the noodles.
If you wish to make your own fried shallots, please check out my tips here –> How To Make Crispy Fried Shallots.
Mee Siam is usually prepared for a crowd. Tiny shrimps are used to keep the cost down. That size of shrimp would be equivalent to cooked salad shrimps, over here in the US. Tiny uncooked shrimps are rarely seen in my neck of the woods and so I went with cooked salad shrimps. Please use any size uncooked shrimps according to your preference.
Tools Used in Making This Mee Siam
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- 5 dried chilies
- 5 red chilies (seeded and cut into pieces)
- 5 shallots (peeled and cut into smaller pieces)
- 5 cloves garlic (peeled)
- ¼ cup water (60ml)
- ½ bunch cilantro (chopped)
- 5 green onions (thinly sliced)
- 2 red chilies (seeds removed and thinly sliced)
- ½ cup fried shallots
- 1 lime (cut into wedges)
- Soak beehoon (dried rice vermicelli) in warm water for 30 minutes until soften. Remove and drain.
- Rub dry chilies between thumb and index finger to loosen seeds. Peel off stalk and shake out the seeds. Soak in a bowl of hot water for 30 minutes to soften.
- Lightly beat eggs with a teaspoon of soy sauce and a little pepper in a bowl.
- Heat ½ tablespoon vegetable oil in a non-stick fry pan on medium low heat. Pour in half the egg mixture and swirl it around to coat the bottom of the pan. Allow egg to cook and set. This should take about 1 to 2 minutes. Loosen the edges with a spatula and slide cooked egg out of pan onto a plate. Do the same for the remaining half of the egg mixture.
- Allow egg crepes to cool, then roll up each crepe and cut into thin strips with a sharp knife.
- Add another tablespoon of vegetable oil to the same non-stick pan. Fry tofu strips until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Combine soaked dried chilies, fresh red chilies, shallots, and garlic with ¼ cup (60ml) water in a blender. Blend until smooth.
- In a large wok or fry pan, heat remaining 3 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium heat. Add spice paste and stir fry for 5 minutes. Add shrimps and continue to stir for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Then, add soften rice vermicelli, soy sauce, salt, and pepper. Stir to coat noodles with chili paste. This should take 5 to 6 minutes.
- Finally, add bean sprouts and fried tofu. Stir for 1 to 2 minutes to get everything well mixed. Transfer to a large serving dish. Garnish with egg strips, cilantro, green onions, red chilies, and fried shallots.
- Serve immediately with lime wedges.
Malaysian VS Singaporean Mee Siam
Update : December 17, 2019
There seems to be a lot of debate/confusion as to whether Mee Siam comes with or without gravy. If you are Malaysian, this national favorite is always a dry stir fried beehoon with NO gravy. This is how we have ALWAYS prepared and loved it. As I have mentioned above, it is a popular year-end school party treat and also potluck favorite because of its colorful toppings and portability. Gravy would make it inconvenient to ferry it around. Also, it tastes just as amazing when served at room temperature.
I was unaware of the Singaporeans’ gravy version until I started blogging. This is because Mee Siam is usually homecooked in Malaysia and it is seldom found at the hawker centers or restaurants. The Singaporeans drench their previously fried noodles with a spicy tangy sauce and top it with hard boiled eggs instead of shredded egg omelet. It is a totally different dish altogether with the same name. You can also call it a regional difference. 🙄
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 😎