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Mee pok is a noodle dish with Chinese noodle characterized by its flat and yellow appearance, varying in thickness and width. The dish is of Teochew origin and is commonly served in a number of countries such as Chaoshan (China), Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. Mee pok is commonly served tossed in a sauce (often referred to as "dry", or tah in Hokkien (Pe̍h-ōe-jī: ta)), though sometimes served in a soup (where it is referred to as "soup", or terng). Meat and vegetables are added on top.

Mee pok
Simple mee pok.jpg
TypeNoodle
Mee pok
Traditional Chinese麵薄
Simplified Chinese面薄

Mee pok can be categorised into two variants, fish ball mee pok (yu wan mee pok), and mushroom minced meat mee pok (bak chor mee). Bak chor mee is usually exclusively prepared using thin noodles ("mee kia"), while yu wan mee can be cooked with other noodle varieties.

Mee pok is a staple commonly offered in hawker centres and coffee shops (Kopitiams in parts of Southeast Asia) in Singapore, together with other Chinese noodle dishes.

Contents

Mee pok sauceEdit

The sauce in which the noodles are tossed in is a very important aspect of the dish, and is considered a representation of the cook's skill and experience. The importance of the sauce in mee pok can be thought of similarly as the sauces that accompany pasta.

The sauce consists of 4 components: chili, oil, vinegar and other condiments such as soy sauce and pepper. The chili is made from various ingredients and its preparation often includes frying and blending. Oil, traditionally lard, ensures a smooth texture in the noodles, although vegetable oil is sometimes used as a healthier though less tasty version. Vinegar is added for its sourness, and diners may specify how much vinegar is used.

The chili sauce may be replaced with tomato ketchup for children and others who are uncomfortable with the spiciness of the chili.

SoupEdit

Soup is served in a bowl as a side dish accompanying the "dry" variant, or served together with the noodles for the "soup" version where the sauce is omitted. Traditionally, the soup is boiled and simmered overnight with old hen, pork bones, dried sole fish, and soybean. The resulting broth is rich in taste and cloudy in appearance.

Mee pok noodlesEdit

 
Mee pok noodles sold in Bukit Batok, Singapore.

Usually, the noodles are factory-made, and requires substantial preparation before cooking. Different hawkers prepare and cook their noodles differently, but the desired outcome is the same: springy al dente noodles.

Hawkers often toss the noodles vigorously to remove excess flour and soda and to separate noodles which have stuck together. Other processes include stretching the noodles, cutting into a desired length, and separating into serving portions.

The cooking process of the noodles consists of blanching in hot and cold water multiple times, though some hawkers omit the cold water. The noodles are drained and placed in either sauce or broth.

Bak chor meeEdit

Bak chor mee (simplified Chinese: 肉脞面; traditional Chinese: 肉脞麵; pinyin: ròucuǒ miàn; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: bah-chhò-mī), which translates to minced meat noodles, is a Singaporean noodle dish popularly sold as street food in hawker centers and food courts.[1] The noodles are tossed in vinegar, minced meat, pork slices, pork liver, stewed sliced mushrooms, meat balls and bits of deep-fried lard. Bak chor mee can be categorised into two variants: a dry version and a soup version. Most dry versions come with slices of stewed mushroom, minced pork, slices of lean pork and sometimes fried ikan bilis, atop noodles tossed in a punchy chilli-vinegar sauce, while soup versions are lauded for the depth of pork flavour in its broth. Singapore's bak chor mee was listed as the top world street food by World Street Food Congress. [2]

Fish ball mee pokEdit

 
A bowl of "dry" fish ball mee pok.

This version of mee pok is usually served with toppings of fish balls, sliced fish cakes, geow (a type of small dumpling made with fish meat paste wrapping a small bit of minced meat), minced meat, meat balls, lettuce or taugeh (beansprouts in Hokkien). It can be made to with the addition or omission of any of the toppings, to prepare it in soup or "dry" style, and either with or without the chili sauce.

Other types of toppingsEdit

Newer varieties of toppings include deep fried dumplings, abalone slices, imitation crab stick, and other processed fish products.

In popular cultureEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "5 best bak chor mee in town, picked by ST's food critics". The Straits Times. 10 November 2016.
  2. ^ Lam Min Lee. "Singapore's bak chor mee tops world street food list". Archived from the original on 4 July 2017. Retrieved 5 September 2017.