Rice vermicelli (commonly referred to as mee hoon in Malaysia) is one of the tastiest noodles that you can stir-fry, most probably because the fine noodles offers plenty of surface area for the sauces to cover.
There are many types of rice vermicelli sold in the shops; make sure you get a firm variety that is more suited to frying than the ultra fine variation that is used in soups. The whiter the noodles, the higher quality it tends to be and it’s best to soak the noodles in cold water for an hour or two before cooking them al dente by soaking them in boiling water. Over cooking will result in broken, mushy mee hoon.
Mee hoon goreng has many variations in Malaysia and it eaten for almost any meal of the day! I admit my favourite one is the one my mum makes- it’s spicy and delicious. I’ll try and do it justice in this recipe. For a vegetarian version of these noodles, substitute belacan with an equal amount of mushroom sauce or vegetarian stir fry sauce and the anchovies and fishballs can be replaced with more vegetables like mangetout, carrots and cabbage.
200 g mee hoon/rice vermicelli, soaked in cold water, then hot until it cooks al dente and drained
½ onion, sliced
5 fishballs, halved
50 g anchovies
1 block of tofu (100-200 g)
2 cups of beansprouts
1 egg, beaten and seasoned with salt
2 stalks spring onions, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic
10 dried chillies, soaked until soft (1 hour or more)
1 teaspoon belacan/shrimp paste
50 ml water
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon sweet soy sauce
1-2 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
Shallow fry the tofu and fishballs over medium heat. Remove from heat and slice the tofu into cubes. Keep them aside for later.
Blend the spice paste ingredients until smooth. Fry it in 2 tablespoon of oil over medium heat until the colour is darker and the paste turns lumpy.
Add the slices of onion, anchovies and vegetables, if any. Cook for about three minutes before adding the sauces and the noodles. Turn the heat to medium-high/high, pour in the fried tofu and fishballs. Toss everything together until all the noodles are evenly coated with the sauces; the best way to do this is using both spatula and oversized chopsticks (meant for cooking)/tongs.
Make a well in the middle of the noodles, pour in a drop of oil and the beaten eggs. Wait for a moment before stirring the noodles into the egg. The beans sprouts are strewn into the noodles just a couple of minutes before it is removed off the heat. Taste and add some salt if needed and garnish with spring onions. This recipe should serve 2-3 persons.