Ipoh Curry Mee

Wednesday, December 08, 2021

It has been some time but I had always wanted to get down to the Ipoh Curry Mee recipe. This is also somewhat emotive for me as I miss being with my family lock downed in KL and Ipoh. And of course, I miss Ipoh food. I have posted my experience at the famous Ipoh Curry Mee stall here. 

This Malaysian version of Curry Mee do not normally use coconut milk. The broth is lighter and more emphasis is placed on the use of aromatics like spices, herbs and chillies.

In my opinion, curry mee is easier to cook compared to Assam Laksa or Prawn Mee. Both these recipes are explained in details in some posts here. I have also posted a laksa recipe here.

Curry mee (or laksa for the matter) is simply the combination of a good meat broth and a fragrant sambal chilli.

The broth for my version is based on chicken and pork bones. As for chicken, while you may use carcasses or bones, the sweetness from the meat is important. So I will always at least leave one whole chicken inside to be cooked throughly (i.e. the meat is tasteless after that and unusable) and this will be reflected in my recipe here. In fact, for any good meat stock, the meat is important if you want the depth and sweetness in the broth.

As for the sambal, the onion base is important, which is slowly simmered in oil. To that you add spices (coriander, cumin, cinnamon), herbs (lemon grass, blue ginger, ginger) and red chilli paste. As always for sambal, sufficient oils is important for the mouthfeel and fragrance, as the oil will absorbed the flavours from the spices and herbs. 

For garnishing, calamansi lime juice and fresh mint leaves will add a lift. If you are serving this for dinner, adding boiled chicken make sense. You can just leave another whole chicken and steep in the simmering broth for 30 minutes and then cut it to accompany the curry noodles. And of course, adding some roast pork is a nice bonus. 

Once you understand what's behind a good bowl of curry mee, you need not be stuck to my recipe and should have the confidence to variate your spices and herbs. And as always with soup noodle recipes, your palate is important as you tweak the taste of the broth to your liking. 

1 whole chicken
1 kg pork bones
1 kg chicken carcasses and bones
1 kg of prawns, peeled
8 litres of water

Sambal Paste
1 cup of oil
1 tbsp of belachan
500g shallots
1 inch turmeric
100gm garlic
2 lemon grass
3 slices of blue ginger
3 slices of ginger
2 tsp Coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
2 cinnamon sticks
About 1 cup of Chilli paste

Sugar and salt to taste. 

For garnishing
Mint leaves
1 Kampung Chicken (optional) 
Roast pork (optional)
Tau pok (tofu puffs), soak in water to remove the oil

Yellow Mee 
Bee Hoon (Rice vermicelli) - soak in warm water to soften and rehydrate
Bean Sprouts


Preparing the broth
This is something you can prepare much earlier on in the day or even the night before. In a large pot, heat up the water. Get it to a boil and add the whole chicken, pork bones and chicken carcasses/bones. After 10 minutes, lower the fire and slowly simmer for 2 hours or more. For this recipe, you want the fats. Add the prawn heads and shells. Periodically, using a strainer to remove the scums when they float to the top. 

Strain the broth. 

Cooking the chicken, prawns and tofu puffs
Increase the fire for the broth till it is boiling. Put the whole kampung chicken in. Lower the fire to a simmer and cook the chicken for 30 minutes. Remove the chicken. When it is cooled, cut it up. You can also choose to debone it.  

Add the prawn meat and cook in the broth till it turns orange-red. This will take about a minute or so. When it has cooled, slice horizontally into two flat halves. 

Add the tofu puffs to the broth. 

Preparing the sambal paste:
Blend the shallots, blue ginger, ginger, garlic and turmeric. In a wok, first toast the belachan. Then add the oil and when it is heated, add the paste. Slowly simmer for 15 minutes. The add the chilli paste. Add 1 tsp of salt and 2 tsp of sugar. Simmer for another 15 minutes. 

Finishing the curry stock
Add half of the sambal paste into the broth. Add salt and sugar to taste. Reserve half of the sambal paste for dipping. 

Serving the Curry Mee

Boil a pot of hot water.
Prepare one serving of beansprouts, mee and Bee Hoon. Blanch it in the boiling water for about 30 seconds. Shake off the excess water and blanch it in the boiling curry broth. Garnish with a few sliced of prawns, chicken, sliced tofu puffs and mint leaves. Squeeze one lime over the bowl. Serve immediately, with the sambal as a dipping sauce. If you like roast pork on it add a few slices. 

You can hardly go wrong with this recipe and enjoy this comforting bowl of curry mee.  

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