Mee Tai Mak/ Bee Tai Mak is one of the many forms of rice noodles that we eat in Asia. Very much like a shorter and more wriggly cousin of the Japanese Udon, the cantonese name of this noodle (Loh Shu Fun) literally translates to mean Rat’s Noodle. Not too difficult to understand for the tapering shape of the noodle does somewhat reminds one of the wriggly tip of a rat’s tail…
Interestingly though, I had always referred to the noodle as Mee Tai Mak/ Bee Tai Mak when I was growing up. It was only until when I was much older , a widely reported outbreak of food poisoning in Malaysia exposed me to the more colourful ratty term. The food poisoning was traced back to a batch of contaminated Mee Tai Mak. The papers were rife with reports and stories of how people would fall sick after they ate Lou Shu Fun..( the pronounciation of the term can also be interpreted as rat’s powder / rat’s poison). I was dumbfounded when I read the reports and started to ask my friends why on earth would those people in Malaysia want to eat Rat Poison?? Only then, did I learn that the Rat Poison was actually Mee Tai Mak…
I was invited to join a bloggers’ gathering last weekend. Initiated by ZY of Baking Library, it was a small gathering among some of the Singapore food bloggers whom I have come to know over the last 2 years. I knew I had to bring a savoury dish for the event (I brought Mee Rebus for our first gathering last year) as most of the others I knew would be bringing sweet treats.
Fried with XO sauce and prawns, this is a relatively easy dish to prepare. However, dishes like these (as is true for most Chinese dishes) would taste best when cooked over strong heat. The Mee Tai Mak especially needs to be tossed very quickly over high heat to prevent it from turning soggy and mushy over prolong stir frying. Hence what I did was, I first poached the noodles in boiling water for 5 seconds before frying them quickly in small batches over very high heat in my wok. As a result, I had to divide and fry my potluck portion into 3 lots.
If you are only cooking for a small family at home, this is definitely more manageable – just make sure the wok is very hot.
Overall, I think my efforts were met with reasonable success… good enough to open shop? Maybe but I am still not consistent from batch to batch and I wouldn’t want to stand in front of a blasting hot wok the whole day…
Mee Tai Mak 200g (enough for 2)
Prawns 6 -8 medium to large size prawns, shelled and deveined.
Spring Onion 4 stalks, chopped
Chili Padi Chopped finely. (you can also replace with sambal chili paste)
Bean Sprouts 50g (poached for 10 seconds in boiling water. For this post, I ran out of bean
sprouts, so I omitted them)
Eggs 2, beaten
Oil 1 tbsp
XO Sauce 1 tbsp
Oyster Sauce 1 tbsp
Sugar 1/2 tbsp
Light Soya Sauce 1 tbsp
Dark Soya Sauce 1/2 tsp
Sesame Oil 1/2 tsp
White Pepper Dash
(For those who prefer a stronger taste, the seasoning portion can be increased in proportion)
1. Poach Mee Tai Mak in boiling water for 5 seconds, remove from water with a slotted spoon and set aside. (do not over cook Mee Tai Mak)
2. Heat up the wok until smoking. Add 1 tbsp oil and add beaten eggs. When eggs just begin to set, scramble with frying ladle and add Mee Tai Mak, Prawns, Spring Onion, Bean sprouts and seasoning.
3. Fry until prawns are cooked. (turns pink)
4. Dish out the noodles and garnish with more chopped spring onions and sesame seed (optional). Serve immediately while hot.