When I was a teenager, my family partly lived in Kuala Lumpur. My father was sent by his company to Malaysia and our family shuttled in and out of that country. Living for a time in Malaysia opened my world to a different world of flavor. Suddenly, my father and I were experimenting with new cooking techniques and spices. There are some dishes which I am yet to recreate but with Malaysia so far away and with Malaysian food in Wollongong limited, I can’t help but recreate some dishes at home.
One of the dishes I love in eating in Malaysian hawker stalls is Pork Mee. My father and I would go all the way to Petaling Jaya to visit our favorite pork mee stall in the middle of the night. Now this pork mee stall sells a simple yet hearthy pork soup with noodles. On top are pork mince, pork ball, some boiled pork innards, veggies, and crunchy garlic. This stall lets you choose your own noodle and my dad would get the ‘rat tail’ noodle which are short round noodles that does remind me of a rat’s tail. The best part about this was the light yet flavorful broth that screams of pork and garlic. Ah crud. Now, I’m hungry.
I haven’t seen a place that sells this kind of pork mee. Most of the pork mee sold here have roasted pork. Now buying pork in Wollongong can be quite pricey so I tend to buy a whole pork shoulder which I cut up to however I like it — from large chunks for adobo, or smaller pieces for stirfry. Part of this whole pork shoulder is a large bone. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t like to waste a whole bone and making pork mee is a great opportunity to draw some flavor from pork bone.
I honestly don’t know how authentic this is but it’s enough to remind me of flavors I miss. It sounds complex but it’s actually the simplest dish since it’s all about boiling things in the stock. I think what’s key here are the garlic and broth. I have seen pork mee stalls that uses the fried shallots rather than garlic. That is just as good too!