Chinese Noodles

The Favourite Chinese Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner!

Yes, there were some days when we ended up eating Chinese noodles for the whole day! And no, we don't eat the same type of noodle every time.

In fact, if you have tried Chinese noodle, you will know that there are many different types of noodles and ways of preparation to satisfy your taste bud.

Imagine eating noodles served in steamy hot soup, stir fried with fresh seafood or served in a mixture of delicious sauces.

It's tasty and also a great choice if want you to enjoy a light and nutritious Chinese meal.

However, if your appetite suddenly gets better, noodles can also fill up your stomach when you order in bigger portions.

Chinese noodles are also easily available and it's the next best choice if you do not want to eat rice, the staple food.

It's a great choice of Chinese food for kids as well. Your kids get to eat carbohydrate, protein, and vegetable all in one complete meal.

Now let's talk a little about the different types of noodles you can find in Malaysia.

A little information on the name and what it is made of so that you can order your Chinese noodles like locals do.



Different Types of Chinese Noodles
Made From Rice


Rice Noodles/Rice Vermicelli

chinese noodles-rice vermicelli Rice noodles as suggested by the name are made from rice and is sold in dried form.

It is thin, long and off-white in colour.

In Malaysia, it s commonly known as Mee Hoon or Bee Hoon/Bihun (both pronounced the same).

Bee Hoon came from Hokkien dialect.

Bee sounds like rice in Hokkien and Hoon sounds like powder in Hokkien.

It means noodles made from grounded rice powder.



Kueh Teow

flat rice noodles/kueh teow

Kueh Teow or Sar Hor Fun is another common noodle found in Malaysia.

It is made from rice and other starches. These flat rice noodles come in long strips and is sold fresh.

It tastes delicious when it is thin and smooth in texture.

During your noodle eating sessions, you may come across words such as Kuey Teow, Kueh Tiaw, Kway Teow, Kway Tiau or Koay Teow being used to describe this noodle.

If you find anything with similar spelling, it means the same thing.

How this came about? Well, Malaysians are multi races and since there are no standard words being used for most of Chinese food in English or Bahasa Malaysia, food operators just use any words that sound similar to the Chinese pronunciation.

So remember the pronunciation of the words and not the exact spelling of the words.

Kueh Teow is commonly used in Kuala Lumpur, Penang and most of the states in Malaysia by the Chinese and non-Chinese. It is originated from Hokkien dialect.

Sar Hor Fun is usually used in Ipoh or by Cantonese people since it is in Cantonese.



Lai Fun

chinese noodles-lai-func

This is a fresh rice and wheat starch noodle that is long and a little chewy.

It is white in colour and is commonly used to prepare Asam Laksa.






Lo Shi Fun

chinese-noodles-lo-shi-fun

It means rat noodle in Cantonese (pronounced as low shi fun).

Look closely and you will notice that it resembles the tail of a rat!

It tastes a little like kway teow and since it is much thicker, it is a little chewy and springy.

When prepared in soup, it can be smooth and slippery and you might actually swallow one accidently.
Ha! Ha! Ha!

So watch out for those tails slipping into your throat!

Note: Notice the word "fun" is commonly used in Cantonese dialect for noodles made primarily from rice.


Different Types of Chinese Noodles Made From Wheat Flour and Starches


Mee/Mein

chinese-noodles-meeBesides the rice noodles, Mee
(a term used by every races in Malaysia) or Mein (in Cantonese) is another common noodle you can find in most Chinese noodles shops.

It has a light yellow colour and is available in long thin noodles.

The long fat noodles however are usually only available in shops selling Chinese fried noodles or Lam Mee.




Wonton Mee

chinese noodles-egg noodlesSame as other Chinese noodles, you will find different spellings used to describe this noodle.

So look out also for Wantan mee or Wanton mee.

Wonton noodles are made primarily from wheat flour with some premium ones having eggs in it.

Most of the wonton noodles you find now are without eggs.


Egg noodle

Egg noodle is known as Kai Tan Mein in Cantonese. It is not widely available in all Chinese noodle shops. Egg noodles are usually available in premium noodle shops or is used in Hakka mee.



Yee Mee

chinese noodles-yee mee
Yee mee is a fried, crispy brown Chinese noodles made from wheat flour.

Since it is fried, this Chinese noodle creates a nice aroma and flavourful taste in soup and fried Chinese noodles.




Flour Vermicelli/Chinese Vermicelli

Also known as Mee Sua/Mee Suah (in Hokkien) or Min Sin/Mein Sin (in Cantonese).

Made from wheat flour and salt, this Chinese noodle is very fine and soft making it a good choice for people who are not feeling well, old or very young children.

However, please do not stay away from this Chinese noodle just because of what I said. When prepared right, wheat vermicelli taste good in herbal soup.

Note: Mein is used for noodles made primarily from wheat flour.


Glass Noodles

This is the only Chinese noodle that is different from the rest because it is made from mung beans. I guess glass noodle got its name because it looks translucent like glass.

In Malaysia, Tung Fun (in Cantonese) or Tang Hoon (in Hokkien) are the common names used by the local Chinese. In direct translation, it means winter noodle.

I understand that in some countries it is also known as cellophane noodles.



Chinese Noodles Menu



Now, let us talk about the typical Chinese noodles you can enjoy in Malaysia.

First question. Do you like Chinese noodle soup, Chinese Lo Mein (mixed dry noodle), Chinese fried noodles or Chinese sizzling noodles in hot plate?

After choosing the style of cooking, you choose the type of Chinese noodles you like to eat.

Ready? Let us jump to the delicious part.... getting to know your Chinese noodles. Here I have provided the descriptions and photos of Chinese noodles as a personal menu for your reference.

Hope you like it!



Non Spicy Chinese Noodle Soup


Noodle in hot soup is a great way to start your Malaysian breakfast and the secret to delicious Chinese noodle soup lies in the preparation of the soup. Fresh and generous ingredients with many hours of slow boiling of soup are needed for a bowl of delicious noodle.

Let me share a simple test for you to know how long the soup was boiled. Just see how long it takes for the soup to cool down when you are enjoying your noodles. The longer it takes to cool down, the longer the soup was boiled.

I have tried some Chinese noodle soup that remains warm even though I was almost finished eating!

Now let us go through these soup noodles one by one.

Pork Noodles

chinese noodles-pork noodle soupYou can find Chinese pork noodles easily in Malaysia.

Most of the time you will find minced pork, pork slices, pork balls, pig's liver and sometimes pig's intestine with green leafy vegetables in your pork noodle soup.

Together with some crispy fried chopped garlic and crunchy fried pork fat, pork noodle soup is simply delicious.



Fish Ball Noodles

chinese noodle soup-fish ball noodleThere are two types of fish balls. The first type is called Yue Tonne (translated as fish egg in Cantonese) or Yue Yuin (loosely translated as fish round because of the round shape of fish balls).

These fish balls are springy in texture and are found in most fish ball noodles.

The second type of fish ball is called Yue Wat which is fish paste with more fish meat. Therefore it has a soft texture and less springy.

When you order fish ball noodle, you can expect fish balls, fish cakes and vegetables as the usual toppings. Often, you will also be given some fried bean curd. Usually fish ball noodle soup is a favourite for the little ones. However make sure you cut the fish balls into smaller pieces before giving it to small children.


Chinese Beef Noodle Soup

chinese beef noodle soup

Beef noodles are called Ngau Lam Mein in Cantonese.

If you happen to see many people eating Chinese beef noodle soup in a particular shop, go in and try because you can't find beef noodle in every noodle shop.

Chinese beef noodles are not as common in Malaysia because Hindus and Buddhists (who pray to Goddess of Mercy) do not eat beef as they treat cow as sacred animal.

Tender beef and delicious soup is all that matters for this Chinese noodle.


Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup

chinese noodle-chicken and prawn flat rice noodles soupIf you want to try Chinese chicken noodle, look particularly for Ipoh Hor Fun.

It is delicious because you get the sweetness of seafood and meat taste in your soup combined with the smooth flat rice noodles.

How do you recognise Ipoh Hor Fun? Simple!

Look for the distinct light orange or yellowish layer on the soup surface. The more the better as the soup will be tastier.

Unlike normal chicken noodles, the authentic Ipoh Hor Fun has prawn besides shredded chicken meat and crunchy bean sprouts.


Yee Mee Noodle Soup

crispy fried noodles in soupI would say Yee Mee is the tastiest Chinese noodle on its own.

I always love that special taste and aroma of a hot and steamy bowl of Yee Mee.

A bowl of Yee Mee to my liking must not be too soft and have a little springy texture just like eating instant noodles.

Toppings will be the usual meat and vegetables. If you like egg, add one into your Yee Mee noodle soup.


Kampar Noodle Soup

chinese noodle-kampar chinese noodle soupThis noodle got its name from Kampar, a town in the state of Perak.

If you like fish, you will like Kampar noodles because this noodle soup has toppings mainly from fish.

Bouncy steamed fish ball, tasty fried fish ball, soft fish paste, fried bean curd filled with fish paste and soft tofu stuffed with

fish paste will make your day!

Together with crunchy bean sprout and steamy hot soup, this Chinese noodle tastes good with meehoon and mee or kway teow.

Again the taste of soup is important as a bland soup spoils the taste.



Kon Lo Mein


Kon Lo (pronounced as kon low) literally means dry mixed in Cantonese. So Kon Lo Mein means noodles mixed with sauces in a 'dry' form.

This version of Chinese noodle is another alternative to Chinese noodle soup such as the common pork noodles or fish ball noodles. You can order both the dry and soupy version in the same shops.

Pork Kon Lo Mein

chinese noodles-pork kon lo mein

For this type of preparation, black sauce is the main ingredient used together with other secret sauces and oil.

So eventually all Kon Lo Mein served will look black in colour.

If you can, try to look for Kon Lo Mein that has crispy, small fried pork fat and lard and I assure you the noodle will taste a lot tastier.

"Low, low, low". Not in English but in Cantonese dialect please. It means mix, mix, mix. Yes, mix your noodles thoroughly with sauces so that it is moist and delicious. Something that I practice before I tuck into my noodles.

When you order Kon Lo Mein, you will be served a separate bowl of soup with meat, vegetables and sometimes fried bean curd in it.

Types of meats served with kon lo mein are normally fish balls, pork balls, pork meat slices, minced pork, shredded chicken or fish cakes depending on whether you are eating from a noodle operator selling fishball noodles or pork noodles.

Sometimes when they sell more than one type of Chinese noodles, you can have a little each from all the toppings available! "Chum chum liew", you should say. It means you want a mixture of toppings.

curry chicken and kon lo mein

Another type of delicious kon lo mein will be the one served with a bowl of thick, creamy curry chicken.

Pour some curry into kon lo mein and mix well before eating with curry chicken.

As usual, I prefer the combination of meehoon and mee. What about you?



TIPS:

For pork/fish ball/beef/chicken noodles, common types of noodles you can choose from are mee hoon, mee, kway teow and lo shi fun. I like either a combination of mee hoon and mee or just plain kway teow noodles for these Chinese noodles.

When you order a bowl of Chinese noodle soup mentioned above, a small plate of cili padi (a small and very spicy chilli) in soya sauce will be served.

Dip the meat and other toppings in the soya sauce. The salty soya sauce will bring out the flavour of meat and the chilli will add spiciness to your tongue.

It's also delicious to put a little soya sauce on your noodle. (Please do not pour soya sauce into your soup noodles!)

How we did it?

First, put some noodles on the spoon. Then dip the tip of chopsticks in a little soya sauce and touch these tips on the noodles. This way, you'll get a little soya sauce and a little spicy taste. Dip the meat directly into the soya sauce if you like more salty taste.

If you like to eat the toppings with noodles, dip your topping with soya sauce first before putting it on top of your noodle which is already on a spoon.

Also drink some hot steamy soup while eating your noodles.

One caution though. If you can't eat spicy food, make sure you don't bite those little chillies or your tongue will be on fire!

If you love chillies, eat those chillies with your noodles. Not enough chillies, ask some more. No extra charge.



Spicy Chinese Noodles


If you like spicy noodles, you will be delighted to find a fair variety of delicious spicy Chinese noodles in Malaysia as well. Let us get to know them better.

Laksa

Do you want Curry Laksa or Asam Laksa? Make sure you know the two types of laksa well before you order your Chinese Laksa.

Generally when you mention about laksa in the Northern states of Malaysia, it refers to asam laksa with the popular one being Penang Asam Laksa.

However, when you are in Kuala Lumpur, laksa also means curry laksa which is totally different in preparation and taste.

To most people in Kuala Lumpur, curry laksa is also known as curry mee.

Want to know the easiest way to differentiate between curry laksa and asam laksa? Through your eyes and nose!

You can smell the sourness of asam laksa way before you eat it while curry laksa or curry mee has a thick and creamy bright orange/red appearance in the soup.

Now, let us get into some details on asam laksa and curry laksa so that you can get an idea of how these noodles taste like.

Asam Laksa

assam laksaThe main ingredient in making asam laksa soup is sardine or mackerel fish.

Then we have tamarind and chilli to create that sour and spicy taste. (Since we are not into recipe here, we will not talk about the other ingredients involved)

You eat asam laksa with long, springy and chewy lai fun noodles mixed with toppings such as fresh shredded pineapples, torch ginger, cucumbers, raw onions, red chillies and a sprig of mint leaves together with lots of fish flakes.

asam laksa prawn paste

Just before eating, remember to mix the tasty prawn paste (usually served in a spoon) and all the toppings thoroughly in your soup.

If you are lucky, you will find places where containers of prawn paste are put on tables for you to have that extra servings.

Really, prawn paste is a must to add that extra flavour to Chinese asam laksa. No compromise in my opinion.

As I am writing this, just the thought of asam laksa makes me salivate!

Why? Because eating asam laksa has similar effect to eating a sour lemon.

The only thing is, it is better than lemon. In fact asam laksa has the combination of sour, sweet, salty and spicy taste all in one bowl.

The smell that whiffs through your nose alone is enough to entice you to try a bowl when you see one.

You have to try it yourself to really "get" the taste to understand why Malaysians crave and salivate with just the thought of asam laksa.

Asam laksa taste a little differently in different states of Malaysia. Some asam laksa are more inclined towards sweet, sour and spicy taste while some are more inclined towards salty, sour and spicy taste.

Whichever taste is fine with me as long as it is sour and spicy enough! Asam means sour so...how can asam laksa be tasty without being sour?

For those with sensitive teeth, watch out for this sour noodle! Your teeth may suffer a little while you reward your taste bud.

Note: A good asam laksa must brings out the "natural sweetness" of the fish taste.


Curry Laksa/Curry Mee

spicy chinese noodle-curry laksa/curry mee

Curry noodles or curry laksa which is also commonly known as curry mee is another popular spicy noodle in Malaysia.

What you will taste from this delicious Chinese noodle is the rich, creamy soup made from coconut milk cooked with an assortment of fragrant spices, curry leaves and chillies that leave a flavourful taste in your mouth.

Curry mee usually has common toppings such as cockles, fried bean curds and tofu poks (fried tofu puff) with lots of bean sprouts.

You may also find some crispy long beans, pig's skin or even cubes of pig's blood as toppings.

spicy chinese noodles in coconut milk

Sometimes you will be served pieces of curry chicken with your curry mee.

Other times, you may find char siew, prawn or fish cake instead.

Whatever toppings you find, tofu pok is a must because it taste delicious with curry mee.

If you like very spicy food, eat your curry mee with the sambal that is usually served together with fresh lime.

Before you start eating, squeeze some lime juice into the chilli paste. You can dip the chicken and other toppings into this chilli paste or pour and mix it in your soup for extra spicy taste.

For me, I like to dip my toppings in sambal for that full flavour in my mouth and at the same time I also love that extra flavour it adds to the soup.

So to have the best of both worlds, I first dip the toppings into sambal before pouring the rest of the sambal into my soup.

As for the noodles, I prefer yellow noodle (mee) mix with meehoon (rice vermicelli) for my curry mee. However, you can choose mee only or meehoon only if you prefer.


Prawn Noodle

spicy prawn chinese noodlePrawn noodle is commonly known as prawn mee in Kuala Lumpur and most parts of Malaysia with the exception of Penang.

In Penang, prawn noodles are known as Hokkien Mee or Hokkien Hae Mee. (Hae means prawn in Hokkien dialect)

In Kuala Lumpur where Cantonese is widely spoken, it is known as Har Mein.

Prawn mee is also one of my favourite Chinese noodles. Well, looks like all types of noodles are delicious to me isn't it? Told you I love to eat. :)

Now, how should I describe prawn mee? It has soup that is spicy with natural flavour of prawn, pork, pig's bone and possibly chicken carcass boiled for long hours. You eat this noodle together with prawn, slices of pork, kangkung (water spinach), bean sprout and boiled egg with crispy fried shallot.

A special chilli sauce mix with belacan is also served as dipping sauce. Eat this sauce the same way as you eat the sambal served with curry mee.

Note: Prawn mee is called Hokkien Mee in Penang only. In Kuala Lumpur, Hokkien Mee is a type of Chinese fried noodle.

Ready to try all these Chinese noodles ? Not yet. I have more to tell you!

Besides the noodles mentioned above, you will also come across shops or stalls that specialised in a certain type of popular Chinese noodles as below.



Chinese Wonton Noodles

bbq pork wanton soupPronounced as Want (without the "t" sound) and Thonne, this Chinese noodle is commonly spelt as wonton mee in English.

However, it is also spelt as wantan mee, wontan mee or wanton mee by noodle stalls/shops operators depending on English or Bahasa Malaysia pronunciation used.

It can be confusing initially but once you know how it's suppose to sound like, I think you'll get used to it. For us, we don't even notice the difference in spelling anymore!

Now a little description on wonton. Won means cloud and Ton means swallow. This is the direct translation in Cantonese.

chinese wonton in soupLook at the picture of wonton. Now, can you see why it has this name?

I have mentioned in my dim sum page that Chinese like to use beautiful name to describe a dish.

Well, this little wonton looks like cloud isn't it?

And... this cloud has swallowed something that's delicious to eat!

Now let's talk about the noodles.

Chinese wonton noodles are prepared in soup or black sauce.

For a bowl of delicious wonton noodle soup, the wonton soup is very important. It must be flavourful and the wonton noodles must not have the bitter lye water taste. I dread biting into bitter wonton noodles. (Surprisingly some people may not taste it as much as I do. It's just that my tongue is a little fussy on this.)

Common toppings for Chinese wonton noodle soup will be sweet char siu (barbequed pork) with three little wontons and some green leafy vegetables.

The usual wonton filling will be pork and a good wonton must have thin and smooth wonton skin with generous and right combination of tender and juicy pork meat and fat. If you love pork wonton, you can always order more wontons separately.

In some shops, you may also find shrimp wonton which is at a premium.

Oh yes, don't forget to eat some crunchy, sweet and sour pickled green chillies with your wonton noodles. They taste good and these pickled green chillies are not that spicy either. Try it to find out.

Dry Wonton Noodles

 kon lo chinese wonton mein

Dry wonton noodle is called Kon Lo Wonton Mein in Cantonese (see the meaning of kon lo from above).

This dry version which is mixed with black sauce and other oil and sauces is just as good as the soup version.

In this case, the quality and type of sauces and oil used will determine the taste of wonton noodles. Same toppings as the soup version but wontons are served separately in a small bowl filled with soup.

fried wantons

For dry noodles, you can also order crispy deep fried wontons instead of the usual boiled wontons for a change.

When you eat Chinese dry wonton noodles, look out for other toppings that you can order.

Often, specialised wonton noodle shops or stalls served a variety of toppings.

Among the favourites are Chinese mushroom with chicken feet (Tung Ku Kai Keok), roast pork (Siu Yuk), a combination of roast pork with bbq pork (Siu Yuk Char Siu) and shredded chicken (Kai See).


  • Look out for wonton noodles served with crispy, fried pork fat and mixed with lard. It makes a lot of difference in taste!
  • Look out also for the special, rare sambal with dried shrimp that is delicious with dry wonton noodle


For me, I have one extra condition. I like my noodles wetter so that the sauce will absorb nicely into the noodles.

If you come across noodle stalls/shops which sell wonton noodles and curry mee, order your wonton noodle in the coconut based curry mee soup.

This is another unique way to enjoy your wonton noodles. It tastes good with sambal and pieces of curry chicken.

Lastly save some space in your stomach for Shui Gau and Har Gau if you do find them in wonton noodle shops.

 shui gauShui Gau translated as water dumpling in Cantonese is a pork dumpling.

It is filled with minced pork meat mixed with water chestnut or turnip, carrot, mok yee (wood fungus)and/or prawn inside what resembles a big wonton wrap/ dumpling skin served in soup.

Now do you still wonder why it's called water dumpling? :)

Har Gau is a shrimp dumpling served in soup. Although it sounds like Har Gau in dim sum, it has a different appearance. This Har Gau look exactly like Shui Gau but with different filling in it.

Har Gau and Shui Gau are sold as side orders.



Pan Mee

chinese-noodles-pan-mee-thickPan mee is the easiest Chinese noodles for anyone to make at home.

Imagine kneading a dough made from wheat flour. It's just that simple.

Of course the skill is in making it smooth, soft and a little springy which we are not going to discuss here.

If you like something warm, try the soupy version with soup base made from delicious and nutritious anchovies.

Together with crispy fried anchovies, black fungus (mok yee in Cantonese), minced pork, vegetables, crispy fried shallots and tasty soup, the otherwise bland taste of dough blends beautifully here.

As for the noodle, try the fine noodle, thick flat noodle or thin dough tear by hands.

chinese-noodles-pan-mee

If you found good pan mee dough, go for the Pan Mein Mit which means tear pan mee in Cantonese.

These irregular shapes and sizes of hand-torn dough taste delicious when it is very thin, smooth and has a "slippery feel" to it.

The hand-torn pan mee was also the traditional way of preparing this noodle before the hand-held small machine was invented.

 dry kon lo pan mein
You can also try the dry version with black sauce using thin or thick pan mee noodles.

Eat it with the special chilli padi sauce mix with lime juice and belacan.

For those who love chillies, pour the spicy chilli sauce directly into your dry noodle.

Mix it well and it taste delicious.

The Hokkien people call this noodle Mee Hoon Ker which means wheat flour noodle, true to its name while the Cantonese people call it Pan Mein which means flat wood noodle.

 chinese noodle soup-spicy pan meeSpicy pan mee, a new type of pan mee is now found in Malaysia possibly adopted from spicy soup in China.

The spicy Chinese pan mee's photo shown here was one of my lucky finds in a small Chinese noodle stall in Kuala Lumpur and it was very, very delicious!





Lam Mee

chinese noodles-lam meeLam Mee (pronounced as lum mee) is directly translated as "pour mee".

I guess this noodle got it's name from the art of pouring gravy onto the noodle.

To recognise this noodle, look for the signature thick starchy dark brown or black coloured gravy that is poured onto this noodle.

If you are trying Lam mee for the first time, I would suggest only the original version of Lam mee that comes with the fat yellow mee.

Smooth, long and al dente fat yellow mee with the goodness of gravy made from pork and chicken coupled with toppings such as prawn, boiled egg, pork slices and shredded chicken, this Chinese noodle is heavenly.

If you like it spicy like most Malaysians, mix a little of the special spicy sambal belacan in your gravy for that extra kick.


Lo Shi Fun

chinese noodle soup-lo shi fun

Lo Shi Fun (pronounced as low shi fun) in warm soup is a good choice for those with young children.

This noodle is short, smooth, soft and is the only Chinese noodle that you can eat with just a spoon.




lo shi fun-kon lo

However, I like the dry Lo Shi Fun better but only if it's mixed with the special belacan chilli sauce.

I have to say, this is NOT the usual way of eating dry Lo Shi Fun.

The usual chilli served will probably be cili padi with soya sauce.

My husband and I have found that cili padi mix with belacan and lime juice (the sauce that come with most Pan Mee) or any sambal belacan blend so well and actually taste very good with Lo Shi Fun!

Just pour this chilli sauce and mix it thoroughly with the "rat noodles". This simple act will transform the plain Lo Shi Fun to a taste that is quite unforgettable, I would say.

If you can't take spicy food and still want to try, ask for a small empty bowl and try it with a little portion of your noodles.

lo shi fun kon lo in claypot

There are also shops that sell special Lo Shi Fun noodle that is cooked in claypot or stir fried in wok.

Do watch out for these rarity and give it a try if you see a big crowd lining up for it.








Fish Head Noodle

fish head rice noodles soupThis Chinese noodle is called Yee Tau Mai in Cantonese which means fish head mai fun/rice vermicelli.

I used to dislike fish head noodle the first time I tried it but over the years I somehow have acquired the taste and actually love it now.

However, for me, the taste of fish head noodle can be very extreme at times. It can be really good or otherwise. So use the "crowd" test to decide.

As usual, the soup for this noodle is very important. Made from boiling anchovies, pig and/or chicken bones, the soup also has tomato slices, salted vegetables, young ginger slices and just enough of evaporated milk for that rich taste.

A delicious soup for me must have a rich and milky evaporated milk taste with enough sour, salty and refreshing taste from tomato, salted vegetables and young ginger.

Fish head and slices of fish meat must be crispy on the skin but tender on the inside. You eat this with thick or thin rice vermicelli depending on personal preferences.

Dip the fried fish in a little soya sauce mixed with cili padi for that spicy taste to complete this meal.


Hakka Mee

hakka egg noodle

Hakka mee is made from egg noodle.

It is different from other dry noodle/kon lo mein because it has no black sauce therefore look pale in comparison to normal kon lo mein.

However, once you sink your teeth into this noodle, you will know how delicious it can be.

Simple, natural taste of gravy with the home-made noodle taste. The only difficult part is to find the right shop to try Hakka mee since it is not commonly available.

Hakka mee has mince pork, char siew (bbq pork), fish cake and green leafy vegetable as toppings. Remember to mix well before eating.


Chinese Seafood Noodles

chinese soup noodles-seafood

Chinese seafood noodle comes in soup and have toppings such as big prawn, squid, artificial crab stick meat and sometimes seashells.

Seafood noodles are delicious with its natural "sweetness" of seafood taste.

However if the seafood is not fresh, the "fishy" smell and taste can be undesirable.


Wheat Vermicelli Soup Noodle

wheat vermicelli herbal duck soup noodles

The most popular Chinese wheat vermicelli soup noodle is the herbal duck soup noodle.

This Chinese noodle has soup made from Chinese herbs cooked with duck meat.

Good herbal soup has strong taste in herbs with fragrant herbal aroma.

With tender meat and soft but firm vermicelli noddle, this Chinese noodle soup is healthy and delicious at the same time.



Chinese Claypot Noodles

crispy fried noodles in claypot

Sometimes you may find some noodle stalls/shops selling Chinese noodles in claypots.

Claypot is supposed to create a nice aroma and taste in the food cooked in it.

However, to me, the tastes of Chinese noodles still depend greatly on the taste of soup prepared.



Chinese Sizzling Hot Plate Noodles

chinese sizzling noodleThe interesting thing about this Chinese noodle is the sizzling sound that it makes when the sauce is poured onto the hot plate.

A lot of times, this sizzling sound together with the nice aroma arising from the hot plate will whet up your appetite while turning heads of other diners.

Sometimes, even I can't help turning my head towards those sizzling sound!

There are many variations of sizzling hot plate noodles.

I like yee mee in gravy cooked with Chinese mushroom and chicken. The nice aroma of stewed Chinese mushroom and tasty chicken meat mixed with black sauce, soya sauce, pepper and sesame oil with a raw egg cracked and put on top of the hot noodle is delicious.

I will not discuss about other combination here. The best is to see for yourself and decide based on the favourites of the crowd at that time if you are not sure on what to eat.


Mee Jawa

chinese noodles-mee jawaMee Jawa? The name itself will tell you that it's obviously not a Chinese noodle.

However you will find some Chinese selling this noodle and it tastes delicious as well.

The first thing you will notice is the thick gravy made from potato or sweet potato.

It is served with slices of fried tofu, a slice of boiled egg, crispy crackers, bean sprouts/lettuce and fried shallots with sambal and half of a lime.

Squeeze the lime juice into mee jawa, mix well and enjoy!



Chinese Fried Noodles


I love to eat Chinese Chow Mein for dinner when I do not feel too hungry. Before I continue, just to let you know that Chow means stir fry and Mein also means noodle in Cantonese. (Pronounced as chow min)

Now, you must be thinking why I started off with the title Chinese fried noodles instead of Chinese stir fry noodles.

Well, it's because in Malaysia, you will find fried noodles and not stir fried noodles being used by the noodle sellers.

Further more, there are different cooking steps involved in cooking different types of Chinese noodles that it's just not right to use stir fry alone.

Am I confusing you? I think I am confused myself. Ha! Ha! Ha!

Well, forget about the definition shall we? The reason I babble so much is because I noticed that in some parts of the world, they refer to Chinese fried noodles as chow mein noodles.

It's not really right because mein already means noodle. So you either say chow mein (which is in Cantonese) or fried noodles in English ok?

Now you can "show off" your knowledge of Chinese stir fry noodles the next time you order these meals. :)

For simplicity, let us agree that we will use stir fry noodles and fried noodles interchangeably here.

Are you ready for the big fire? If yes, get ready to slurp some hot Chinese fried noodles! Try some char kway teow, Cantonese style fried noodles and Hokkien style fried noodles.

TIP : Always look for Chinese fried noodles cooked in lard and/or with those delicious crispy fried pork fat.



Char Kway Teow

chinese fried noodles-char kway teowChar Kway Teow means fried kway teow in Hokkien.

This Chinese stir fry noodle is a favourite among Malaysians and a famous Malaysian food.

So do not miss this!

The easiest way to find char kway teow is to find Chinese Kopitiam (Chinese coffee shops) located in shop lots with many stalls selling different types of Chinese food.

Look for that special stall which sells only char kway teow and nothing else.

So, what makes this stir fry noodles so special that Malaysians residing overseas especially, drool each time they think about char kway teow?

I'll try to illustrate it in words to you. If I could also send some smell over to you as well. Ha! Ha! Ha!

Now, imagine looking at a char kway teow man standing in front of a wok with big fire.

He puts some lard/oil in the wok. Down goes the garlic stir fried until fragrant. Then a few fresh succulent prawns, sweet Chinese sausages, fresh cockles and fresh flat rice noodles stir fried together in wok with black sauce and all the special sauces.

As the kway teow man stir frying vigorously, you can see big fire coming out under the wok with smoke as well.

Ahh...you start to smell some nice mixture of sweet, salty, fragrant and smoky aroma filling the air around you.

Then he adds an egg for that rich taste and a handful of refreshing and crunchy bean sprouts with chive to complete the taste.

Salt to taste and some sprinkle of pepper powder before serving for that extra "wow" taste that send a little tingling sensation to your nose.

It is better if you can find char kway teow served on plate lined with banana leaf but this is not a big determinant in finding the delicious fried kway teow.

Hold on...don't use what I wrote here as recipe because the sequence and ingredients used may not be exact. I'm just trying to create that virtual "taste and smell" for you to imagine how char kway teow taste like. He! He! He!

chinese stir fry noodles-fried kway teow and mee

Another way to enjoy char kway teow is by adding mee into kway teow which we called kway teow mee.

This addition of mee will create the extra firm, springy mouth feel in contrast to the soft kway teow.



Next, let us look at other type of Chinese fried noodles that are equally good.

Try the delicious Cantonese chow mein such as Yin Yeong and crispy Yee Mee, Hokkien Noodles and the special Lor Mee with black vinegar.

A quick tip to differentiate your Chinese fried noodles easily before I proceed. Cantonese style fried noodles are prepared with thick gravy poured onto noodle while Hokkien style fried noodles are usually served in "dry" black sauce.



Cantonese Chow Mein


Cantonese Chow Mein is locally known as Kong Fu Chow.

Kong Fu means Cantonese and Chow means stir fry.

So it means Cantonese style stir fry noodle. Let us talk about it now, one by one.

Yin Yeong

Yin Yeong means yin and yang in Cantonese dialect.

If you take a closer look at this Chinese noodles, I am sure you will know the reason why.

See the combination of black sauce flat rice noodles (kway teow) and the white deep fried rice noodles (mee hoon)?

That's how it got its name!

For the gravy, the cook will use fresh prawns, squid, pork meat, cabbage/green vegetables and fish cake stir fry in meat stock thicken with starch and egg.

This hot and flavourful gravy is then poured onto the pre-cooked soft kway teow and crispy rice noodles and you will have a plate of delicious Yin Yeong noodles.

A combination of soft, smooth and crispy noodles, Yin Yeong has the best of both worlds.

I like to eat this Chinese noodle with the sweet and sour preserved green chilli mixed with soya sauce.


Wat Tan Hor

cantonese chow mein-wat ton hor

Pronounced as Wat Tonne Hor, the name of this Cantonese noodle means smooth egg hor fun.

Preparation is exactly like yin yeong but only flat rice noodle/hor fun is used.






Yee Mein Kong Fu Chow

chinese chow mein-crispy fried noodlesThis means yee mee cooked in Cantonese style.

Since yee mee is very crispy, I normally like to soak this noodle into the gravy a little longer before eating.

The nice flavour of gravy that soaks into the noodles makes it more delicious.

However, I always felt that a plate of yee mee fried in Cantonese style has lesser portion compared with other Chinese fried noodles.

Maybe the sparse fried noodle look a lot on the plate compared with other soft Chinese noodles thus making the portion smaller.

Be happy anyway because this give you the chance to try more type of Chinese fried noodles in a day!


Mun Yee Mein

chinese chow mein-mun yee meinMun Yee Mein is another way to enjoy fried yee mee.

Mun means simmer in Cantonese. So, the yee mee is simmer in meat stock and sauces.

This way of cooking creates soft noodles with the mixture of tastes all absorbed into the noodles.




Sang Har Mein

Sang Har Mein uses big fresh water prawns usually cooked in fried wonton noodles. Style of cooking is the same as any Cantonese style fried noodles.



Hokkien Style Fried Noodles


Hokkien style fried noodle uses black sauce with the exception of Lor Mee which uses black vinegar.

Let us get to know them now.

Hokkien Mee

hokkien noodlesHokkien Mee is the most popular Hokkien style fried noodle.

It has big fat round noodles (mee) stir fried with black sauce and is usually cooked with pork slices, green vegetables, prawns and some fish cakes.

The authentic ones must have lard and lots of small cubes of crispy pork fat which make Hokkien mee fragrant and rich in flavour.

I love those crispy pork fat. Together with sambal belacan on a spoonful of Hokkien mee, this Chinese noodle is unforgettable once you've tasted it.

Other versions of Hokkien noodles that you can try is Hokkien mee hoon.


Lor Mee

chinese fried noodles-lor meeLor Mee uses fat noodles like Hokkien mee.

It is cooked in thick gravy with the addition of black vinegar.

Some cooks will pre-add black vinegar in your Lor Mee but some will let you add according to your taste.

Add more black vinegar if you like your noodles to have more sour taste.

Again this Chinese noodle is delicious with sambal belacan.


Fried Glass Noodle

Chinese fried glass noodlesEat a big plate if you like fried glass noodles and if you happen to stumble upon delicious ones.

It is not easy to find a plate of delicious fried glass noodle/fried wheat vermicelli.

This is because glass noodle is tasteless and has structure like gelatine.

Therefore it will be too soft when cooked with too much water but is hard and chewy when cooked with too little water.

Only a skilful cook can turn this Chinese noodles into a "dry" yet moist glass noodles that are soft but firm and springy with tasty sauces well absorbed into the noodles.

Fried glass noodle is usually stir fried with eggs, meat, prawn and crunchy bean sprout in black sauce.


Sing Chow Mai

Sing Chow Mai means Singapore mai fun (Singapore rice vermicelli in Cantonese).

This Chinese fried noodle is really different from the rest because it uses chilli and tomato sauce as the base. So it has a peculiar sweet and sour taste.

How's the taste? Well, imagine biting into a mixture of flavours created from shredded big onions, red chillies, meat and bean sprout stir fried with rice vermicelli mixed with chilli and tomato sauce.

Well, I think I have written about most of the common types of Chinese noodles you can enjoy when you are in Malaysia.

Ok, the last one. The economy fried noodles. I doubt you will have the chance to even try this with so many other delicious Chinese noodles available.

Nevertheless...here it is.



Economy Fried Noodles


The name says it all! Cheap and pre-cooked Chinese stir fried noodles sold on big plates.

You usually find these noodles sold in the morning market or night market. The name is derived from the word Keng Chai Mein which means economy/cheap noodles in Cantonese.

Chinese fried noodles such as mee hoon, kway teow, mee and instant noodles are stir fried with black sauce and cooked with cabbage or bean sprouts. No meat at all. That's why it's cheap.

However, there will be some extras to go with your basic noodles such as fried eggs, fried sausages, curry chicken or fried chicken.

All these will be added with extra cost of course.

You pay what you want only. Just like Air Asia, our Malaysian low cost flight!




For those who want to know the Different Types of Chillies that come with your Chinese Noodles, read on...

Cili Padi

spicy cili padi for chinese noodlesCili pronounced as Chee Lee and Padi pronounced as Pa Dee(Pa as in papa) is a small and very spicy chilli.

It can be red or green in colour. You usually find these chillies served in soya sauce together with your Chinese noodles.

Cili Padi is the most common type of chilli served with Chinese noodles.

Be careful if you can't take spicy food. Biting one of these are sure to bring tears to your eyes!



Green Chilli

pickled green chillies in soya sauce

Preserved big green chillies that taste sweet and sour.

It is delicious especially with wonton mee.







Sambal Belacan

sambal belacan for chinese noodles


Sambal belacan is made from dry chilli or fresh chilli mixed with belacan (a pungent dried prawn paste/cake).

Some may add garlic or onion to cook this chilli paste.

Some premium sambal belacan also has dry prawn/shrimp added into it and this is the best so far if you can find one.



sambal belacan with lime

Sambal with lime, a delicious dipping sauce with curry mee.







Chilli Sauce

chilli sauce for pan meechilli sauce for kampar mee
Pan Mee sauceKampar Mee sauce

Made from blended fresh/dry red chillies or cili padi, these dipping sauces can have chillies mixed with any combination such as lime juice, belacan, garlic and/or ginger.

Chilli sauces are more watery compared with sambal. They are usually served with pan mee or kampar mee. Sometimes you will find green chilli sauce for pan mee if green cili padi is used.

The cili padi sauce with belacan and lime juice is especially delicious with dry lo shi fun.

Besides the cili padi and preserved green chillies, other sauces differ in taste depending on the secret recipes of each cook.



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