Some time back, when my kitchen was still functional and in one piece, we found time to experiment and tried making our own mee hoon kueh (flour cake soup).
We have all seen how easy our friendly neighbourhood mee hoon kueh/pan mee stall owner casually toss the noodles into the boiling soup, cooking the flour to perfection, to the extend that we thought could do the same.
How wrong were we!
Anyway, to make the mee hoon kueh, we need our main ingredients: flour, eggs and water.
Toss everything into the Breadmaker ™ and wait for it to knead the dough.
Once done, set it aside while we work on the other ingredients.
First, peel off the head and guts to clean the dried anchovies.
Separate a portion of them for the soup base (or you could use stock cubes if you are soooo lazy) and another portion to be fried till crispy.
But instead of the conventional deep frying in hot oil, my wife suggested we could toast them in the oven instead with the same effect.
Of course, i raised an eyebrow to her suggestion, and said...
And i had to eat back my words after that.
Ok, moving on... toasting the anchovies in the oven is actually a brilliant idea, the final result is almost the same as deep frying them in oil, but is less oily (the only oil comes from the anchovies themselves) and i don't have to waste a wok-full of oil for the frying.
Sorry, cooking noob learns new things everyday. hehehehe
Ok, next we need to deal with our next ingredients.
Soak the mushrooms and tau foo pok to soften them, and the slice them into bite size, along with the fish cake.
Marinate the minced pork with char siew sauce for an hour and clean the sayur manis (i only knew what is it called after being educated at our friendly neighbourhood market. You know what they say, "You learn something new everyday")
Then stir fry the minced pork till fragrant. Add salt to taste.
Then blanch the sayur manis to ensure they are properly cooked.
Drain off the water and set aside.
So now you should have already made all the side dishes to accompany your mee hoon kueh.
And make sure your soup base is ready before we begin the next step.
Now we go back to the dough and make some mee hoon kueh.
First, divide the dough into smaller balls for easier handling. Make sure you have plenty of flour on the table to stiffen the dough in case it gets too sticky. And yes, they could get very very sticky. And messy.
Using a rolling pin, quickly flatten the dough as thinly as possible. The thinner the dough, the easier it will cook and the smoother the texture will be.
There, all done and ready to go into the pot.
Before tossing them into the pot, casually tear them into bite size pieces (how big is bite size depends on how big your mouth is lah) and flung them into the boiling soup base to cook for approx 10 minutes. Remember to add back in the sayur manis.
Cooking time varies depending on how thin you managed to get your mee hoon kueh to be.
Too quick and you'll end up with portions uncooked in the middle.
Too long, and the whole thing become soggy and slimy.
This one comes with the experience, so the more you cook, the more you could judge and estimate the timings.
Finally garnish with coriander (only if you love them) and you are good to go.
Ah.... a satisfying meal indeed.