Whenever someone asks me what my favorite food is, I’d always say my mother’s Pan Mee. It’s basically torn flour noodles into a steaming broth made from dried anchovies, garlic and ginger and topped with a variety of toppings depending on where you’re from but my mom puts this delicious meat sauce made from minced chicken and Chinese mushrooms. And then, to finish it off, a dollop of garlic oil, which essentially is the base that rounds up the flavors beautifully.
The secret to making the soft and slightly chewy torn noodles is to let the dough rest for at least 20 minutes, covered with plastic wrapper, before rolling them out and tearing them into a boiling pot of water.
Till today, my mom’s Pan Mee will never fail to bring a sense of comfort to me, wherever I am. Although I have to admit, I may have the recipe down to the T, it just doesn’t taste like how mom makes it you know? Like something is missing – maybe it’s her love and effort that’s missing hehe 🙂
First, in a pot, pour in 4 cups of water with one cup of anchovies (washed), 1/2 bulb of garlic and 3 slices of ginger and season with some salt and pepper. Add some Chinese or Napa cabbage leaves to give more depth to the flavors of the soup. Let it boil and then lower heat and continue letting it cook while you prepare the other stuff.
Pan Mee‘s Torn Noodle Dough:
1.5 cup of all purpose flour (and a bit more for dusting)
Up to 3/4 cup of water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. In a big mixing bowl, add your flour and make a well in the middle. Add your egg, half of your water, salt and *secret ingredient in.
2. Mix the concoction in the well with a fork first and slowly bring the flour around to it down. Add the dough starts clinging to the fork a lot, it’s time to start using your fingers. Be careful to not add too much water. Just start kneading slowly until you get a nice firm smooth dough.
3. Let it sit on the counter while you do the rest.
Usually people use pork but my mom uses chicken because I don’t really eat pork much when I was younger.
250g minced chicken
7 rehydrated Chinese mushrooms, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tablespoons of oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon of dark soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
A swish of Chinese cooking wine
1 tablespoon oil
pepper to taste
1. Heat pan with oil and the sesame oil, and add garlic. Saute the garlic until fragrant or until it turns slightly opaque and then add your mushroom. Saute until fragrant.
2. Add minced chicken in and some pepper. Cook the chicken mince until most part of it are opaque. Add the other ingredients in except water. Stir to mix well.
3. Add water and let the sauce come to a boil. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes before taking it out of the heat into a bowl.
Assembly of Pan Mee:-
1. Drain the broth you cooked earlier into another pot and bring it to a boil.
2. Halve the noodle dough and roll it to about one centimeters thick. Pick the dough up and start tearing it into ununiform pieces into the boiling pot of broth.
3. Add more *secret ingredient into the pot. If you have some green veggies like bok choy or lettuce, you may add so now. Once the pot comes to a boil again, your noodles are ready.
4. Scoop the noodles and veggies up into a bowl and serve with a topping of meat sauce.
*** The secret ingredient is none other than this:
Eat a bowl of Pan Mee with some sambal or garlic chili sauce …I’d recommend it 🙂
p.s: you might wonder if i cubed the chicken pieces for the meat sauce…well, i didn’t. The pix are vegetarian versions of the original Pan Mee and the “chicken pieces” are actually tofu…:P It’s equally good too 😉