Mee Siam with Gravy

By The Weekly  

May 20, 2018

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Making mee siam can be tedious, but the effort put in will definitely be worth it when you see the whole family enjoy the meal together. This recipe utilises a flavourful gravy that your family will enjoy. Serves eight.


2.5 litres water

500 g large sea prawns, unshelled

80 g tamarind pulp & 150 ml water

2 tsps sugar

2 flat tsps of salt

1 tbsp coconut oil

300 g beehoon, soaked to soften

1 piece (200 g) tau kwa (firm beancurd), cut into 1.5 cm cubes

150 ml oil for deep-frying tau kwa

15 g koo chye (garlic chives), cut to 1 cm lengths

80 g beansprouts, blanched

4 hardboiled eggs, sliced

4 limes, halved

For Sambal Tumis (fried chilli paste)

80 g dried prawns, soaked to soften

3 candlenuts

100 g dried chilli, boiled to soften

100 g shallots

1 tbsp belacan powder

2 tbsps coconut oil or water

100 g tamarind pulp & 150 ml water

100 ml coconut oil

½ cinnamon stick

3 cloves

1 star anise

1 flat tbsp salt

2 flat tbsps brown sugar

2 flat tbsps white sugar

For Spice Paste

2 lemongrass stalks, 5 cm of white root part

20 g dried shrimps, soaked to soften

30 g galangal

30 g ginger

15 g turmeric root

50 g dried chilli, boiled to soften

100 g shallots

3 garlic cloves

1 tbsp belacan powder

50 ml coconut oil

3 tbsps tau cheo (fermented bean paste)


Preparing prawn stock

1 In a large pot, bring the 2.5 litres of water to a boil.

2Cook sea prawns for 2 to 3 mins until they turn orange.

3Shell the prawns, leaving the tails intact. Devein and keep refrigerated until ready to use.

4Reserve prawn heads and shells. Place these back into the same pot of water and boil for 30 minutes on medium heat. Cover pot and leave shells to steep.

Preparing sambal tumis

1Grind dried prawns, candlenuts, dried chilli and shallots. Add belacan powder.

2Add 2 tbsps of coconut oil or water to help grinder blades rotate.

3Soak 100 g tamarind pulp in 150 ml of water for 2 mins. Strain and reserve juice.

4Heat 100 ml of coconut oil in wok or frying pan.

5Once tiny bubbles are visible, turn off heat and add ground chilli paste.

6Stir and turn on heat. Over low heat, fry chilli paste for 10 mins, stirring constantly.

7Add cinnamon stick, cloves and star anise. Stir-fry for another 5 mins.

8Add tamarind juice. Stir, then add salt and sugar.

9 Stir-fry mixture for another 5 mins. Transfer chilli paste to a bowl or deep dish and allow to cool.

Preparing spice paste

1Grind lemongrass, dried shrimps, galangal, ginger, turmeric root, dried chilli, shallots and garlic. Add belacan powder.

2Heat 50 ml of coconut oil until there are tiny bubbles. Turn off heat and add spice paste.

3Stir through and turn on heat.

4On low heat, fry mixture for 5 mins then add fermented bean paste. Fry for another 10 to 15 mins until fragrant and the oil rises to the surface.

5Turn off heat and transfer paste into a bowl. Set aside.

Preparing gravy

1Soak 80 g tamarind pulp in 150 ml of water. Strain and reserve juice.

2Strain prawn stock and bring to a boil.

3Stir in ¾ of the spice paste, then add 2 to 3 tbsps of chilli paste.

4Bring to a boil and add tamarind juice. Simmer for 5 mins.

5Add sugar and salt for taste. Turn off heat and leave it covered.

Preparing beehoon and toppings

1 In a clean wok, heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil.

2Add the rest of the spice paste and 3 tbsps of chilli paste.

3Mix well and add beehoon.

4Fry until beehoon is evenly coated with the spice mixture, then remove from heat.

5Deep-fry tau kwa cubes in 150 ml of oil until golden, then drain.

6When ready to serve, bring gravy to a simmering boil.

7Take a portion of the beehoon and place in a soup plate. Add a portion of the sliced garlic chives, beansprouts and two prawns.

8Ladle on enough gravy to cover the beehoon and prawns.

9Arrange two or three slices of hardboiled eggs, some of the fried tau kwa cubes and half a lime on top. Serve immediately.

ABOUT THE CHEF: Hedy Khoo is the columnist for The New Paper's HED CHEF which features Asian cuisine and recipes. You can follow Hedy on her Instagram account @hedchefhedykhoo for more of her culinary adventures.

Recipe: Hedy Khoo / Photo: The New Paper