Step 1: Prepare the ingredients
• Dried red chilies – Use a scissor to cut it into small pieces. Soak in water overnight. The seeds will detach itself from the chili. On the following day, give it a good stir to remove more seeds, take the chilies out from the bowl of water. Dispose of the chili seeds. Set aside for blending.
• Dried shrimps – Soak in water for 1 hr. Drain and pour it into a Kenwood food processor to chop it into fine pieces. Heat up a frying pan, dry fry it without oil till it becomes dry and fluffy.
• Rice vermicelli – Soak in room temperature water for about 20 mins till soft. Check the instructions on the packaging.
• Dried shrimp’s skin – Rinsed and dry thoroughly. In a pan with 1l oil, deep fry till it’s crispy. Set aside to cool down.
• Eggs – Crack eggs into a bowl, add in ¼ tsp fish sauce and beat it. Pan fry it into an omelette. Remove from pan, slice it into strips.
• Prawns – In a pot of boiling water, blanched till it’s cooked through. Remove the shells when it has cooled down. Set aside for serving.
• Bean sprouts – In a fresh pot of boiling water, blanched the beansprouts for 1 min. Drain and set aside for frying.
• Tamarind – In a bowl with tamarind paste, add in 500ml water. Squeeze the tamarind paste, sieve to remove seeds and any impurities.
Step 2: Blend and fry sambal paste
• Add sambal paste ingredient into the blender. Blend till a fine paste is formed. Add in more oil for a smoother blend.
• In a frying pan, heat up 2 tbsp oil. Add in the blended ingredients and lemongrass. Stir fry till the paste turns into a darker red. Add in 1 tbsp salt and 4 tbsp sugar. Adjust to taste.
• Add in the powdered dried shrimps. Continue to fry in medium heat till it is well mixed. Add in 4 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp salt. Adjust to taste.
Step 3: Cook the Mee Siam
• In a frying pan, heat up 4 tbsp oil. Add in 5 tbsp sambal paste. Set aside the rest first. You may use it to adjust the taste at the later stage.
• Add in soybean paste, tamarind juice, lime juice and 250ml water. Mix well and allow it to simmer for 1 min. Add in 1 tsp salt and 3 tbsp sugar. Adjust the taste. It is important to do a taste test at this juncture as it will determine the final taste of the Mee Siam. Add in more water if the gravy is too thick for frying.
• Add in blanched bean sprouts and rice vermicelli. Stir fry in medium heat, till the gravy is fully absorbed. Cover the wok and allow it to simmer for 5 mins.
• Remove the lid and stir fry it. Do not simmer for more than 5 mins as it may get burnt. If it is too dry, add in some water gradually.
• Mix it well, cover the wok for 5 minutes. The bee hoon should be moist by now.
• Reduce to low heat, stir fry the vermicelli till it becomes light and fluffy.
• Add in dried shrimps’ skin and 3 tbsp fried shallots. Continue to fry till it is cooked evenly.
Step 4: Garnish and ready to serve
• Garnish with prawns, shredded omelette, koo chye, taupok and lime and serve warm.
Home cook’s Tips
- If you are cooking with regular size vermicelli, you will require more chili paste than the instructions above. Use 7 tbsp instead of 5 tbsp to fry the vermicelli.
- The sambal paste can be kept in the chiller for a week. You may use it to cook assam prawns, curry and stir-fry purpose.