Monday, August 8, 2011

Economical Fried Noodles + Sides 經濟炒麵加料 - "Malaysian Monday 49"

I know economical fried noodles (經濟炒麵, jing ji chao mian in Mandarin and geng chei chao mien in Cantonese) sounds just as enticing as half price pizza or discounted sushi but to many Malaysians it tastes just as good as say a bowl of laksa or as comforting as a home cooked meal no matter how ridiculous that might sound. 

It is often mistranslated as economy fried noodles but in my opinion it should really be translated as economical fried noodles instead. 經濟 (jing ji) can mean both economy and economical in Chinese; since it simply means cheap and affordable in this context, the latter would be more appropriate no?

Stalls selling economical fried noodles can be found in markets and hawker centers all over Malaysia,  often selling for as little as MYR1.50/serve (~A$0.50). Different types of very simple pre-cooked noodles are on offer together with the optional sides (refer to as 料, liao in Mandarin and liew in Cantonese) such as fried chicken, curry, fried eggs and luncheon meat. The irony is one can often be too greedy by adding too many sides making it a not very economical meal after all.

P.S My home cooked version enough to feed 3 to 4 cost around $8, pretty economical for Melbourne standard these days.

serves 3
you'll need;
3 garlic cloves, chopped
a bunch of choysum, cut into manageable lengths
a large handful of bean sprouts
500 g of hokkien noodles or rice vermicelli or a mix of both
3 tbs of oyster sauce
2 tbs of light soy
3 tbs of caramel sauce
3/4 cup of water
white pepper to taste
a selection of ready made fish cakes and bean curd  rolls* or your choice of sides
fried egg to serve
pickled green chillies to serve
sambal belacan or chili sauce to serve

*available at selected Asian butchers on Victoria Street, Richmond or frozen department of good Asian grocers.

For my choice of sides - I bought a selection of ready made fish cakes and bean curd rolls and wraps from an Asian butcher. Remember I used them for my curry chee cheong fun?

Very little preparation is needed here.

Saute the chopped garlic with a little oil before adding the noodles and choysum. Cook on high heat for a minute.

Add seasonings and water and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes.

Finally add in the bean sprout and mix well. Check for seasonings.

I pan fried some of the ready made fish paste products until golden.

Serve noodles with pickled green chilies, sambal belacan and the your choice of sides.

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  1. Good morning! Perfect for my breakfast this morning. Haven't had this for sometime... one of my faveourites! :-)

  2. looks amazing as ever always get hungry visiting your blog Suresh

  3. Looks way better than what u can find at hawker stalls and healthier by far. I'm sure this hits the spot for singaporeans and malaysians residing far from home.

  4. I do miss the keng chei mee stall back home after seeing this post lol
    Glad you decided to put this up.

  5. Oh I wish there is a noodle stall like that here in Melbourne!

  6. Oh wow! I can't find the right words to describe what I'm seeing in the picture. I don't think delicious, sumptuous or mouth-watering would be enough. But one thing's for sure, this post here did make me feel hungry. I know you had fish cakes on the side but it sure looks like tofu!

    Speaking of tofu, can I include it on the side too if, in case, I try to explore the kitchen and cook this economical fried noodles here?

  7. looks so delicious..but i would not try to make my own economical noodle...why? i can get it for RM1.50, why bother making my lazy

  8. It doesn't look like a cheap meal. I'd pay big money for that :) YUM!!

  9. I love the story behind the dish, simple but looks so delicious with the perfectly fried egg!

  10. It's economical if it's DIY and definitely looks so appetising and yes, the egg looks perfectly fried.... yummy!

  11. Made this for lunch with fried egg and luncheon meat as sides. It was so good I had a second serving!

  12. This was just so good & exactly what I felt like for dinner last night! As we were being economical I played with what I had - I used udon noodles and some leftover beef and gai lan and served with my homemade chilli, garlic & shallot oil and it was just delish. Thanks for posting this excellent recipe! Cheers, Beck


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