Thursday, August 21, 2008

Good foods are to be shared (12) - bak chor mee vs bak chor mee

Bak Chor Mee is Hokkien for Minced Pork Noodle (肉挫面 in Chinese). Most bak chor mee in Singapore are topped with generous amount of bak chor (minced pork), slices of mushroom, pork slice, pork liver slice and lettuce. Some stalls give a tiny piece of salted fish and/or one fish/pork ball and/or a pork dumpling (depends on whether the tau kiu (hawker) is a Teochew, Hokkien or …) For $5 and above, you may even get 1 or 2 slice of abalone, depends.

I usually order my bak chor mee with 'you mee' (the thinner yellow wheat noodles). The cooking process usually consists of blanching the noodles in hot and cold water a few times, this increase the "springiness" of the noodle. The noodles are then drained substantially and placed into the sauce. Small amount of vinegar is added to give it an aroma. Don’t underestimate this small amount of vinegar, it determines the right balance of savoury and sour of a bak chor mee. Beside vinegar, another break factor is the chilli sauce.

If the chilli sauce and vinegar blend together well, it will make the noodles very tasty and thus a good bowl of bak chor mee. This noodle is usually served dry and it would be advisable to eat it immediately once it is served, so as to avoid getting the noodles too soggy.

Tried the following stalls of bak chor mee, few of these were highly-rated by bloggers. You may have your own favourite stall.

Tai Hwa Bak Chor Mee, $4 & above, Blk 466 Crawford Street.
Many rate this as one of the most famous Bak Chor Mee in Singapore so it’s a die, die must try lor. The noodles are real Q, good chilli, fresh lard with the right amount of black vinegar which just get you going back again and again. But be prepared to queue. Rating: 8/10

Teo Kee Mushroom Minced Pork Noodle, $3 & above, Blk 137 Tampines Round Market and Food.
Been to this stall many times. What I love about this stall, something different from the rest, is the braised pork soft bone. The braised pork soft bone was cooked till you can bit every bit of it in your mouth, leaving nothing behind. Coupled with special egg noodles which are nice and Q. There is no regret travelling from the west to the east of Singapore for this bowl of mushroom minced pork noodle. Rating: 8/10.

Ah Kow Minced Pork Mee, $3.50 & above, Hong Lim Food Centre.
A good characteristic of this bak chor mee is “chnee” (in Teochew) or fresh. The noodle was nice and Q and complemented very well with the sauce and the special china manufactured black vinegar. Rating: 7/10.

Minced Pork Noodle, $3.50 & above, Sim Lim Food Court.
Because of my work nature, I go to Sim Lim Square quite often. I remember I saw some bloggers’ recommendations and decided to try this stall at the building’s food court. Honestly, my opinion, nothing great but just blogged it. Rating: 3/10.

Capitol Puay Heng bak chor mee, $4 & above, Wisma Republic at Wisma Atria.
Capitol Puay Heng was famous for its special made noodles and a 40-year old secret chilli sauce mix. A stall that goes way back to 1968 when it first opened in Toa Payoh, then shifted to Capitol Hill. The noodles were nicely timed, and the pork tasted sweet and fresh. Ratings: 6/10.

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