Thursday, 20 July 2017

Mee Tiao - Teochew take on Long Life noodles

Mee tiao is a really tasty Teochew noodle dish meant for once a year birthday celebrations especially if there is a matriach or patriach in the household .

However , the texture of the noodle used by the Teochews in Penang is different from the Hokkien version . 
The Teochew version , has more bite and chew ( pun not intended ) to it while the Hokkiens , prefer a silkier texture , which leads some to use the flat egg noodles and others to use a fresh ramen like round yellow noodle , which makes it really confusing if you want to debate on what belongs to who . 
As far as I know , when it comes to the Hokkiens , the most important feature of the noodle that must not be compromised ....
.is the length . 
The longer , the better !
One should not cut it ,even if some of us might have a high chance of choking on it , so I guess why it's called Long Life Noodles since you can deem yourself a survivor after that celebratory  meal ! 

Due to intermarriage between the clans , as well as convenience and cost ( frugality embedded into the genes ) , cheaper localised , yellow noodles found acceptance amongst homemakers at first , and then only much later , was it turned into an everyday available dish , by enterprising hawkers , much in the same manner as how Hakka pan mee evolved into hawker fare today .

Yeah , the whole lot of us helped popularise long life noodles from an exclusive birthday celebratory meal into a commercialised breakfast , lunch , or dinner ( depending on the shop ) offering .

Nowadays , the cooks aren't so particular or superstitious , about the length either . Me thinks , it is because they don't want anyone dying on their premises hence , they will shorten it for you unless you have one super alpha matriach who really pantang to the max if you dare do that ( but I think that era is gone already ) .

Back to the subject at hand .
You can actually find this particular noodle , in a few good mid range Chinese restaurants in Penang . It's when you want to enjoy it in a sticky , greasy hawker centre , that it can get a little confusing as sometimes , some hawkers call it Char Mee Sua .
You know ? Birthday Noodles in one place , Char Mee Sua , Mee Tiao ....they may all mean the same thing but they may also be variations as far apart as the sun and the moon !

Now , when it comes to Char Mee Sua , you may pop in to the Cecil Street wetmarket in the afternoon .
Honestly , that used to be my favourite place for Char Mee Sua but lately , I suspect they are using bad oil , so I have not returned for a long time already .

So , where best , if you do not want to pay so much ? Public Cafe lah .

For those with gluten intolerance , I'd advise you to skip this , as it feels really gluten like to me , just like what real Korean instant noodles are like ( not like those produced in China to cater to mass preference ).

There is only one stall here that fries this the best ( scroll down for a pic of the stall  ) .
Also , take note that you really have to eat it piping hot or you are not Chinese so to put it . If you allow the noodles to cool down , that fresh wok roasted flavour would have dissipated and because you allowed that to happen , you will then proceed to bitch in the cyberworld about how unfulfilling and hype an experience this was . 
The other thing I have to warn you is that this noodle dish is OILY . VERY OILY .
So again , don't say I did not warn you before you take the plunge and order one round for yourself .

Have given you a close up shot of what meats are contained in it .
Dried shrimp , peeled prawns , and siew yoke ( roasted pork belly ) .

Pictured below was how we enjoyed the meal...
 with stir fried green bayam and deep fried sandpiper . ( Please don't copy us , as we can have weird preferences sometimes ) .

I'm recommending the mee tiao because it is not too expensive at 12 ringgit for 2 pax , and it is a dish that is harder to find . 
If you must know , we ordered the other dishes from the other chu char stall . And I love to bite on raw red chillies occasionally , so long as they are not tooooooo hot . 

Here's the stall where we got the Mee Tiao from . 
It's better known for it's Garoupa fish noodles and porridge served in a claypot , so you can try that if you like . On a personal level , I don't like their garoupa noodles so again ,as you can see , it all boils down to a matter of personal preference .

Location : Gurney Drive , Penang

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