Malaysian style fish ball noodles

Malaysian style fish ball noodles

Street food in Kuala Lumpur can be damn tasty.
But nothing beats comfort street food served in the comforts of your own home.

~~~~~O~~~~~

On a recent trip to Kuala Lumpur with my long-time school friend David to attend our high school reunion, we not only relished the chance of meeting up with classmates of yesteryear but made sure we also savoured some of the best street food this food-loving city has to offer.

Among the litany of smoky char and full-flavoured kway teow, Hokkien mee and satay, what surprised me after the trip was David telling me one of his favourites was the plain and simple Malaysian style fish ball noodles. He enjoyed this bowl of noodles so much, he began replicating this dish when he got back to Perth.

“What’s wrong with you bro?” I asked. “Fish ball noodles among all the deliciously spicy food is like plain Jane among beautiful and sexy women.”

Of course I was only joking.

For I know too well plain Jane can be the most exciting person just like the hidden virtues of a dish so seemingly plain but pack so much goodness.

Malaysian style Fish Ball Noodles

Key ingredients for Malaysian style fish ball noodles (Image taken with Samsung S5 mobile phone)

Key ingredients for Malaysian style fish ball noodles (Image taken with Samsung S5 mobile phone)

Thanks to David for his efforts in replicating this beautiful bowl of street food at home, I have become a devout fan ever since.

The key is getting all the correct ingredients and among the most important (clockwise from image above) are silky smooth fresh rice noodles or hor fun, tung choy or preserved lettuce, sprightly and bouncy fish balls, fresh shallots, fish cake and fresh beansprouts.

Crispy deep fried pork lard (Image taken with Samsung S5 mobile phone)

Crispy deep fried pork lard (Image taken with Samsung S5 mobile phone)

The most important ingredient for this bowl of noodles is crispy bits of pork lard and oil that add a smoky dimension to the noodles.

Walk into your local Asian butcher and ask for pork fat. I bought about 200 grams at a Chinese butcher near Chinatown that retails at $3.50 per kilo.

With just 2 drops of vegetable oil in a small saucepan, these diced bits of pork fat will slowly render and what you have is golden brown bits of crispy pork fat with is so addictive especially when you are holding a can of beer or a glass of white wine.

Fish balls and fish cake slices in chicken broth (Image taken with Samsung S5 mobile phone)

Fish balls and fish cake slices in chicken broth (Image taken with Samsung S5 mobile phone)

“The taste of the broth that we know so well from school days comes from the fish cakes, fish balls and tung choy” David tells me over the phone from Perth.

So, after simmering a couple of rinsed chicken carcasses for about half an hour, I chuck in the fish balls, slices of fish cakes and tung choy which had been rinsed under cold running water.

Comfort food at its best ~ Malaysian style fish ball noodles

Comfort food at its best ~ Malaysian style fish ball noodles

Blanch rice noodles and beansprouts for 2 minutes in hot water and drain.  Place noodles in a large bowl then ladle in fish balls, fish cakes and soup.

Then garnish a la KL style fish ball noodles with finely diced shallots, crispy pork lard and a drizzle of pork oil and a sprinkle of pepper,

Bouncy fish ball, fresh chilli, crispy pork lard

Bouncy fish ball, fresh chilli, crispy pork lard

Find your favourite brand of white fish ball that is fresh and sprightly.

Fish cake slice, fresh chilli and crispy pork lard

Fish cake slice, fresh chilli and crispy pork lard

Hakka-style fish cake is so versatile in Asian cooking that is inexpensive, delicious and so readily available in most Asian grocers.

I love this recipe for its simplicity using good quality store bought fish balls and fish cake. This bowl of noodles is especially good during cold weather but I am happy to have it any time of the year.

Malaysian style fish ball noodles

Malaysian style fish ball noodles

So there you have it … one of the most popular Malaysian street food right in the comforts of your own home.

~~~~~ END ~~~~~

Subsidiary recipe ~ Chicken sandwiches and chicken salad

Simmered chicken carcass

Simmered chicken carcass

Even though chicken bones are very inexpensive, I always felt it’s a waste to throw them out after simmering to make stock because there is a fair bit of meat on the bones.

Remove chicken meat from carcass and add Kewpie mayonnaise

Remove chicken meat from carcass and add Kewpie mayonnaise

Simply remove the meat from the bones into a bowl, then add salt, pepper and Japanese kewpie mayonnaise and mix well.

Chicken meat mixed with Kewpie mayo, salt and pepper

Chicken meat mixed with Kewpie mayo, salt and pepper

Whalla! Now you have the perfect ingredient to make chicken sandwiches for lunch the next day.

Just add slices of cool cucumber to go with your favourite toasted wholemeal bread.

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One Response to Malaysian style fish ball noodles

  1. Chopinand, I’ve always enjoyed your observations about (and appreciation of) “women” — plain Jane or 10+. Your wife is a lucky lady! This recipe and your adjunct chicken salad sound marvelous. (Still weak at the knees over your crispy pork lard and fish ball noodles “spoonful” photos!) Good things were meant to be savored (never wasted) — women and food included.

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