“Get hooked on my seafood treats with crisped Mee Sua.”
Mee Sua, or you call it vermicelli, a Chinese noodle dish which you eat it especially during birthday to symbolise longevity. Mee sua simply means long noodle thread (面线). Usually, mee sua is made into very thin strand, and it’s brittle when cooked. The apperance of Mee Sua is normally in whitish colour, and to be sold in to a box of 5 – 6 bundles. This type of Mee Sua is good to make into soup noodle.
I did not use the usual whitish bundles in this recipe, in fact. I used the crisped (pre-fried) type. Never heard of it? I have first spotted this crisped version in the wet market, last Sunday when a lady was buying 2 packets of it at the same store. She recommended it to me over my hesitation with the noodle choices, and commented that this crisped Mee Sua gets softened quicker than crisped Ee-fu noodle, to shorten the braising time. It’s also easier to chew, especially for younger children.
The brownish crisped appearance is often mistaken with Ee-fu noodles (伊面), but Mee Sua has much thinner strand, and its taste is different from Ee-fu noodle (see Braised Ee-fu noodle recipe). Yes, I bought a packet of 4 crisped circular blocks.
Indeed, crisped Mee Sua is an excellent noodle to be used for braising. The texture of crisped Mee Sua is not so much the super thin whitish Mee Sua, and it is not brittle. Its texture and mouthfeel are resembling Italian pasta, the Angel hair, which never lose its elasticity after cooked. I loved to cook it with seafood, to make it fuller as my ‘1-dish-meal’ dinner.
3 circular blocks of crisped Mee Sua
1 small squid, trimmed and sliced into rings
1 Red Grouper (石斑) fish fillet, thickly sliced (*season with 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and sprinkles of white pepper)
8 – 10 medium prawns, shelled with just its tail remained intact (*season with 2 teaspoons of light soy sauce).
8 – 10 vegetables wanton rolls
Handful of spinach, cut into bite size (菠菜)
1 – 1½ cup of water
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of light soy sauce
1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
1 tablespoon of Japanese sweet cooking wine, Mirin (味醂)
Sprinkle of ground white pepper
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoon of cooking oil
1) Heat wok with 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high fire. Add half the amount of minced garlic and fry till fragrant. Add squid rings, prawns, fish slices and vegetable wanton rolls and stir-fry for 1 minute. Sprinkle some water (about 2 tablespoons) and pinch of salt, continue to fry for another minute, or until 90% done. Remove from wok, dish up and set aside for later.
2) Using the same wok, replenish 1 tablespoon of oil and the remaining garlic, fry till fragrant and lightly browned. Add Mee Sua, and 1 cup of water. Reduce heat to lower frame, cover wok with lid to simmer for 3 – 5 minutes.
3) When crisped Mee Sua starts to soften and keep bubbling in the liquid, add light soy sauce, oyster sauce and ground pepper. Stir fry to combine. Return cooked seafood ingredients to wok, and add Mirin. Then, add spinach, stir-fry to combine the ingredients. Heat off when all ingredients are cooked as well as Mee Sua completely softened. Serve immediately.
1 portion of braised seafood Mee Sua counts about 400kcal.
Tips: If water dries up too quickly during cooking/ braising, replenish with ½ cup – 1 cup (depends on how wet you want the noodle dish to be), if you prefer more gravy.
* Same thing, if the noodle dish appears too watery, you may wish to thicken it a little with cornstarch slurry (*see My Cooking Tips of no. 20 under Meat & Seafood)
* Do not over-cook the seafood ingredients to retain moisture with soft and chewy bites.