Mee Siam

Noodles March 5th, 2008

mee siam

The name Mee Siam means “Siamese Noodles“. Said to be of Thai origin, it is now probably more popular in southern Johor and Singapore. Cooked with rice vermicelli or bee hoon as what the locals prefer to call it, Mee Siam is great for parties as it is cheap (ingredients costs little) and tasty at the same time.

Mee Siam uses a few main ingredients which brings out its peculiar taste – tau cheo (preserved soya beans), chilli and dried prawns. The more elaborate Mee Siam calls for the pouring of tamarind gravy over the cooked Mee Siam whilst mine is a simpler version which uses freshly squeezed calamansi (limau nipis) juice. The combination of spicy, sweet and sour taste makes this Mee Siam dish appealing to many.

The key to cooking Mee Siam is using a stove which produces high heat and to use the thinner type of rice vermicelli. Why? You use high heat because you don’t want to cook the Mee Siam for too long. Otherwise, the rice vermicelli will break into tiny pieces. At the same time, you use the thinner type of rice vermicelli (I use the Erawan brand which shows an elephant logo) because it does not taste as nice when thicker or coarser rice vermicelli is used.

This is my recipe for Mee Siam (for 2 persons)



  • 150 grammes of rice vermicelli (pre-soaked for 30 minutes till softened. Drained)
  • 100 grammes of bean sprouts
  • 30 grammes of dried prawns (pre-soaked for 15 minutes to semi-soften)
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon tau cheo (preserved soya beans)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 pieces of fishcake (optional. sliced) or fresh prawns (cleaned and deveined)
  • 2 teaspoons of cili boh (chilli paste which you can buy from supermarket. Alternatively, grind / blend 4 pieces red chilli with 4 cloves garlic and 4 bulbs shallots)
  • 2 to 3 pieces calamansi (halved)
  • 300 ml hot water
  • 5 tablespoons cooking oil



  • 2 teaspoons light soya sauce or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar



Heat oil in wok. Add onions and dried prawns. Stir till onions are translucent and dried prawns are aromatic.

Push ingredients to side of wok. Add tau cheo and cili boh / mixture. Stir well for 15 seconds before pushing back the ingredients into this mixture. At this point, add fishcake or prawns. Stir fry for about 30 seconds, then push them aside.

Add eggs into wok and allow to fry till almost done. Push back ingredients into the egg followed by rice vermicelli. Stir well and sprinkle water occasionally to keep it moist. Add seasoning to taste. Cook till rice vermicelli is done (soft but not mushy to bite).

Dish up and serve with a squeeze of calamansi juice.

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  1. 1
    March 5th, 2008 at 8:11 am

    Thank you for the recipe – this is the dry kind of mee siam that was a favourite of mine while I was growing up. I definitely have to try it!

  2. 2
    March 5th, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    My Godma used to add ketchup for the sourish taste.

  3. 3
    March 6th, 2008 at 5:03 am

    yum yum.. this is delicious. with the hint of lime… it’s even better!

  4. 4
    March 6th, 2008 at 8:02 am

    Su-Lin : Tell me if it tastes just like how you used to have them, ya?

    terence : Yes, I have tried adding a little bit of tomato ketchup for this dish. Not too bad tasting, I must say πŸ˜€

    mycookinghut : Have you cooked this? You should try.

  5. 5
    March 7th, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    I had Mee Siam recently too. But mine was the wet version and I cheated using ready-made paste! :O

  6. 6
    March 10th, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    professionally done! even the macro shot too…:)
    bila nak “open house” again…hehehhehhe

  7. 7
    March 10th, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    I haven’t cooked this before. I will try your recipe and let you know.

  8. 8
    March 11th, 2008 at 4:44 am

    Mee Siam……….Yum! That is a good one. I should try making that for my family this weekend. I bet everyone will enjoy it.

  9. 9
    March 11th, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    tigerfish : Wah! Cheating wan ar! Must tell the police πŸ˜‰

    ajeff : Phooiyo! My sifu calling me sifu! Oi! You too happy with the GE results, eh? Anyway, bila you nak datang makan? Give me early notice and I won’t serve maggi πŸ˜€

    mycookinghut : Okay. Hope to hear good feedback. Tell me if it’s not good.

    reeseboston : Are you home?

  10. 10
    March 11th, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    I’m clumsy frying vermicelli. Strands tend to ‘fly’ out of the wok and the ‘colouring’ will be in patches. =(

  11. 11
    Lannie Loke
    March 12th, 2008 at 12:54 am

    I love you recipe. Easy and simple. I’m a M’sian residing in Netherlands. Last week, I tried the seaweed soup and now mee siam. By the way, do I have to pre-soak the seaweed, cause if not, I noticed a lot of sand at the bottom of the soup.

  12. 12
    rasa malaysia
    March 12th, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    Hey hey, am loving your simple and clean pictures…great job.

    About our kopitiam friend, I thought about it, I will be back there soon again, I think I will hand deliver…what you think? Reply to me via email, okay?


  13. 13
    March 15th, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    I have been home since mid of Jan. Busy with school and job hunting now. Have not been cooking much.

  14. 14
    March 17th, 2008 at 11:56 am

    Tummythoz : Wuahaha! You are not the only one having having flying vermicelli whilst frying them πŸ˜€ I do leave a big mess too. As for the uneven “patches”, try adding a little water at a time to “redistribute” the seasoning whilst stir-frying. That should help.

    Lannie : Yes, you do need to pre-soak the seaweed and rinse it a little to remove sand or grime. Depending on the manufacturers, some seaweed sold are like straight from the seabed! LOL!

    Rasa Malaysia : I am still way behind from your photo styling and quality. Thanks for teaching me πŸ˜€

    Reese : Woot! I didn’t know you’ve been back already! When will you be off to Boston again? Or are you in Boston now? *scratch head*

  15. 15
    March 22nd, 2008 at 9:31 am

    I am in Boston. Sorry for the confusion. I have left Japan and am back to Boston now.

  16. 16
    March 24th, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Reese : How time flies and it felt as if it was just yesterday that we had Yong Tow Foo πŸ˜€

  17. 17
    March 28th, 2008 at 10:29 am

    Oh yeah! That was awesome. I am graduating this May for my master degree. It seems like just yesterday I first begun my study. Have to get back to the real world and am still hunting for a job. We should definitely do the eat out again when I get a chance to return to Malaysia for hols.

  18. 18
    March 29th, 2008 at 10:29 am

    You are making me miss my mum’s mee siam!

    Guess what, the other time when I balik kampung, i realise a recipe from ho-chiak on the dining table amongst her recipe books. My mum visits your site too! πŸ˜‰

  19. 19
    March 31st, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    Reese : Yes, we should makan again πŸ˜€

    keropokman : Really? Wow! Your mum must be IT savvy to be looking out for recipes on the net. What did she cook?

  20. 20
    April 9th, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    Thanks for visiting our blog. I like your recipe but make some adjustment to it. Thank you so much for the recipe.The mee siam is good.

  21. 21
    May 18th, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    I love dry mee siam too after having some after mass at Novena church. I thought they served me fry bee hoon instead because there was no gravy. The lady behind counter said treat it like mee pok dry. haha. The gravy was sweet and delicious.

  22. 22
    May 20th, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    Gretchen : Oh yes, real mee siam comes with gravy πŸ˜‰ I will have to reserve the gravy recipe for another day.

  23. 23
    Jin Hooi
    August 4th, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    Hey, thanks for sharing this recipe.. I cook this for dinner tonight and they were lovely !!

  24. 24
    August 5th, 2008 at 11:19 am

    Jin Hooi : Glad you tried it out πŸ˜€

  25. 25
    November 16th, 2008 at 6:48 am

    wow, mee siam has to be one of my fav breakfast foods ever while I was still back home in Msia, my dad always buys this from the Malay stall in PJ hee,thanks for the recipe, maybe I can try cooking some here to satisfy my craving for a bit πŸ™‚

  26. 27
    Kimberly @ the How to Cook Blog
    February 20th, 2009 at 8:25 am

    Awesome! I love the vermicelli!!! So nice!

    Fabulous food blog!!! Kudos!

    I came by today to let you know about my Foodie Blog Carnival!

    You can get some PR or just have fun entering a blog post in the Foodie Blog Carnival!

    Entries are being accepted until Feb. 23rd! You can enter anything that has to do with food!

    I’ll provide a link and a mention to your post! So easy…So fun!

    I look forward to your entry.

    Kimberly Edwards πŸ™‚

    P.S. Also, I just added you as a friends on MyBlogLog!

  27. 28
    July 13th, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    This looks like a great dish and I will be trying it out. I would probably use some nice big fresh King Prawns and then squeeze a little lime on at the end. Yum!

  28. 29
    Angela Khoo
    November 25th, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    I add babas curry powder to my mee Siam which really brings out the flavour the curry powder needs to be mix into paste and tumis yummy


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