Yee Mee or Yee Mein (in cantonese) is a type of dried noodles which looks like lengthy rubber-bands. They are brown in colour and usually come shaped like a small cake. It is usually cooked with some sort of rich gravy and in some food courts, you will find it being served on a sizzling hot plate. Though it is quite common, nevertheless, it is still not as popular as the yellow noodles, bee hoon or kuey teow. I think this may have to do with the taste.
In its sold form, the Yee Mee can have a distinctive muski-smell which some might find it a tad artificial. To reduce this “artificial” smell, it is recommended that the Yee Mee be blanched in hot water for a couple of minutes before plunging it into cold water prior to cooking it proper with sauces. You will find that the water used to blanch the Yee Mee will turn brownish and thoroughly unappetising.
In some parts of Malaysia, you can find what is known as Sang Har Meen (fresh prawn noodles) wherein Yee Mee is predominantly used. With that in mind, I decided to cook my very own Braised Seafood Yee Mein using fresh sea prawns and fresh lala clams. I could have boosted the taste further with fresh slices of fish meat and cuttlefish but I couldn’t get my hands on them. Anyway, home cooking is usually not so extravagant. Prawns and lala clams are good enough for this session.
This is my recipe for Braised Seafood Yee Mein
- 4 pieces Yee Mein (1 piece per person)
- 200 grammes lala clams (rinsed thoroughly to remove mud and grime)
- 400 grammes medium prawns (remove shell leaving head and tail intact. Devein. You can also shell it completely. No worries)
- 300 grammes of choy sum (rinse and cut into smaller sizes)
- 3 slices of ginger
- 4 teaspoons chopped garlic
- 500 ml hot water (for cooking)
- 4 tablespoons cooking oil
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon light soya sauce
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon chinese cooking wine
Bring a pot of water to boil and blanch Yee Mee for 2 minutes until semi-soft. Drain and plunge into cold / iced water. Drain.
Heat wok until smoking hot. Add 2 tablespoons oil and 2 teaspoons chopped garlic. As the garlic sizzles, add Yee Mee and stir briskly for 1 minute. Remove and set aside.
In the same wok, add 2 teaspoons chopped garlic and prawns. Stir until prawns have curled up by half. Remove and set aside.
Then add ginger and stir until aromatic. Follow by water and seasoning (except salt, pepper and chinese cooking wine). Bring to boil before adding Yee Mee. Stir well and cover with lid for 1 minute.
Add prawns, choy sum and lala clams. Stir well and cover lid again for an0ther minute. Add salt and pepper to taste followed by chinese cooking wine.
Dish up when prawns have fully curled up and lala clams have opened up. If gravy is too thin for your liking, add a little cornstarch to thicken.
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