Curry Mee with Yong Tau Foo is an Ipoh specialty with a lighter curry soup. My version of the Yong Tau Foo has ground pork and salted fish.
This Curry Mee with Yong Tau Foo is found mainly in Ipoh, the capital of Perak in the central region of Peninsula Malaysia. The Cantonese people here have milder palates and they enjoy a lighter curry soup with more ginger in it. They also prefer different toppings than the Nyonya version of Curry Laksa found in the Klang Valley where the soup is thick and fiery.
Yong Tau Foo Topping
That said, this version of Curry Mee has its charm. The star of this version is the Yong Tau Foo topping. If you are a fan of stuffed tofu and vegetables, which many are, you would absolutely enjoy this delicious and eye-catching dish.
The original Hakka Yong Tau Foo is made with fish paste but there are versions made with ground pork or a combination of the two. In my rendition here, I made it with ground pork and salted fish. I will be sharing this recipe next, so do check back in the next few days.
Peninsula Malaysia, in my humble opinion, has some of the best commercially prepared fresh noodles you can find out there. The fresh yellow noodles with a squarish cross section and thinly sliced koay teow (flat cut rice noodles) are simply the best. Some people enjoy this dish with koay teow or even a mix of the two. Others like it with beehoon (rice vermicelli). Over here, I have to be content with dried yellow noodles.
Similar Tools Used in Making This Curry Mee with Yong Tau Foo
This post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy here.
Curry Mee with Yong Tau Foo
- ¼ cup + 1 tsp vegetable oil (60ml) + 1 tsp
- 3 bone-in chicken thighs
- 10 cups water (2.4 liters)
- 1 cup coconut milk (8 oz/240ml)
- 1 tbsp salt (or to taste)
- 12 oz bean sprouts (trimmed) (340g)
- 6 pcs dried yellow noodles
- 30 pieces Yong Tau Foo
- 3 red chilies (seeded and cut into small pieces)
- 2 inch ginger (peeled and cut into small pieces)
- 1 large onion (or 8 shallots) (peeled and cut into smaller pieces)
- 3 cloves garlic (peeled and halved)
- 3 heaping tbsp curry powder
- 3 green onions (thinly sliced)
- ⅓ cup fried shallots
- 6 tsp fried chili paste
- 1 piece fried salted fish (1 oz/28g)
- Blend all spice paste ingredients, except curry powder, until smooth. Add some water, if necessary.
- Pour mixture into a bowl. Mix with curry powder to form a thick paste.
- Heat vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir fry spice paste until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
- Add chicken thighs and cook until opaque, about 3 minutes.
- Pour in water. Cover and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat and allow it to simmer for 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, fill a separate pot half full of water. Bring to a boil. Scald bean sprouts for about 20 seconds. Remove with a metal strainer.
- Add dried noodles and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove with metal strainer. Set aside.
- Minced fried salted fish. Remove chicken thighs from curry soup with tongs. When cool enough to handle, shred meat and discard skin and bones.
- Pour coconut milk into soup. Season with salt. Bring it up to a boil and allow coconut milk to heat through. Turn off stove.
- Place a portion of noodles, bean sprouts, some shredded chicken, and 8 to 10 pieces of yong tau foo in a bowl. Pour curry soup over noodles and yong tau foo. Garnish with green onions, fried shallots, and crumbled salted fish.
- Serve immediately with a teaspoon of fried chili paste.
This special dish does take quite a bit of work but it is well worth the effort. The Yong Tau Foo (which I will share soon) can be made ahead of time and that goes also for the Fried Chili Paste. Do give it a try.