Lor Mee (Braised Noodles) comes in a thick gravy topped with slices of pork, tofu, fish cake, and egg served with a dash of black vinegar.
Lor Mee is a Hokkien/Fujianese noodle dish served in a thick gravy with a variety of toppings. The toppings can vary in different communities and regions. In Malaysia, popular toppings include slices of pork, tofu, fish cakes, and eggs. In Singapore, Lobak or Ngoh Hiang as they call it, is a popular topping there. Like most Hokkien/Fujianese food, the color brown predominates as the the main flavoring is soy sauce.
Lor Mee versus Lam Mee
The gravy and toppings for today’s Braised Noodles are similar to that of Kong Tau Yew Bak, minus the sugar. There is more gravy thickened with cornstarch and egg for pouring over the noodles. Both dishes have pork, tofu, and hard boiled eggs. Some people like to add shrimp for greater flavor but I choose not to, so that it is distinctly different from another dish, Lam Mee that I am more familiar with.
Lor Mee was never really on my “radar” because the Nyonyas have a similar dish known as Lam Mee. The latter is often cooked during birthdays. Hence, it is also known as the Nyonya Birthday Noodles. Lam Mee has different toppings and a little less thick soup. Shrimp and crab are used as flavorings in the soup and as toppings. This recipe will be appearing in my upcoming eCookbook. I will give you more details closer to the time of its completion.
Spice It Up
Malaysians love to spice up their food. Most people eat Lor Mee with Fried Chili Paste, cut red chilies, or pickled green chilies. Lam Mee on the other hand, is not Lam Mee without Sambal Belacan. In fact, the Nyonyas serve Sambal Belacan at every meal. I grew up with it as my Mom has a container of it in the refrigerator at all times.
Black Vinegar in Lor Mee
Try adding a half teaspoon of black vinegar to your Lor Mee gravy and see how you like it. The black vinegar will help “lighten” the thick gravy. Black vinegar is preferred because it is faintly sweet and the taste is more mellow than regular vinegar. If you do not have Chinese black vinegar, you can also use balsamic vinegar.
Similar Tools Used in Making This Lor Mee (Braised Noodles)
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Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless Stockpot with Cover, 6-Quart
Cuisipro Stainless Steel Measuring Cup and Spoon Set
Winco UT-9 Coiled Spring Heavyweight Stainless Steel Utility Tong, 9-Inch
Stainless Steel Fine Mesh Skimmer for Skimming Grease and Foam
Lor Mee (Braised Noodles)
- 1 lb pork belly or boneless pork ribs* (450g)
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 7 cups water (1.7 liters)
- 4 hard boiled eggs (shells removed)
- 7 oz firm tofu (200g)
- ¼ cup corn starch + 2 cups (480ml) water (30g)
- 1 large egg (lightly beaten)
- 6 oz choy sum / yu chai, washed, drained and cut into 2 inch lengths (170g)
- 7 oz fish cake (200g)
- 1 lb udon or thick yellow noodles (450g)
- 4 green onions / spring onions, slice thinly
- 6 tbsp fried shallots
- 6 tsp fried chili paste
- 6 tsp black vinegar
- Sprinkle ground pepper all over pork. Heat vegetable oil in a large pot. Brown pork for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Push pork aside. Reduce heat and add garlic. Stir fry for 20 seconds.
- Add dark soy sauce and pour in water. Cover, increase heat, and to bring liquid to a boil.
- Remove the lid, add hard cooked/boiled eggs and tofu. Lightly season with salt. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 35 minutes.
- While soup is simmering, bring a medium pot of water to boil. Blanch choy sum for 30 seconds. Remove and place blanched choy sum in a cold bath to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.
- Add fish cake and boil for 4 to 5 minutes. It is cooked when it starts to float. Remove and cut into thin slices. Discard the water.
- Refill pot with fresh water. Blanch noodles for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove with a strainer. Set aside.
- Transfer pork, eggs, and tofu from the soup pot onto a plate.
- Mix cornstarch with 2 cups (480ml) water. Pour into the soup and allow it to come to a gentle boil. Soup should thicken.
- Slowly pour in the beaten egg and give it a gentle stir. Egg ribbons will form in the soup.
- Do a taste test. Add more salt if needed. Turn off stove.
- Cut pork and tofu into thin slices and eggs into halves.
- Place some noodles in a bowl. Add some choy sum, a few slices of fish cake, pork, and tofu. Place half an egg on the top.
- Ladle soup over noodles and ingredients. Garnish with green onions and fried shallots. Serve immediately with fried chili paste and vinegar.
- I used boneless pork ribs but please use pork belly (in one piece) if available. Remove the skin before blanching and adding it to the soup. Cut into thin slices in Step 12.
Lor Mee is best served in smaller portions because it is very filling. The udon or thick yellow noodles and thick gravy are both rather bulky. You can always show your appreciation to the cook by going back for seconds. 😉