‘Chilli Pan Mee’ should be in your list of must-try food in Kuala Lumpur for it is loved by the locals as well as tourists. ‘Pan Mee’ (板麺) literally translates to flat noodles. There are many variations of 'Pan Mee' in Malaysia. If you love some spice, then chilli pan mee would be your choice as you will experience the spiciness contributed by the special chilli mix topped onto the noodles. This special chilli topping is usually placed separately for customers to add to their noodles according to their hearts' content.
How to lessen the spiciness of chilli pan mee?
Homemade 'Chilli Pan Mee' allows you to control the level of spiciness. When preparing the special chilli topping, remove the seeds and membranes of the chillies to reduce the spiciness.
Substitute for dried prawns
If you don't like prawns, you may blend the dried shrimps finely which is the more common practice instead of chewing into chunks of them. You may also reduce the amount of the recommended dried prawns to half. More dried chillies may be added instead. Do sauté the chlili topping until it turns brown as this would reduce the strong taste of the dried shrimps.
However, if you are preparing for guests who are allergic to prawns or dried shrimps, simply omit them from your recipe. Add a few dashes of fish sauce to get some umami.
Can I buy wheat noodles?
Of course, dry or frozen wheat noodles (without eggs) are sold at Asian grocers. I used homemade wheat noodles but this is not compulsory. Replace it with store bought thick wheat noodles or egg noodles, if that is your preference. That would work well too.
Once the noodles are cooked, add a few drops of vegetable oil or shallot oil to prevent them from sticking together.
Vegetarian chilli pan mee
As I had mentioned, I made a vegetarian version the very next day after recording this video. All I did was to replace the meat with minced shiitake mushrooms which were first marinated and then sautéed. The result was just as fantastic.
Mix the noodles thoroughly and enjoy it together with a bowl of soup with some spinach or sweet potato leaves, if they are available. They add some sweetness to the lightly salty soup.