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Siamese-style Noodles (Mee Siam) ~ Malaysia


2 lb rice vermicelli [lo mein noodles]
2 lb fresh whole shrimp, reserve shell and heads, for stock
3½ cups water
salt to taste
1 cup cooking oil, peanut or veg oil
10 cloves garlic, chopped
6 soy bean cakes, diced
2 tbsp salted soy beans, mashed to a paste or Miso paste
4 tbsp light soy sauce
1 lb fresh bean sprouts
6-8 stalks scallions, cut into 1 inch lengths
20 shallots, thinly sliced, fried golden brown
4 eggs, hardboiled, quartered
6 red Serrano chilies, seeds, thinly sliced diagonally [optional]
10 limau kasturi [kalamansi limes], cut into halves
[Substitute: kaffir or key limes cut into small wedges]

Ingredients for SAUCE :

2 tbsp cooking oil, peanut or vegetable oil
12 cloves garlic, pounded
3 tbsp or to taste, chili paste
3 tbsp salted soy beans, mashed to a paste or miso paste
3 tsp sugar
3½ cups coconut milk
½ cup tamarind paste [made from 3-3½ oz tamarind pulp mixed well with ½ cup hot water and then strained to remove seeds]

To Prepare Sauce :

Heat on high, add garlic, chili paste, salted soy bean or Miso paste, stir-fry for a min or so
Add sugar, tamarind paste, coconut milk, reduce heat to med-low,
Simmer till oil starts to float on top, add salt to taste, keep gravy hot on low-med heat, for serving
Dish out into a gravy boat when serving

To Prepare :

Soak dried rice vermicelli [lo mein] in hot water till al dente, drain, run under cold running water, drain well, set aside
Remove shells from shrimp, reserve shells & heads, roughly pound
Bring 3½ water to a boil, add shrimp shells, simmer, reduce to 1 cup of stock, strain and discard shells & heads, add salt to taste
In a wok, heat 1 cup of oil, fry shallots till golden brown, drain on paper towels, set aside for garnish
Remove all but 2 tbsp of oil from wok, add garlic, stir-fry till golden brown and crisp
Add shrimps, soy bean cakes,2 tbsp salted soy beans or Miso paste, stir-fry 1-2 mins
Add shrimp stock, soy sauce, bring to boil, reduce heat to med, cover, simmer 5 mins
Add noodles, stir fry for 3-5 mins
Add bean sprouts, scallions, salt to taste, stir fry 1-2 mins, turn off heat
Dish noodles into individual bowls
Garnish with hardboiled eggs, fried shallots and fresh sliced red chilies [optional]
Serve with gravy boat on the side, for pouring a little over noodles while eating - a last minute squeeze of lime brings it altogether

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