The aroma of the scallion that garnishes the tender beef and noodle, soaked in the broth that is so rich in flavour, reminds you of how comforting a bowl of beef noodle can be. As you draw the noodles closer to your mouth, the smell will heighten your sense and the rising steam will start to fog your spectacle.
Today (6 Oct 2019), more than ever is the day that we observe National Noodle Day, celebrating the significance of noodle dishes in almost every culture across the globe.From a cup of Ramen to a bowl of Soba, noodles are typically made from unleavened dough, which is either rolled flat or extruded into long, thin strips.
They can be cooked in boiling water, pan-fried or deep-fried, depending on the type and the recipe of the dish. Noodle dishes may include sauces or broth of proteins, topped with greens, herbs and spices. Today, noodle dishes are beloved by many and vary according to different cultures.
History of Noodle
Noodles have been around for almost 4000 years. The origin of noodles started in ancient China, and this is supported by an archaeological finding of an earthenware bowl that contained 4000-year-old noodles at the Lajia archaeological site in north-western China. The oldest written record of noodles can be found in the writings dated back to the Eastern Han Dynasty sometime between A.D. 25 and 220.
Another early mention of noodles called itrium can be found in Jerusalem Talmud, dating back to A.D. 5, suggesting that noodles were first made in the Middle East. Despite the contradictions, we can all agree that whoever created the noodle deserves a pat on the back.
What’s for National Noodle Day?
With thousands of varieties of noodles, the best way for you to celebrate National Noodle Day is to try something new. If your palate of noodle is somehow limited to instant noodle or Spaghetti, then it is time for you to step out of your comfort zone and try making your noodles or noodle dishes. If you are not much of a culinary expert, then go try out that new noodle restaurant.
Malaysia is home to some of the fantastic and delicious noodle dishes. From street vendors to fine-dining restaurants, we have a variety of noodle dishes from different ethnicity, and the fusion of the dishes taste even more amazing. Here are some of the noodle dishes that you can indulge in on this auspicious day.
Laksa requires no further introduction. Laksa is differentiated based on the broth and the type of noodles used, from thick rice noodles, rice vermicelli to spaghetti. The recipe varies according to the origin of the laksa, which makes it easily recognisable among the locals. If you are craving for Laksa Penang, there are plenty of eateries in the Klang Valley that serve Laksa Penang. Feeling more adventurous? Then take a two-day food trip to Penang to satisfy your craving.
2. Kolo Mee
This noodle dish brings us across the South China Sea to Sarawak. Despite its plain look, this famous Sarawakian noodle dish is love at first bite. Kolo mee comes in two flavours; plain or seasoned with red sauce. The homemade noodles used have a springy texture, and the dish usually comes with a filling of minced meat (chicken, pork or beef). With scallion and fried onion as toppings, Kolo mee is a must-try for every foodie out there. If you are not in Sarawak, worry not as there are also several eateries in Peninsular that serve Kolo mee.
3. Wantan Mee
Wantan mee is a close relative of Kolo mee. The only difference is that the noodles in Wantan mee are drenched in dark soy sauce. Wantan mee is served with springy noodles soaked in chicken broth and paired up with crunchy or juicy dumplings. For some extra sweetness, you can add some tender char siew or bbq pork. This noodle dish is perfect for any time of the day and definitely worth the price.
4. Mee Goreng
Mee Goreng is considered a staple noodle dish among Malaysians. Any noodles enthusiasts will love this stir-fried combo of yellow noodles cooked with chilli, fried shallots, garlic, tomatoes, lettuce and topped with fresh lime juice. Mee Goreng comes in many variations, including chicken, beef, shrimps, eggs or even meat substitutes for vegetarians out there.
5. Char Kuay Teow
Considered a national favourite in Malaysia, Char Kuay Teow is a stir-fried rice noodle dish cooked in wok on an open charcoal flame. The noodles are usually cooked with prawns, cockles, chilli and bean sprout, coated with dark soy sauce. The dish also comes with additional topping ingredients such as eggs, shrimp paste, or fish cakes, giving it that extra kick and flavour.
6. Mee Kari
Mee Kari or curry mee is greatly influenced by Malay and Indian cooking. This dish is often complimented with prawns, chicken pieces, shrimps, fishcakes, eggs and bean sprouts. The thick curry broth, rich with citrus-creamy flavours from coconut milk and mint leaves gives a very sharp taste and aroma, and it will leave you wanting for more.
These noodle dishes are just the tip of the icebergs. During this day, get ready and take the opportunity to explore noodle dishes from your local restaurants or street vendors. You will be surprised to find out the sheer variety of noodles out there for you to enjoy with your loved ones.