Ah yes.. I am a huge fan of the Pan Mee.
There’s nothing fancy or glam about this dish. When it’s torn with uneven edges, it is called Mee Hoon Kueh. The uneven shapes might even come across as rather crass and unpolished, but take one bite out of this comfort food, and you will fall in love with it. When done well, and cooked just right, it is tasty and satisfying. At regular pan mee stalls, you can have the fresh dough rolled into fettuccine or spaghetti strands but today we are having the pulled version. The cooked noodles are eaten with soup, or tossed dry with flavored dark soy sauce.
Then there is the flat, wide pulled Pan Mee, that has the smooth edges..
I love this particular shop in PJ Old Town, that isn’t always open. Cumi says Lu Cai Ying’s Pan Mee been around for a long time and have moved operations from a decrepit shop in the light industrial section of Old Town PJ to this more commercial location. It’s his favourite stall for the tastiest pulled pan mee with the spiciest chilli sauce. He says there are many pulled pan mee around the city now but this is the best.
We drove past Restoran Hong Joo several times last week and after 3 tries we finally managed to catch the Pan Mee lady.. hurray! Hint: it is closed on Sundays.
Lu Cai Ying Special Hand Pulled smooth Pan mee..
If have read this far, you might be wandering what is the difference between regular pan mee, mee hoon kueh, and this pulled version? For one, it is the oblong shape resulting from tiny dough balls being hand pulled in water before being cooked in a separate pot. Mee Hoon Kueh noodles is made by tearing a flattened dough and the torn pieces thrown straight into the boiling water. Another point might be the method of making dough which gives it a smoother and chewier texture than your regular pan mee. Cumi suspects the pulled dough is partially boiled to retain its shape in the cool water storage before being hand processed further when an order is received.
At this stall, this particular soup is incredibly sweet – probably a stock of pork meat, pig bones, dried anchovies and MSG is employed. It comes together with dried anchovies, minced pork, mushrooms, and a leafy vegetable, i.e. the sweet potato leaves or sayur manis. Some like it served dry with a thick black soya sauce (also known as dried pan mee) and some like it in curry broth or chili-based broth, but I like mine in soup.
The minced pork they sprinkle on top of the noodle dish is incredibly tasty. The texture of this pulled noodle is chewy and cooked al dente – just perfect!
If you want to be passing great balls of fire later, then by all means finish the chili. It is the most tongue numbing one I have had to date. No wonder she gives you so little. You really don’t need much of it!
An old favourite, and a gem. What’s your favourite Pan Mee resto?Follow me on Instagram : @agentcikay
Please show us some FB LOVE, thank you! Add: Update 2016: Lu Cai Ying Pan Mee is a bit of a nomad. Before Restoran Hong Joo, she was located in a unnamed kopitiam at the end of Jalan Penchala. Now she is back near Jalan Penchala, in another old no name kopitiam shack along Jalan 2/32, opposite a playground. She is in the first shop.