Kolo Mee v1

Edit: Please see the Kolomee version 2 recipe for a much tastier recipe! =)

At long last, the long-awaited recipe for kolo mee. I’ve been looking around for a recipe that sounds like the kind of kolo mee I’m looking for. I recently found one that sounds like what I’m looking for, so… yay! Right? You’ll see. 😛 Here we go!

What you need:
(serves 1)
75g noodles, cooked in coiling water then drained and washed again in ice cold water to wash off excess starches – I used Wonton noodles, which was bad. Read why later

2 teaspoons fish sauce
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
Sprinkling of white pepper powder
Pinch of MSG – didn’t have it

4 chicken wings, seasoned with salt and pepper
Oil, to fry the chicken
1 spring onion, sliced finely
Crispy fried shallots

What you do:

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl.
  2. Heat oil in a frying pan, and fry chicken until golden and crispy and cooked through.
  3. Meanwhile, dip noodles briefly into hot water to heat them up and place into a bowl. Spoon over sauce (to taste), place chicken wings on the side and sprinkle liberally with spring onion and fried shallots. Serve immediately.

The thing about kolo mee, I think, is that its such a simple recipe (unless you make your own noodles, of course…), that you need to get everything absolutely perfect. The noodles must be the right taste and texture, and the sauce must be delicious. Well, sadly, I have to report that this recipe fails in oh-so-many ways! 🙁

First off, the noodles. I really am not sure what kind of noodles kolo mee uses, so I looked around for one that looked similar. So when I found fresh wonton noodles that looked similar to my vague memories of kolomee, I was pretty pleased. Until I tasted it. It turns out that those noodles were egg noodles. And I detest egg noodles. With a passion. Plus, kolo mee definitely doesn’t use egg noodles, I think. Otherwise, I wouldn’t like it so much. Steee-rike ONE!

Next up is the sauce. I should have known, actually, but I thought, nah… couldn’t be… Coz, see… fish sauce – salty. Soy sauce – salty. Salt – salty. Add up all the three together, and what do you get? EXTREME saltiness! I made a bit too much sauce as well, and just dumped it all over my noodles. So the resulting saltiness was enough to make my mouth shrivel up. And I like to think I have a higher salt tolerance than most people. Of course, it was partly my fault, why did I dump the whole thing in? But also, the sauce was just salty…. there were no other flavours there. I thought it didn’t taste like what I remember kolo mee tasting like (well, it has been awhile… my memory is a little fuzzy now) So… Steeeeee-rike TWO!

Luckily, it wasn’t a complete strike out, haha. The chicken was delicious, but of course, I plead guilty to that. 😛 Haven’t had fried chicken in awhile, and this was just yum! Nicely cooked, crispy and flavoursome. *drool* And the best thing was, it wasn’t even deep-fried. It was just fried in about two tablespoons of oil. Which may sound a lot, but not really. So yay. 😀 I also liked the spring onions and fried shallots, two of my favourite toppings. So again… yay… So my main problem was with the noodles and the sauce. Which is really the main point of kolo mee…. So as a whole, this dish fails for me.

“So Ihsan, why then,” you ask ,”are you giving us this recipe?” Well, people were eager to see it for one, so I guess I should publish it. Plus, who knows, someone might be able to give some suggestions. 😀 But the main point is, I definitely want to try making kolo mee again, so by publishing the first recipe (and 2nd, and 3rd, and so on) you’ll be able to chart the progress of the kolo mee, hehe.

So… until next time then. 😀

Quote of the day: A hungry stomach seldoms scorns plain food.

15 comments on “Kolo Mee v1”

  1. pablopabla

    Hi Ihsan! Glad to see you mustering enough courage to give this dish a try. From your seasoning, I think it’s a little too much especially the fish sauce and light soya sauce. The recipe on my site serves 3 whilst yours was for 1 portion. He! he!

    Kolo mee also needs msg to balance out the saltiness. It’s crucial 😀

    I do agree with you that wantan mee just does not taste right for this dish. I bought my noodles from Sitiawan – made by the foochow community and tastes quite like kampua.

    Anyway, good luck with your V2 and so on 😀

  2. Ihsan

    Hi! 🙂 Thanks for checking out my blog, hehe.

    Yeah, I do realise that the seasoning is a bit too much. I meant to add it little by little, adjusting it to taste, but forgot and dumped in the whole thing. 😛 And I didn’t really measure out the amounts properly, so they are all just estimations anyway. I probably added in a bit more than i thought! Haha.

    I do’t have MSG (and hardly use it in my cooking) so I couldn’t add it in. 🙁 And yes, I need to find the proper noodles. It might be easier if I was back home, but here in the UK, its a bit harder to look for them.

    Thanks again!

  3. The Self Taught Chef

    you actually had the right exact wantan noodles. Thats what classic kolo mee is all about. stringy noodle.
    from the photo, i can tell already that your noodle is starchy and glued.

    can i just give u some tips,
    Wantan noodle contains high amount of starch. any chef’s perfect way of cooking it is by boiling it less than 2 mins.

    Prepare ice cold water in a bowl. strained and blanch the hot noodle with the cold water (this remove excess startch)until it’s clear and then strain again then blanch it again for a further 1 min or so in the same boling water.

    careful not to overcooked as it has to stay al’dente (to a certain bite) and not soaggy.

    look forward to see your refine kolo mee. happy cooking

  4. pablopabla

    Self taught chef is right, you need to dip the noodles in cold / running water before heating them up just briefly before cooking.

  5. Ihsan

    Ooooo, so many tips 😀 Thanks!

    But anyway, wantan noodles, really? 🙁 But they’re egg noodles. I’m pretty sure I don’t remember having egg noodles in kolomee before… is classic kolomee different from Brunei kolomee maybe?

    And actually, I did do the whole cook noodles and wash in ice water thing. 😛 Well, actually, I used running water from a tap, but the water in UK is cold enough to freeze my hands off anyway! 😉 Probably the reason they look stuck together is that instead of heating them up by dipping in boiling water, I stirfried them instead… just to see if I can get them slightly crispy, haha. I know, now proper kolomee, but hey… cooking is all about modifying to suit your tastes. 😉

    I didn’t know the cold water thing was so important though. I’ll edit the recipe to reflect that.

    Thanks again! 😀

  6. Thanis

    I think you got the right noodles Ihsan.

    First off, the water needs to be really hot and bubbling before you toss your noodles in and try to separate them as soon as they hit the ‘lava’ 😉

    Then follow the advice of selftaught chef, blanch in cold water to rid the starch … then back to hot … then straight to the sauce.

    I also notice they didn’t include oil in the sauce, which is a vital component for kolomee. I usually add a lil bit of sesame oil.

    I also find the seasoning a bit … erm ….. not so kolomee…. next time when we chat in msn.. will discuss more wit ya 🙂

  7. Ihsan

    Right noodles huh? 🙁 Well, I still have them, but I really don’t like them… Oh well, maybe with the right sauce…

    And yes, some pointers in making the sauce would be good, so yes please 😀

  8. Anonymous

    Hi ihsan,

    Maybe u could try my family version of kolomee. For the seasoning, try using a mixture of oyster sauce, light soy sauce, pinch of salt and a bit of sugar (to substitute msg). Give it a try.. 🙂

    Mummy Amoy

  9. Ihsan

    Thanks! I’ll be sure to try out that version soon 😀 It sounds a bit more balanced.

  10. Bahit

    Hmmm.. I’m trying this out. Just bought kolomee straight from the factory at KTM (major distributor of locally made mee) at Ban 4, Kg. Mulaut back here in Brunei. 1kg cost me about BND$2.40. So yea..

    Let me try experimenting it with the above recipe. I might add oyster sos to add flavor to it. Personally I think the blanching part is hard compare to cooking it since the ingredient are basically.. soy sause (kicap.. kicap and some kicap.. HAHA! :D)

    Owh.. the one that gets me addicted to this stuff is when it is served with pickled green chili (jeruk chili). WOW!

    Btw.. at KTM, they have their own restaurant that have all that I’ve mentioned.. readily cooked for you convenience (kolo mee: BND$3.00 be it chicken or meat) also.. another place which kinda has the same taste as theirs is Restaurant KJ. What makes them special is the fried minced chicken they add to the kolo me. THATS THE BOMB and its only $2.50

  11. Anonymous

    Tried this without using fish sauce, used sesame oil instead of the ordinary oil and add a bit of water as well as msg to make it less salty. Pepper and fried shallots work very well in it! As said in the above comments, use light soy sauce. Tastes really good for a simple kolo mee, definitely can be up to the restaurants’ standards, but not the original kedai kopi’s kolo mee in Sarawak!

  12. Anonymous

    Continuation….; do not drain the noodle until it gets too dry and washing it with cold water might be a disadvantage (at least for my case), the retaining starchy water actually makes the noodle tastes better…and it’ll be less salty and yet still having the same moderately thick sauce.

    Leeds 🙂

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