Sarawak kolo mee, a dish of blanched dry egg noodles tossed in a light, transparent sauce mix and topped with savoury char siew slices, spring onion mixture and fragrant fried shallots, is the unofficial signature hawker dish for the state of Sarawak in Malaysia. This noodle dish is so ubiquitous, it can be found in almost every single hawker centre in town.
The humble and affordable Kolo mee it is one that many Sarawakians hold dear to their heart, with each person having a particular go to hawker that serves “the best” Kolo mee. This Sarawakian favourite can be enjoyed at any time of the day- breakfast, lunch, dinner and even supper!
What is the difference between Kolo Mee and Wonton Mee?
Sarawak kolo mee is easily distinguished from other Asian noodle dishes. The difference between Kolok Mee and Wonton Mee, which is popular in the Peninsula Malaysia, is that Kolo Mee is not drenched in dark soy sauce and water is not added to the noodles when served.
Kolo mee comes in two common flavours: plain or seasoned with red sauce (red sauce from pork char siew. Wonton mee usually served with soup and soy sauce, to give the dish a darker appearance and enhance its saltiness.
Kolo mee noodles are springier than wonton noodles and they come with a loaded serving of minced pork. The kolo mee is topped with spring onion and fried onion, giving the dish a sweet crunchiness. This dish is often also served with slices of Chinese BBQ pork (char siu), which are placed on top of the noodles.
While the dish is easily available across Sarawak, Kolo mee is hard to come by when you venture out of the state. Many Sarawakians working in abroad often crave for its simple but unique taste.
Thanks to the sheer number of Asian supermarkets in Australia that cater to overseas Malaysians, it is now relatively easy to whip up authentic Kolo mee in your home kitchen. The recipe below can be prepared in less than half an hour and serves four.
Kolo Mee Recipe
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp dried onion flakes
- ½ tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 small shallots, finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 500g lean ground pork
- 1 tsp chicken bouillon powder
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- ¼ tsp ground white pepper
- 1 pack thin Chinese egg noodles (fresh or dried)
- 1 spring onion, chopped
- 250g roasted Chinese BBQ pork (char siu), sliced (optional)
- pickled green chilies (optional)
Prepare Onion Topping
- Heat a large wok over medium high heat. Then add vegetable oil and onion flakes.
- Lightly fry for about a minute by continuously stirring the onion flakes until golden brown.
- Turn off the heat and transfer the flakes into a small bowl. Set aside.
Fry the Pork Mixture
- Using the same wok, turn the heat to medium high and add in 1/2 Tbsp oil, shallots and garlic. Fry for one to two minutes until fragrant.
- Increase wok heat up to high. Add ground pork and stir quickly to break it into small pieces.
- Add chicken bouillon powder, fish sauce, soy sauce, and white pepper and stir well.
- Heat a large pot of water and let it come to a boil.
- Add in the egg noodles and cook according to package directions, about 2-3 minutes, or until al dente.
- Pour the noodles into a colander and rinse under cold water.
- Drain noodles and portion into serving bowls.
Assemble Kolo Mee
- Top the noodles with 2 to 3 generous tablespoons of the warm ground pork mixture. Then add green onions, sliced BBQ pork (char siu), and fried onion flakes according to preference.
- Mix the bowl thoroughly to coat the noodles and serve immediately with pickled green chilli (optional)
If you are starved for time or just couldn’t be bothered to cook Kolo mee from scratch, the Asian Pantry stocks the best instant Kolo mee noodles which has received rave reviews across Malaysia.
For those who gave this recipe a go, let us know if this kolo mee recipe had hit the spot for you by sharing and tagging the Asian Pantry on social media.