November 6, 2010

A Bowl of Memories

You know that dish that brings back memories of comfort and happiness each time you savor it? This is mine!

When I was growing up, funds were limited and birthday celebrations are deemed luxury in our household. Nevertheless, each birthday in our family, mom would get up early and make this special noodle dish for the birthday member. I never gave much thought to it till I was away from home. Then each time of the year, I would crave for this bowl of memories and finally called my mom to learn to cook this dish.

It’s a very simple dish of noodles and soup, filled with many accompaniments and a very spicy chili. The dish is called "Lam Mee" or Birthday Mee as deemed by my family. This also seems to be a northern dish as the dish actually changes into a different variation further down south of Malaysia.

This bowl of goodness has a broth made from chicken, pork, prawn and dried scallop, boiled down to produce a luxurious stock brimming with natural sweetness and savory flavours. I would top a bowl of blanched yellow noodles and bean sprout, piled in all (and extra) the accompaniments, ladled in hot broth, and finally top with fried shallots, garlic, spring onions and coriander. I would inhaled in the glorious smell and digged in with gusto by adding spicy belachan chilli paste (hand-pounded by mom, of course!).

You are probably wondering what is so difficult about this dish. I didn’t think much of it either till I had to make it. Gosh, it took me half a day to just prepare the dish and prepare all the different accompaniments. After finally going through the experience, I have to admit that I really felt the love and effort from my mom into making this dish for us each year. Now I finally understand why it’s called Birthday Mee and the warm comfy feeling it brings to me when I savor every strand of noodle and sip its glorious broth!

* If you would like to have the recipe, leave a comment for me to send it to you.