It’s a cool and rainy day in Singapore. We’re into Phase 2 of reopening, which means that restaurants and food courts are open, with dining in groups of 5 is allowed. Strangely enough however, we haven’t been out dining in this season. In fact, we were out mainly to exercise together as a family (and bring the dog walking). One of the good things that has happened in the circuit breaker is that we do evening walks now, so little Lola does her 5 – 6 km walk with us almost every day. And we’ve been having fun discovering quiet trails and open spaces so that she can play fetch.
So we must be innate introverts because the period of social isolation was not that difficult for us. It probably helped that we have 7 people under one roof (that’s plenty of entertainment!), and also both hubs and I still had to leave the house and go to work. So we were never bored. And I love that I got to cook a little bit more; at least people were in for lunch and it was easier to try bigger recipes out on them. So now although we are in Phase 2, we seem to have gotten into a happy equilibrium at home and have still been eating at home for most meals.
So one of the things I loved in the past was bak chor mee (or minced meat noodles). Most people in Singapore are really finicky about their bak chor mee, especially when it comes to noodle texture and the perfect balance of vinegary sourness balanced with mouth warming chilli spice. I recently discovered someone in the keto marketplace online selling an oatmeal fiber shirataki noodle which was quite surprisingly good. It didn’t have the slightly rubbery texture of pure shirataki noodle, and was closer to a soft version of “mee kia” or angel hair pasta. Anyway I’ve been experimenting with tweaks on several bak chor mee recipes and I’ve decided to put my recipe here – there is nothing earth shatteringly new about it, but I do use my instant pot to make the stock.
Don’t be intimidated by the number of ingredients and multiple things to prepare. After doing this recipe several times I realised that you can skip steps or ingredients, but a true blue genuine bak chor mee should have all the bits (including pork lard!). And the more times I’ve made this dish, the easier it gets.
Low Carb Bak Chor Mee
- SOUP STOCK
- 400 – 500g pork bones
- 1/2 cup dried anchovies (ikan bilis)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
- 2 L water
- 2-3 tbsp peanut oil
- 6 – 7 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 3 cups water
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tsp sugar substitute (I used erythritol)
- 300g lean pork, sliced into thin strips
- 300g minced pork
- 200g pork liver, sliced into thin slices
- 1 packet of pork balls
- 3 tsp light soy sauce
- 1 tsp ground white pepper
- 1.5 tsp sesame oil
- 6 packets of shirataki noodles
- 150 – 200g pork fat, cut into small 1 cm cubes
- 200g of bean sprouts
- 1 bunch of spring onions, green parts, finely chopped
- Noodle flavouring (for each bowl): 1 tsp black vinegar, 1/2 tsp fish sauce, 1 tbsp soup stock, 1 tbsp mushroom braising liquid, 1/2 tsp sambal belachan
- peanut oil for deep frying the pork lard
- Lightly pan fry the dried anchovies till crispy, then drain and set aside.
- Put the fried anchovies and pork bones into the instant pot with 2L water, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp of ground white pepper.Seal the pot and put on manual high pressure for 40 minutes. When done, do natural pressure release, then drain the soup stock into a large pot on the stove top.
- In the meantime, marinate the meat. For the pork slices, marinate with 1 tsp light soy sauce and 1/4 tsp ground white pepper. For the pork liver, marinate with 1 tsp soy sauce, 1/4 tsp ground white pepper and 1/2 tsp sesame oil. For the minced pork, marinate with 1 tsp light soy sauce, 1/2 tsp ground white pepper and 1 tsp sesame oil. Refrigerate the pork.
- For the braised mushrooms, soak the mushrooms in 3 cups of hot boiled water for 15 – 20 minutes. When softened, remove the mushroom stems and cut the mushroom caps into thin strips. Put the mushroom strips back into the soaking liquid and add 1 tbsp light soy sauce, 1 tbsp dark soy sauce and 1 tsp sugar substitute. Gently simmer the mushrooms in the braising liquid for 1/2 hour, then set aside.
- In a wok or saucepan, put in about 1/2 to 1 cup of peanut oil and put on medium fire. Deep fry the pork lard till crispy and golden. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
- Prepare the shirataki noodles by draining the liquid and rinsing the noodles. In a non-stick pan, dry fry the noodles till the water has evaporated. Set aside.
- Bring the pot of soup stock to a boil. Add the pork balls and boil for a few minutes, then remove and set aside. Add the pork slices and cook for 2 – 3 minutes and remove when the pork is no longer pink, and set aside. Add the pork liver and cook for 2 – 3 minutes and remove when no longer pink but be careful not to overcook the liver. Add the minced pork, pinching off bits of pork mince by hand and dropping it into the soup stock. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes, then scoop up with a slotted spoon and set aside. Finally, put in the bean sprouts and cook for 1 – 2 minutes till just blanched, then scoop up and set aside.
- Portion the shirataki noodles into 6 bowls. In a separate bowl, place the noodle marinade (1 tsp black vinegar, 1/2 tsp fish sauce, 1 tbsp soup stock, 1 tbsp mushroom braising liquid, 1/2 tsp sambal belachan), toss 1 portion of noodles in the marinade then place back in the bowl. Repeat for the rest of the bowls.
- Place equal amounts of pork balls, pork slices, pork liver, pork mince, mushroom slices and bean sprouts over the noodles. Garnish with a tsp of pork lard and spring onions. Serve hot with a side bowl of the remaining soup stock.