This bee tai mak with minced pork recipe is a healthier and fresher choice as compared to instant noodles. Try this recipe out, as contributed by Sylvia Tan, a food writer in Singapore.
You can now buy fresh noodles without preservatives. They do not need refrigeration nor reconstitution in water.
Fresh instant noodles? This is not a contradiction in terms; these noodles exist. They do not need refrigeration nor do they need to be reconstituted in water. Just open a pack and pop the noodles into a pot.
They are faster to cook and certainly healthier than dried instant noodles as there are no preservatives. As you cook it with fresh ingredients, you do not need those highly processed seasoning packets found in instant noodle packs.
Noodle company Tan Seng Kee (TSK) now makes fresh noodles under the Kang Kang brand. It has a shelf life of about two weeks. The noodles are pasteurised, so refrigeration is not needed. You can choose from kway teow (flat rice noodles), Hokkien yellow wheat noodles, laksa noodles and bee tai mak (short rice noodles), which many children and I love because they are smooth and soft, yet easy to eat.
With a store of such packaged noodles, one can easily turn out a bowl of noodles in the soup or dry version. They are my favourite food especially when it is bak chor mee (noodles with minced pork).
Unfortunately, bak chor mee offered by hawkers is not the healthiest of dishes. Made with yellow wheat noodles, which I find indigestible, the dish is often over-salted and contains lard. There is a less well-known rice noodle dish, however, that is relatively healthy, especially if you add vegetables to it. It is a Hakka dish which you can hardly find in food centres, but is easy to turn out if you have a packet of fresh bee tai mak in the larder.
It is the kind of noodle dish for a lazy weekend afternoon when no one feels like doing much. To make it, I use whatever I have on hand. I defrost some minced pork that I invariably have in the freezer and tear open a packet of fresh bee tai mak.
It takes just five minutes to fry the pork with lots of chopped garlic, fish sauce and pepper. To zip up the green quotient, I add Chinese leaves, scatter fresh coriander leaves and some chillies over it all, and I am set for lunch.
Despite the simplicity of it all, it would please most noodle lovers. The combination of fish sauce and pork is unmatched.
Bee tai mak with minced pork (For four)
- 1 tbs chopped garlic
- 150g minced lean pork
- 1 tbs fish sauce
- White pepper to taste
- 2-3 stalks of any green leafy vegetables such as chye sim or lettuce
- 420g fresh bee tai mak (short rice noodles), available at Sheng Siong supermarkets
- Fresh coriander leaves and sliced red chillies for garnishing
- Heat 1 tbs of vegetable oil in a wok and fry the chopped garlic till soft and fragrant but not browned. Add the minced pork.
- Season with fish sauce and pepper and add a cup of water to make a little gravy for the minced pork. When it comes to the boil, add the leafy greens.
- Place a portion of bee tai mak on a plate. Top with some minced pork and green vegetables.
- Garnish with coriander leaves and red chillies and serve.
Ms Sylvia Tan
Popular Singapore food writer with seven cookbooks to her name.