Is This Noodle Dish Related To Thailand?–Mee Siam (米暹)



I am unsure if Mee Siam (or literally translated to Siamese Noodles) is related to Siam or the old name of Thailand. Some will say that it is very similar to a type of noodles called Mee Kati found in Thailand. However, there are those who disputed that Mee Siam have nothing to do with Thailand as you can’t get such noodles in Thailand. Whatever it is, let’s not dispute about the originality of the noodles but a recipe that is well liked by Singaporeans and particularly West Malaysians.


When I posted my Mee Siam images in a Facebook Peranakan Group (Nonya and Baba Clan), it kick start a discussion of what should Nonya Mee Siam be liked? Should it be dry version or soup version. Some claimed that authentic Mee Siam shall be dry version whereas those Peranakan community in Singapore said that it should come with soup.


Hmmm, I am unsure who is true but all this while, the Mee Siam that I have tried are soupy version and mostly in Singapore. In fact, I have never try the dry version. Setting this aside again, let’s not dwell into which is authentic but the recipe I am going to share is the soupy version of Mee Siam.


As per Wikipedia,

“Mee siam , (麵暹) which means “Siamese noodle”, is a dish of thin rice vermicelli. It is one of the popular one-dish meals in Singapore and Malaysia, particularly amongst the Malay and Peranakan communities. As the name suggests, it is adapted from a dish of Thai origin. In Singapore, it is served with spicy, sweet and sour light gravy. The gravy is made from a rempah spice paste, tamarind and taucheo (salted soy bean). Mee Siam is typically garnished with shredded omelette, scallions, bean sprouts, garlic chives, and lime wedges. In Malaysia a “dry” version is more commonly found, which is essentially stir frying the rice noodles with the same ingredients used in the Singaporean version.”  (Source:


I especially like the gravy of Mee Siam, it is supposed to tangy, sweet and spicy. Most friends around me are also assessing the tastiness of a bowl of Mee Siam on that few criteria of the gravy. Addition of calamansi juices will heighten the palate and usually a bowl of delicious Mee Siam is not enough for me! Ha-ha. It is very appetising.



Servings: About 5-6 adults


Spice Mix or Rempah

  • 3 tablespoons of dried shrimp or baby shrimps
  • 2 tablespoons of chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoons of fermented soya bean or tau cheow
  • 2 fresh chilli (dried chilli) – you can add more if you like it spicy
  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • 1 big onion
  • 10 shallots
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of belachan (shrimp paste)


Fried rice vermicelli and garnish

  • 100 grams of bean sprouts
  • 500 grams of prawns with shell
  • Salt and sugar (about 2-3 tablespoons) to taste
  • 5 tablespoons of tamarind paste (assam) diluted with 5 tablespoons of water
  • 20 grams of chives – cut into 2 cm long pieces
  • 500 grams of rice vermicelli (soaked in cold water)
  • 50 grams of deep fried bean curd (taupok) – diced
  • 2 pieces of drier bean curd (taukwa) cut into small pieces
  • Homemade  or readymade sambal or chilli sauce
  • 6 hard boiled eggs cut into halves
  • Some cooking oil for frying the sambal and rice vermicelli
  • Some calamansi (limau kasturi)




  • Put all the spice mix or rempah ingredients into a blender and blend until fine. Set aside for later use.


  • Shelled and de-veined the prawns. Keep the shells. Bring a pot of water (about 5 cups)  to boil, blanch the prawns for 2-3 minutes until the prawns curl up and turn whitish. Dish up the prawns and set aside. Throw all the prawn shells inside, bring to boil and let it simmer for at least 15-20 minutes. These are the prawn stock to be used for the gravy later.


  • In another pot, heat up some cooking oil, transfer half of the spice mix or rempah and stir fried until the aroma of the spice starts to penetrate the kitchen, sift the prawn stock to the fried rempah and add in the tamarind juice, sugar and salt. Bring to boil and set aside for later assembly. You may want to take some gravy and taste if it suits your taste buds. Otherwise, adjust it at this stage.


  • In a frying pan, add some cooking oil (about 5 tablespoons) and pan fry the taukwa or drier bean curd until golden brown. You can either deep fried this or even air fried this if you want. Set aside for later use.

  • In the same frying pan, use the oil left after dishing out the taukwa, put in the remaining spice mix or rempah. Stir fry until fragrant. Add in the chopped chives. Stir fry for one minute.


  • Add the rice vermicelli, diced deep fried bean curd (taupok), stir fry until well mixed. Add in seasonings such as sugar, salt, light soya sauce and followed by beansprout. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes and off the heat. Take some fried rice vermicelli and try if it suits your taste buds. If not, do adjust at this stage.


  • For assembly, in a bowl, have some fried rice vermicelli. Put some gravy on the fried rice vermicelli until it just covered the rice vermicelli. Top the noodle dish with the blanched prawns, hard boiled eggs, cut calamansi, chopped spring onion or chives and sambal. Best served when it is hot as a noodle dish by itself.



As this is a savoury noodle dish, variations are many. All quantities stated here are for reference. Please feel free to adjust to suit your taste buds.


Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.


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