How To Make Nonya Dry Mee Siam (Perfect For Potlucks!)
Boosted with a myriad of flavours (sweet, sour, spicy), the Nonya Dry Mee Siam is a popular and evergreen dish amongst the Peranakan community, and has become a staple at many gatherings in Singapore and Malaysia. Besides the obvious differences between the dry and wet mee siam, dry mee siam is much more portable, has more sourness because of tamarind or lemon juice, and is simply delectable. Every strand of bee hoon is coated with a generous amount of flavourful chilli paste. It is sweet, sour with a mild spiciness to it, a dish that is suited for the young and old in the family. Lovingly contributed by home cook Anne Leong. These are her tips:
  • If you are cooking with regular sized vermicelli, you will require more chili paste than the instructions above. Use 7 tbsp instead of 5 tbsp to fry the vermicelli.
  • The fresh sambal paste can be kept in the chiller for a week! You may use it to cook assam prawns, curry and other stir-fry purposes.
Because you'll have to blend a batch of spices for this recipe, this step was made easy using the Kenwood Food Processor. No. of servings: 5


Ingredients for Bee Hoon
  1 packet fine rice vermicelli 400g
  10 prawns, as desired
  300 g beansprouts, plucked
  4 eggs
  100 g dried shrimps
  20 g dried shrimps’ skin
  1 lemongrass, pound the white part to release the fragrance
  50 g tamarind paste
  4 limes' worth of juice
  3 tbsp soya bean paste
  3 tbsp fried shallots for cooking
  500 ml water
Sambal Paste
  100 g dried red chilies
  250 g shallots, peeled and cut into small pieces
  45 g garlic, peeled
  20 g fresh turmeric, peeled and cut into small pieces
  15 g belachan
  2 candlenuts
  4 tbsp oil
  3 tbsp water
  Fish sauce
  2 bunch of Koo Chye, cut into small pieces
  4 pieces tau pok, cut into small cubes
  Fried shallots
  10 limes


Step 1: Prepare the ingredients

• Dried red chilies – Use a scissor to cut it into small pieces. Soak in water overnight. The seeds will detach itself from the chili. On the following day, give it a good stir to remove more seeds, take the chilies out from the bowl of water. Dispose of the chili seeds. Set aside for blending.


• Dried shrimps – Soak in water for 1 hr. Drain and pour it into a Kenwood food processor to chop it into fine pieces. Heat up a frying pan, dry fry it without oil till it becomes dry and fluffy.


• Rice vermicelli – Soak in room temperature water for about 20 mins till soft. Check the instructions on the packaging.


• Dried shrimp’s skin – Rinsed and dry thoroughly. In a pan with 1l oil, deep fry till it’s crispy. Set aside to cool down.


• Eggs – Crack eggs into a bowl, add in ¼ tsp fish sauce and beat it. Pan fry it into an omelette. Remove from pan, slice it into strips.


• Prawns – In a pot of boiling water, blanched till it’s cooked through. Remove the shells when it has cooled down. Set aside for serving.


• Bean sprouts – In a fresh pot of boiling water, blanched the beansprouts for 1 min. Drain and set aside for frying.


• Tamarind – In a bowl with tamarind paste, add in 500ml water. Squeeze the tamarind paste, sieve to remove seeds and any impurities.

Step 2: Blend and fry sambal paste

• Add sambal paste ingredient into the blender. Blend till a fine paste is formed. Add in more oil for a smoother blend.


• In a frying pan, heat up 2 tbsp oil. Add in the blended ingredients and lemongrass. Stir fry till the paste turns into a darker red. Add in 1 tbsp salt and 4 tbsp sugar. Adjust to taste.


• Add in the powdered dried shrimps. Continue to fry in medium heat till it is well mixed. Add in 4 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp salt. Adjust to taste.

Step 3: Cook the Mee Siam

• In a frying pan, heat up 4 tbsp oil. Add in 5 tbsp sambal paste. Set aside the rest first. You may use it to adjust the taste at the later stage.


• Add in soybean paste, tamarind juice, lime juice and 250ml water. Mix well and allow it to simmer for 1 min. Add in 1 tsp salt and 3 tbsp sugar. Adjust the taste. It is important to do a taste test at this juncture as it will determine the final taste of the Mee Siam. Add in more water if the gravy is too thick for frying.


• Add in blanched bean sprouts and rice vermicelli. Stir fry in medium heat, till the gravy is fully absorbed. Cover the wok and allow it to simmer for 5 mins.


• Remove the lid and stir fry it. Do not simmer for more than 5 mins as it may get burnt. If it is too dry, add in some water gradually.


• Mix it well, cover the wok for 5 minutes. The bee hoon should be moist by now. Reduce to low heat, stir fry the vermicelli till it becomes light and fluffy.


• Add in dried shrimps’ skin and 3 tbsp fried shallots. Continue to fry till it is cooked evenly.

Step 4: Garnish and ready to serve

• Garnish with prawns, shredded omelette, koo chye, taupok and lime and serve warm.