The store I frequent most in food courts has definitely got to be the ban mian stall. It may be a humble-looking dish, but when the delicious broth is paired with some chilli padi, I never leave a single drop of soup behind in the bowl. Perhaps my favourite would be Qiu Lian Ban Mee, because the texture of their minced pork is amazing. I believe they use minced pork with a good amount of fats so that the meat is nice and tender.
Ever since I tried making handmade noodles from scratch for my Biang Biang Noodles recipe, I’ve been wanting to try making noodles again since it’s actually quite fun and gratifying. So I decided to make ban mian for lunch as some of my family members are down with cough.
What you need for your bowl of ban mian are: noodles, minced pork* (seasoned), baby bok choy, eggs, anchovies and of course, Knorr chicken stock cubes (or any sort of chicken seasoning). *For best results, use minced pork with some fats! You’ll probably have to get from the wet market and ask the butcher to mince it for you. I was quite lazy so I just used minced pork from the supermarket, which is not as tender and fatty.
This time round for my noodles, I used semolina flour as well, but the noodles were still smooth overall! First, knead flour, semolina flour, water and salt together into a dough ball (for about 5 minutes). Let the dough rest for 1 to 2 hours, covered with a cling film so it won’t dry out. At this point, the dough won’t be very smooth but after resting, it will smoothen out.
Cut the dough into 2 pieces, then roll out one piece into a thin rectangular sheet using a rolling pin. Roll as thinly as possible. I personally like my noodles thinner so that it won’t taste too dough-y after cooking. Don’t forget to flour your work station so the dough won’t stick to it!
Fold the sheet of dough into halves or thirds then slice the dough into strips of your desired width. Repeat for the other piece of dough.
Extend the strips, pulling gently on each strip to make it thinner. The noodles should be slightly elastic. If not cooking immediately, cover with a cloth so the noodles won’t dry up.
Otherwise, bring a pot of water to a boil and add the noodles in. Boil until noodles are cooked through, then strain the noodles. Because the noodles are floury, I personally prefer to change the water after cooking the noodles.
In the same pot, bring water to a boil and add the chicken cube stock. Then add the minced pork and bok choy to cook for a minute or two, and the egg towards the end. For the purpose of photo taking, I added the egg yolk separately. Try to separate your minced pork before adding into the pot so the meat won’t be so clumpy!
Meanwhile, deep fry anchovies in some oil to get crispy crispy ikan bilis!
Place the noodles into a bowl and pour the soup and ingredients over it. Don’t forget the chilli padi! I can’t eat soup-y foods without chilli padi.
A healthy and humble-looking bowl of noodles, but is so comforting to eat especially when you’re not feeling well. Still my all-time favourite at the food court (unless there’s a Lam’s Kitchen stall)!
Ban Mian (Handmade Noodles)
- 100 g plain flour
- 100 g semolina flour or plain flour
- 100 ml water
- 2 g salt
- 1.20 l water
- 2 Knorr chicken stock cubes
- 2 bunches baby bok choy
- 100 g minced pork seasoned with 1/2 tsp cornstarch and a pinch of salt & pepper
- 30 g anchovies
- 2 large eggs
- pepper to taste
- Knead plain flour, semolina flour, water and salt together into a dough (for about 5 minutes). Let the dough rest for 1 to 2 hours, covered with a cling film so it won't dry out. At this point, the dough won't be very smooth but after resting, it will smoothen out.
- After resting, remove the cling film. Cut the dough into 2 pieces, then roll out each piece into a thin rectangular sheet using a rolling pin. Roll as thinly as possible so the noodles won't taste dough-y. Fold the sheet of dough into halves or thirds then slice the dough into strips of your desired width. Repeat for the other piece of dough.
- Extend the strips, pulling gently on each strip to make it thinner. The noodles should be slightly elastic.
- Season the minced pork with 1/2 tsp of cornstarch, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles. Strain the noodles and place in 2 separate bowls.
- Using the same pot, bring 1.2 litres of water to a boil and add in 2 chicken stock cubes. Add in minced pork and baby bok choy and cook for 1-2 minutes. Lastly, add in eggs and cook for 30 seconds. Pour the soup and ingredients into the 2 bowls, over the noodles.
- Meanwhile, deep fry anchovies in oil until crispy and browned. Garnish noodles with fried anchovies.