Kolo Mee is a dry-style Sarawak Malaysian Chinese noodle featuring springy egg noodles, savoury ground pork, sliced BBQ pork and aromatic fried onions.
Growing up, I always remembered my Mom's cooked hot lunches in the summertime.
Sunny afternoons and the wafting air of freshly fried onion flakes signaled that my stomach would be in for a delicious treat.
It would also indicate that my mother was making one of my favourite noodle dishes: Kolo Mee.
What is kolo mee?
Kolo Mee is a dry-style Sarawak Malaysian Chinese noodle.
"Kolo" comes from the Chinese Cantonese translation "gon lo" or literally, "dry mix."
"Mee" refers to "noodle" in the Hokkien Chinese dialect.
The noodles are topped with ground pork and fragrant crispy fried onions.
While different than wonton noodles, which are usually served in soup, these kolo mee noodles are served with just enough sauce.
Ingredients you'll need
Kolo mee traditionally includes:
- *egg noodles: fresh, springy egg noodles, usually thin, but you can use any noodle that you like
- minced ground pork: traditionally fried in lard, but I use a little oil in its place; you can use lean or regular ground pork depending on your preference
- *roasted BBQ pork (char siu): is a Chinese-style pork that has been roasted in a mixture of spices and honey, most commonly found in BBQ pork buns
- fish sauce or soy sauce: adds savoury flavour
- MSG (monosodium glutamate): traditionally used, but you can choose to include or omit it; for additional umami flavour. I use chicken boullion powder in its place.
- shallots: add an onion-y flavour to the noodles
- white pepper: you can use black pepper instead, however white pepper is "hotter"
- fried onion: adds that crunchy texture to the dish; it it is a must-have for me.
Other toppings can include:
- wontons: fried or boiled
- veggies: such as gai lan or yu choy help to balance out the dish.
- fish balls
- pickled chilies
- green onions
Or any addition that you like.
*Tip: Ask the butcher for an unsliced pork tenderloin and slice it at home to whatever thickness you like.
*Which type of noodles to use?
For the simplicity of this recipe, you can use fresh egg noodles. You can find them readily in Asian grocery stores.
However, you could also make your own egg noodles for this dish.
Be sure to choose thin egg noodles and not wonton noodles, which aren't as springy in texture.
If you can't find thin egg noodles, you can use "lai mein" or "hand-pulled" noodles instead.
How to make it
Fry the dried onion in a little oil and set aside.
Cook the ground pork with the aromatics (onions) and seasonings.
Depending on preference, you can use fish sauce or soy sauce to flavour the pork. Set aside.
Cook the noodles in boiling water, and drain.
How to assemble
Place the cooked noodles into a serving bowl.
Top with the ground pork mixture and its sauce.
Add toppings such as fried onions, sliced bbq pork, wontons, and veggies.
How to serve & store
Mix the noodles together with the saucy pork and serve the immediately.
You can store the toppings and the noodles separately in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To reheat the noodles, cook them in boiling water and drain.
Reheat the toppings in the microwave until heated through.
Other recipes you may like
You may like these other recipes:
One bite of this noodle dish and you'll understand why this is one of Malaysia's all-time favourite foods.
Let me know if you try out my recipe for Kolo Mee -- tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below.
Kolo Mee (Malaysian-style Noodles)
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoon dried onion flakes
- ½ tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 small shallots finely diced (or use ½ small onion if you don't have shallots)
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 lb (454g) lean ground pork
- 1 teaspoon chicken boullion powder
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon shaoxing wine optional, for flavour
- ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 pkg 340g fresh egg noodles
- ¼ lb roasted BBQ pork char siu, sliced
- 6-8 cooked wontons optional
- cooked yu choy or gai lan
- 1 green onion chopped
- pickled chilies optional
- hot sauce eg. sriracha or garlic hot sauce
Fry the onion flakes:
- Heat a large wok over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and add in the onion flakes.
- Lightly fry for about a minute by continuously stirring the onion flakes until golden brown (but not burnt) -- about 1 minute. Turn off the heat, and transfer the flakes into a small bowl. Set aside.
Fry the pork mixture:
- Using the same wok, turn on the heat to medium high and add in the ½ tablespoon oil, shallots and garlic. Fry until lightly fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
- Crank the heat up to high and add in the ground pork, breaking it up into small pieces. Cook for about 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink.
- Add in chicken boullion powder, dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, and white pepper. Mix to incorporate everything together. Turn off the heat and transfer the meat to a bowl.
Cook the noodles:
- Heat a large pot of water and let it come to a boil. Add in the egg noodles and cook according to package directions, about 2-3 minutes, or until al dente. Pour the noodles into a colander and rinse under cold water.
- Drain noodles and portion into serving bowls.
- Top the noodles with the 2-3 heaping tablespoons of the warm ground pork mixture, sliced BBQ pork (char siu), wontons, veggies (yu choy or gai lan), green onions, pickled chilies (optional), and fried onion flakes. Mix the bowl thoroughly and serve immediately.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.
This article was originally published for Curious Cuisiniere.