We Malaysians love our food. That much is as true as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
The day I got off that plane and started calling this upside down country my place of residence, that wave of regret just washed over me. Don’t get me wrong, I have been utterly fortunate to been able to travel extensively during my childhood, but knowing that status quo (at least food wise) will return in 2 weeks is one heckuva big security blanket.
It could just boil down to the air, the unsanitary conditions, or even the humidity (hey, all these factors play a major role in how food is perceived e.g. aeroplane junk), but nobody does food like we do. Put a bunch of shy south east asians together and we’ll probably mumble our way through topics of conversation until we get to food. Now that is a topic that truly fuses people of different walks of life together.
On my last trip back home right before we popped into a mall to get a new pair of glasses made up for my fiancee, we had lunch at this place called Gerai. Now upon doing more research, this place seems to be a franchised chain of sorts but that shouldn’t take away from how pleasantly surprised I was with what I got served. Serendipitously, I picked their chilli pan mee (yes yes, nothing tastes as good as the O.G but when you’re on a tight schedule, you take what you can get).
T’was a good bowl of noodles, but IMHO a little bit more greens would have been nice (I devour vegetables like no tomorrow). Fast forward to yesterday and on the spur of the moment, I decided that I would give it a go at trying to make my owl iteration of the recipe.
To be fair, I took shortcuts along the way. The weather took a turn for the worse while I was stinking up the neighbourhood with my deep fried anchovies and I barely made it back indoors before it started spitting.
I also noped out of making home-made sambal belacan and purchased a bottle of granny chilli oil and bought fresh kway teow noodles instead of hand making them egg noodles.
It’s quite ironic that in light of my above comments regarding Gerai, I had zero vegetables tonight. To be fair, there really wasn’t much room left to chuck anything in there.
All said, pan mee in 25 minutes tops maybe? I’d say it definitely goes on the weeknight dinner list of recipes!