Bak Chor Mee (肉脞面), a very Singaporean Bowl of Noodles

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 4 1x


Bak Chor Mee recipe, a much loved noodle dish found in hawker centres all around Singapore, is a singularly Singaporean fare.



  • 300 g (10.5 oz) dried egg noodles
  • 2 large handfuls fresh beansprouts

Marinated Pork/Chicken Mince

  • 200g mince of your choice
  • 2 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Marinated Pork/Chicken Slices

  • 120 g (4 oz) very thinly sliced pork or chicken (for very quick cooking)
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • pinch of white pepper

Marinated Liver (optional)

  • 120 g (4 oz) thinly sliced liver (for very quick cooking)
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • pinch of white pepper


  • 1.5 litres (6 cups) water
  • 1 kg pork or chicken bones (or some chicken wings)
  • 2 spring onions (scallions), sliced in half
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 1 star anise petal
  • 2 tsp salt
  • a handful dried anchovies

Stewed Mushrooms

  • 60 g (2 oz) dried shiitake
  • 500 ml (2 cups) hot water
  • 2 Tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp Chinese black vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar

Sauce for Noodles PER BOWL

  • 1 tsp sambal or Chinese chilli oil with the bits
  • 1 heaped tsp crispy lard pieces (if using)
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 Tbsp stewed mushroom liquid
  • 1 tsp [Chinese black vinegar]
  • 2 Tbsp hot soup


  • 12 meatballs
  • 8 fishballs
  • lettuce leaves as needed
  • spring onions (scallions, sliced small)
  • crispy fried lard (pork belly) OR
  • crispy fried shallots

You will also need

  • Chinese skimmers for cooking or a heatproof sieve, one should be a little deep and fine, so the mince doesn’t fall through
  • 4 small bowls for precooking the meat
  • 4 large bowls for serving the noodles in


The Night Before

  1. Place the mushrooms in a large bowl with the hot water.
  2. Cool to room temperature, cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge overnight.
  3. Marinate the mince, meat slices and the liver in 3 separate bowls, cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge overnight.

On the Day


  1. Place the water, meat bones, spring onions (scallions), black peppercorns, star anise petal and salt in a stockpot or large saucepan and bring to boil.
  2. Lower the heat right down and simmer for 1 hour, removing any scum that surfaces.
  3. At the end of the hour, drop the dried anchovies in, stir and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Take off the heat and strain into a clean saucepan and leave to simmer at the lowest heat on the saucepan if you’re ready to serve the bak chor mee. If not, keep it aside and reheat when needed.


  1. As soon as you’re done starting the soup, move on to the mushrooms. Place the mushrooms and its soaking liquid in a saucepan and add all the other ingredients: 1 Tbsp dark soy sauce, 1 Tbsp fish sauce, 1 tsp black vinegar and 1 tsp sugar.
  2. Bring to boil, then lower heat right down and simmer for 1 hour.
  3. When done, pour into a clean bowl, leaving any sediment behind.

Bringing it all together

  1. Make sure your soup is simmering away.
  2. Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil and cook the noodles in the simmering water following the packet instructions. Dried egg noodles will usually take about 4 minutes but each brand will be different. If you have fresh noodles, this will only take about 1 minute.
  3. Drop the beansprouts in with the noodles in the last 30 seconds, just to scald. Drain and set aside.
  4. It’s best to prepare each bowl at a time, moving forward. Divide the minced meat, meat slices and liver into 4 small bowls and top with a generous ladle of the simmering soup, stirring slightly to break up the minced pork/chicken. Set aside. This step will semi cook the meat.
  5. Make the sauce now in each large serving bowl.
  6. Divide the noodles and beansprouts amongst the 4 bowls with sauce.
  7. Mix the noodles, beansprouts and sauce well.
  8. Drop your meat and fishballs into the simmering soup.
  9. Place individual portions (one bowl) of the minced meat, meat slices and liver into a deep skimmer or heatproof fine sieve and lower it into the simmering soup and cook for 1 minute, stirring the minced pork/chicken with chopsticks while still in the soup to break the clumps up.
  10. Top the noodles with the cooked meat. Do the same with the other 3 portions.
  11. Scoop out the meatballs and fishballs out of the soup and divide equally.
  12. If you would like your noodles a little wet, add a ladleful of the soup.
  13. Divide the stewed mushrooms equally amongst the 4 bowls, topping the noodles.
  14. Garnish with the crispy toppings, spring onions (scallions), lettuce leaves.
  15. I like to serve the noodles with a bowl of the leftover, deliciously flavoured soup and some chilli oil on the side.

  • Cuisine: Singaporean Chinese


  • Serving Size: 4