Mee Goreng Mamak is an extremely popular hawker centre comfort food in Singapore and Malaysia. I remember many a night out with friends that ended up at our favourite late night (was it all night?) outdoor food centre that served a gamut of dishes, ranging from Mee Goreng Mamak to Hainanese Chicken Rice to Satay. You name it, they had it!
The word mamak is a colloquial term for the Tamil Muslim stall owners which is derived from the Tamil term for uncle, “mama”. In Asian and Middle Eastern cultures, as kids, we are encouraged to refer to adults as auntie or uncle, whether we knew them or not, as a sign of respect.
So these noodles are made and sold at stalls run by South Indian Muslims. What distinguishes them from the local Chinese and Malay noodles, besides the spices used, is the addition of potatoes and tomato ketchup. This results in a slightly heavier and tangier noodle dish.
Making Mee Goreng Mamak at Home
When made at home, Mee Goreng Mamak usually consists of leftovers from the day before, whatever’s at hand, whether it’s meat, seafood or vegetables.
Flexibility in terms of the “filling” used is a huge plus when you’re making any kind of noodle dish. Use whatever vegetables or meat you have at hand and usually a handful per diner is a perfect gauge of how much you need. You can use chicken, beef, pork, any seafood, or keep it vegetarian.
The more filling ingredients you use, the bigger the serving portions.
A small amount of curry powder is also sometimes used although I usually don’t bother.
Chilli paste in Mee Goreng Mamak
Chilli pastes are a very common ingredient in Asian cooking. You can use any generic shop bought version or substitute it with 2-3 sliced fresh red chillies. Or make your own and store in the freezer. Here’s the recipe that I always use for much of my stir fries: homemade chilli paste recipe:
Toppings and Garnishes
Noodle Dishes of whatever origin, are always served with a variety of garnishes. It can be as simple as some chilli paste or cut chillies on the side, or as elaborate as fried eggs, pickles, etc.
Mee Goreng Mamak is typically served with some lime wedges, cucumber and tomato ketchup, as you can see in the image. I’ve also got some homemade sambal ( a thick chilli sauce), as well as some cut chillies in dark soy sauce, a very common when dip in South East Asia.
And if you fancy anymore Singaporean and Malaysian dishes, head on over to the Singapore and Malaysia page for recipes like:
An authentic, quick and easy recipe for Mee Goreng Mamak, a very popular Indian Muslim hawker food in Singapore and Malaysia, and a favourite childhood recipe of mine.
- 500g (1.1lb) fresh yellow noodles
- 2 handfuls beansprouts
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 Tbsp chilli paste or 2 red chillies, sliced
- 1 medium tomato, quartered
- 200g (7oz) minced beef/shredded chicken/prawns
- 1–2 handfuls of tofu, cubed (optional)
- 1 small potato, boiled, then cubed
- 2 Tbsp dark soy sauce
- 3 Tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp tomato ketchup
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- a handful of chopped spring onions (scallions)
- a handful of chopped fresh coriander leaves (cilantro)
- juice of 1 lime
- tiny slices of cucumber
- tomato ketchup as needed
- Mix the soy sauces and ketchup and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large wok and sauté the onions and garlic on medium heat until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add whatever meat you’re using and cook, only a minute if it’s seafood, otherwise, for about 5 minutes.
- Add the bean sprouts and chilli paste and stir to mix.
- Push everything to one side, add the eggs and let set for about 30 seconds.
- Add everything else apart from the herbs and lime and mix thoroughly and cook for a couple of minutes until the noodles are done.
- Turn the heat off and add the lime juice and herbs and stir.
- Serve with the cucumbers topped with a squeeze of tomato ketchup.
- Category: Main Course
- Cuisine: Singaporean and Malaysian