Friday, April 3, 2009

Back to basics

I realise that there have been quite a number of posts on noodles in recent times - but I can't live with myself without blogging on kampua mee, a dish of cult status in the little town of Sibu, Sarawak, where my parents hail from. More than just something to curb a carb craving, a good bowl of kampua jogs my childhood memories of visiting my parent's birthtown.

I remember gathering with my cousins in my grandparent's bedroom whilst they hosted their elaborate lunch parties with the most exotic dishes whipped up by their hired chefs. Rather than join in the festivities and being the little punks we were, we insisted on takeaway plastic packets of kampua mee for lunch whilst we brainlessly watched re-runs of Star Wars.

I also remember joining my uncle for a late night snack on a makeshift hut that sat on a funky smelling drain... the first bite into a steaming bowl of kampua reigniting my tastebuds and I suddenly forgot about the less than pleasant venue in which I was dining in.

Kampua mee as the locals refer to here is simply fresh noodles (no eggs used) cooked in rapidly boiling water and tossed in a concoction typically of shallot oil, light soy, MSG (which locals are fiercely protective of) and the all important lard. Yes that's right... in pursuit of carbohydrate greatness, considerations of cholesterol and health benefits become absurd and almost blasphemous.

Slap on a few slices of the token dry and chewy char siew (the focus here really is on the noodles only), served with the softest and most delectable wantons... and voila - a breakfast that has so much addictive appeal it is synonymous with this little town that few outside of East Malaysia have travelled to.

Sounds almost too plain to be true? But you of course know what I'm talking about... ask yourself what your deepest cravings are and chances are foie gras in a 3 starred French establishment isn't on the menu. Sure, that stuff tastes great and has its place in your gastronomic journey through life... But much like me, I think you'd rather ignore the festivities and be eating where your heart is... no matter where you are.


dory April 4, 2009 at 12:11 AM  

Wooahhh...i want kampua!!!

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