Mrs Lam's handmade Hakka noodles: The recipe

Mrs Lam's handmade Hakka noodles: The recipe

How to make Ke Jia Mian the old-fashioned way, in a recipe one home cook has been perfecting over some 50 years

Watch how 88-year-old Mrs Lam makes her noodles by hand - a recipe that has fed her family for fifty years.   The first of CNA Insider's Vanishing Home Recipes series. 

From the kitchen of: Mrs Lam (nee Lim Tai Moi), age 88.

Read her story here.

This recipe feeds 15 people.

Prefer to watch the video? Click here

You will need:

Noodle/Pasta maker. Mrs Lam uses the Italian Ampia Tipo Lusso 150.

For the noodles (makes 12 clusters):

1 kg of wheat flour

1 tsp potassium carbonate

450ml water

For the minced meat:

1 cup cooking oil

500g minced pork

10 cloves of garlic, finely chopped (or to taste)

3 - 4 tbsp fish sauce (or to taste)

3 tbsp Dark Soya sauce

Garnish:

500g Bean sprouts, cooked

Spring onions, chopped

Fried garlic + garlic oil 

Hakka Noodles 12_Pasta Maker
Mrs Lam has been using this pasta maker for decades.

MAKE THE NOODLES

1. Place the flour in a big mixing bowl.

Dissolve the potassium carbonate in the water to form the lye water mixture.

“If you use too much it’ll become bitter. But if you don’t use it at all, the noodles won’t be nice. It becomes mee sua.”

2. Add the lye water to the flour one bit at a time, using your fingertips to gather the wet clumps.

Knead into fist-sized balls.

“Too much water and it’s not good; not enough water and it’s not good. You just need to agak-agak (estimate). You’ll get it with experience.”

3. Flatten the dough balls with your palm. Make sure it’s thin enough to fit into mode “1” of the machine.

“Use the soft part of your hand, and don’t use too much force, or you will hurt the dough." 

Hakka Noodles 6_sheet of dough
My grandmother puts a sheet of dough through the pasta machine.

4. Put the flattened dough ball through mode “1” of the machine, take it out and fold the sheet in half, coat with a thin layer of wheat flour if too sticky. Do this step 3 times.

“Remember, don’t use tapioca starch for this, It’ll become very starchy and sticky if you do that. You have to use wheat flour.” 

5. Then put the sheet through mode “2” once. The sheet should get thinner and longer.

“Just do it as many times as you need to make it look pretty.”

6. Then put the sheet through slot 3 to make noodles.

Sprinkle some tapioca flour over the noodle clumps.

You can keep the noodles for up to one week in the fridge.

Hakka Noodles 13_Swirls of noodles
Swirls of noodles on the table.

MAKE THE MINCED PORK 

1. Heat the oil up for three minutes.

Throw in the garlic and fry until golden brown.

“Not too hot or it’ll burn. Use more garlic for more flavour.” 

2. Add the fish sauce and minced pork. Fry for about 5 minutes, or until oil has “disappeared”.

“Use a lot of oil. Otherwise, you won’t have any gravy for the noodles.”

Hakka Noodles 14_The minced pork topping.
The minced pork topping.

TO SERVE

In a pot of boiling water, cook the noodles for about a minute.

“Once the noodles start floating, take it out.”

On a plate, serve the noodles with a helping of minced meat.

Garnish with boiled bean sprouts and spring onions.

Flavour with fish sauce and garlic oil.

CNA Insider is looking for home cooks with a story behind their beloved family recipes. Contact us at Facebook.com/CNAInsider or @ShuShanCNA on Twitter. #VanishingHomeRecipes

Hakka Noodles 15_Mrs Lam and noodles

Source: CNA/yv

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