At first glance, you may think that I have spelt soup incorrectly. That is exactly what I thought for the first few months that I was in Malaysia. I just couldnt understand why all the hawker stalls and mamaks would spell soup this way. One day, it somehow came up in conversation with a friend while feasting on hawker food, and she said well that is how it is pronounced in Bahasa Malay, hence the phonetic spelling. So the next time I wanted to order soup, I had to make sure I pronounced it properly.
This particular soup has been my Sunday favorite ever since I discovered it. A large bowl of this soup can cure all the woes of Saturday night, hence I find myself at this hawker stall every Sunday afternoon. Situated on the corner of Kuala Lumpur’s famous food street, Jalan Alor and Changkat Bukit Bintang, this small stall is aptly titled “Alor Corner Curry Noodles”. They serve chicken and prawn mee sup, curry laksa, curry noodle soup and dry noodles. Sadly, they close by the evening, so one night I had a severe craving for it, but it was closed. I think that is what gave me the opportunity to try and recreate it myself. I cannot say it was the perfect recreation, but it came close. It is a simple soup adorned with condiments, but the best way to have it is to put it together step by step, rather than dunking all the ingredients into the soup while cooking it. This keeps all the ingredients from getting soggy.
- 1 litre chicken stock
- 2 cups shredded chicken (boiled)
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp chili paste (sambal if available)
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 cups beansprouts
- 1 bunch scallions
- 1/2 cup crispy fried onions
- 1 packet mee noodles (or any egg noodles)
- In a large pot, add the chicken stock, salt, pepper, chili paste, soy sauce and vinegar. Mix well and bring to a boil
- Lower the heat, add the chicken, coriander and pak choy (optional). Cover and let it simmer for 30 minutes
- Meanwhile, slice the scallions vertically and mix with the beansprouts
- Boil the egg noodles and set aside
- When the soup is ready, prepare the bowl to eat
- Place the noodles into the bowl, add the scallions and beansprouts and finally pour the soup over the noodles and vegetables
- Sprinkle generously with the fried onions
- Serve immediately
This way you can still feel the crunch of the beansprouts and taste the freshness of all the ingredients. It is such a hearty bowl of soup that you will not be hungry for quite a while. The beauty of this soup lies in its simplicity and just a few added touches, like the fried onions, that heighten its taste. A must for a weekday dinner since it is done in a matter of minutes.