Like lots of Asian kids, the first thing I learned to “cook” was instant noodles. I felt so grown up putting a pot on the stove, boiling the water, and adding the noodles and flavour package. Instant noodles used to be my standard after-school snack, but if I was feeling extra hungry and I was lucky, I’d make myself a bowl of meat-sauce noodles. The luck had to do with whether or not there was any meat sauce in the fridge.
Meat sauce noodles are incredibly easy to make, especially if you mom keeps extra meat sauce in the fridge. After school I’d boil up some udon, drain it, take the meat sauce out of the fridge and mix it all together. The sweetness of the shallots and the savouriness of the ground pork made for a fast, simple and delicious snack.
The meat sauce noodles I grew up with are loosely based on ko lo mee, a noodle dish my parents ate back when they lived in Brunei. Ko lo mee are egg noodles mixed with ground pork fried with shallots and some sort of mysterious brown sauce. Sometimes the noodles come with barbecue pork and wontons as well. When you get the noodles to-go, they come wrapped up in waxed brown paper.
For fun, I guess you could serve these noodles in wax paper packets as well, but you’ll probably be so tempted by the smell of the meat sauce cooking that you’ll want to eat straight from the pot.
Home Style Meat Sauce Noodle Recipe
1/2 pound ground pork
1 shallot, finely diced
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons sweet soy sauce
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
pepper to taste
noodles of your choice
green onions for garnish
Fry the shallots in a tiny bit of oil until fragrant and clear. Add the pork and cook, stirring to break it up. When the pork is cooked through and broken up, add the oyster, and soy sauces. The sauces should cover the pork completely. If they don’t, add a bit of water to cover the pork. Simmer for 1/2 hour to let the flavours meld. Pepper to taste. The meat mixture will be incredibly salty on its own, but remember, you’re mixing it with plain noodles.
Cook your noodles according to the package, drain and top with the meat mixture and green onions.