It’s my husband’s birthday today. 1 month ago he came up to me and said, ‘I want to eat ang chiu mee suah on my birthday, in fact let’s have mee suah everytime there’s a birthday in the family.’ So…the man of the house has spoken and it is to be done.
My husband is from Sitiawan and if there’s two things they can’t live without, it’s the blood-red mee suah and fish maw soup (ko ro). Mee suah are noodles that are exceptionally long and usually sold in the dried form. When you take it out of the bag, it’s very brittle so expect the noodles to be all over your kitchen counter and on the floor. There’s just no graceful way of handling it. We Foochows eat mee suah for all the special occasions like Chinese New Year, birthdays or a child’s full-moon. The main ingredients for the soup would be the red rice wine (ang chiu) (pic below) and chicken. I know the bottle says Carlsberg but trust me, it’s not. They just use these recycled bottles to sell their red rice wine.
Now here’s the dilemma. I am from Sarawak and where we come from, our mee suah is not red. Mee suah from Sitiawan has the strong ang chiu sediment in their broth while mee suah from Sarawak is more chicken soup based. We still use the rice wine but without the sediment.
I asked once my mom-in-law (who has since passed) to show me the Sitiawan method of making mee suah. Maybe she was a bit nervous or she was slowly forgetting a lot of things but she added sugar to the soup and I thought to myself, ‘Hmmmm….that can’t be right,’ regardless Sitiawan or Sarawak, adding sugar to the soup will make the taste go way off. So I thought, why not combine the two styles then. I will make it the way I remember my own mother makes it and then just make it redder for the Sitiawan taste buds. The ingredients are pretty much the same except that I would use pre-prepared chicken stock to make the soup even tastier. And also add….goji berries (kei chi)! I can hear a chorus of Sitiawan folks go ‘ABOMINATION’! Yes, for Sitiawan purists who tasted my mee suah for the first time, they never fail to pull that ‘What the…..‘ face. But you know what, my marriage is a marriage of two different Foochows so hence a mee suah that has the best of both worlds.
I won’t be posting the recipe for the mee suah…ha ha, it’s a family kept secret. But I suppose from the picture you can roughly guess how it’s done (pic below).
Now for the birthday cake, at first I wasn’t planning on making one….lazy. But then I had an eureka moment that could either turn out to be utter genius or an epic failure. I’m going to attempt to make a no-bake cake but the twist is to combine layers of two different fillings. One is chocolate mousse, which is hardly even a cake, and the top would be a no-bake cheesecake.
Of course the risks;
1. Would chocolate mousse go well with cheesecake? (I think so)
2. If I place the chocolate mousse as the bottom layer, would it be dense enough to hold the cheesecake? (Hmmm, I’d say yes)
3. I was using some pantry stocked sponge fingers, can this be a good crust element? (I have to get back to you on that one), should I soak the sponge fingers or leave it dry? (I kinda did a half soaked, half dry)
Here’s the outcome (below);
Looks pretty so far. I scattered some cocoa powder on top, I had thought about putting fruits but then it might be too much to digest. And here’s the slice (below);
Ah ha ha ha! The ratio was way off. It had too much cheese filling that the mousse was literally squished. So amusing. Well, for a first original attempt, I’d give myself a C-, the taste was good though, sponge fingers and all. Recipe will be up in the next posting.
Happy Birthday, dear! And for many more birthdays together!
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