CURRY NOODLES are dime a dozen in the Klang Valley with numerous stalls and shops offering both soup and dry versions, but what about the lesser known Penang white curry noodles?
A StarMetro reader from Penang wrote in to share his delight upon discovering a stall at Lek Seng Kopitiam in Section 19, Petaling Jaya, that served the dish.
In fact, stall operator Tan Kim Mei learnt the Penang white curry recipe from her aunt Keng Saw Cheng.
Keng, 65, said she used to run a roadside stall in Seapark selling the Penang speciality for more than 20 years, but quit to care for her ill husband.
When Tan expressed an interest in opening a hawker stall, Keng passed the recipe to her.
Tan said it was quite easy for them to pick up the recipe as her husband was a cook and Keng was meticulous in ensuring they made it correctly.
“The bestsellers at my stall are the Penang white curry noodles and kai si hor fun (shredded chicken kuey teow soup), the latter a speciality from my hometown in Ipoh.”
On the difference between Penang white curry noodles and regular curry noodles, Tan said the white curry was lighter in colour and subtle flavour.
“The typical curry version is more intense in colour and flavour as it uses herbs like ginger, galangal and turmeric.”
Tan added that the base for her aunt’s Penang white curry was a dried chilli, shallots, garlic, pandan leaves and sesame oil paste, and her secret blend of spices stir-fried for about two hours until it is fragrant.
The paste is boiled with chicken stock, prawn shells, fresh coconut and pandan leaves to bring out the flavours.
Tan’s version of Penang white curry noodles is served with pig’s blood, cockles, bean sprouts, long beans, prawns and tofu puff, and garnished with mint leaves.
The bowl of noodles has a spoonful of curry paste for diners who prefer a more fiery kick to the dish locally known as curry laksa.
“Customers who tried my Penang white curry noodles said it tastes authentic like the ones in Penang,” Tan beamed, adding that she could sell between 80 and 100 bowls of Penang white curry noodles per day.
They get a mix of walk-in and regular customers who used to frequent Keng’s stall in Seapark.
Although it has been about eight years since she stopped her noodle business, Keng still keeps in touch with some of her regulars and recommend her niece’s stall at Lek Seng Kopitiam, which opened about two months ago.
Keng occasionally visits Tan’s stall to ensure the Penang white curry noodles is up to par.
The Penang white curry noodles is RM7 for a small portion and RM8 for large. The kai si hor fun is RM6.50 for a small portion and RM7.50 for large.
Parking around Lek Seng Kopitiam is limited so it is advisable to carpool or park at legal parking spots along Jalan 19/16A near the minimarket.
The coffeeshop is open from 7am to 2.30pm daily, but is closed twice a month.
For details, call Tan on 012-209 9783 or 017-856 6832.